By Naser Selmani
What lessons can be drawn by the protests of Albanians in Skopje against the life in prison sentence issued to six defendants for the murder of five Macedonian young men near the Smilkova lake in Skopje two years ago?
In other words, Albanians lost, Gruevski and his power won.
If someone wanted to testify that the defendants on “Monstra” case are victims and have been unjustly condemned, they didn’t manage this. Someone else won. A scenario was put in place and its aim was to make the defendants look like murderers and the people who support them in protests as violent people.
What an irony! The victim turned into aggressor, while the aggressor into a victim. Number of wounded police officers is being trumpeted. Of course they must be counted, but nobody talks about the wounded protesters. Albanians are given draconian sentences, their relatives and the citizens who supported them were made violators of order, while prosecution and court which issued draconian sentences and police which beat protesters, were made to look like victims.
Those who do not want Albanians, managed to show that Albanians cannot peacefully express their discontent. Instead of protesting in a peaceful way against the court rulings, Albanians allowed the infiltration of unclear elements among them, who successfully achieved their mission, by providing an alibi to police to exert violence against protesters and to stop the protest.
When will Albanians understand that the Egyptian people didn’t overthrow dictator Mubarak by throwing stones and provoking police, but by protesting an a civil way and by not allowing any incidents?
When will Albanians understand that the people who throw stones and provoke police in protests are paid provocateurs? When will Albanians understand that people who cover their faces cannot be part of the protest, because nobody can guarantee that they are elements infiltrated to divert the protest? This is so difficult to understand and only people with sinister intentions hide their face when they come out on protest.
When will Albanians understand that they must not come out in protests when the organizer is not clearly declared? Why can Albanians not understand that permission must be asked to police for the protest and the organizer has the responsibility to keep the protest under control?
When will Albanians understand that they cannot use Friday’s prayers for political motives, because this doesn’t help the cause that they want to promote, but on the contrary, it helps their opponents.
How does “Monstra” case relate to Islamic flags which were used in the protest?! Why did nobody remember to remove them, in order not to be used by prosecutor Geshovska as a motive to say that the defendants were truly Islamic terrorists and the motives of the murder are religious?
The protest in Skopje also showed something else. It deligimized the so called Albanian parties, BDI and PDSH. Albanians have no representation. Only those parties that represent the political will of Albanians can be considered as Albanian parties, and not those parties whose leaders have Albanian names and speak Albanian. The fact that the Albanian will has not been expressed in the recent parliamentary elections is proven by the fact that constituency no. 6, where the majority of voters were Albanians, had a turnout of less than 50%. This turnout would be smaller if Macedonian voters had a turnout of more than 70%.
Albanian citizens of Skopje got out on the street not only to express their indignation against the outrageous sentence given against several Albanians in the “Monstra” case, but they also protested against those who pretend that they represent Albanians in the state institutions.
It was seen that BDI and PDSH do not represent ethnic Albanians. If these parties represented the interests of ethnic Albanians, the head of these parties would be among their people in Bit Pazar in Skopje, not to allow their discontent to be manipulated with.
Judging by their silence, one can understand that they were happy that Albanians were beaten and the victims turned into an aggressor. Their silence in itself contains a dire message, according to which, all of those who do not submit to their vassal like policies, will be beaten by Gruevski’s police.
This protest made VMRO-DPMNE and Gruevski’s power victors. VMRO sent a message to Macedonians not to worry about the protests held by Albanians, because police is able to beat them whenever they are rebellious.
Secondly, it sent a message to discontented Albanians that their objections are futile and hopeless, because they will always have against them parties such as BDI and PDSH and the entire state mechanism.
The third message is even more terrible. Albanian discontent will be crushed by police violence, because their civil rights are not recognized. Each time, the government will activate its men who will throw a few stones and break a few window glasses in the protest in order to legitimize police violence against protesters.
The fourth success of VMRO is that in the future, Albanians will be discouraged to participate in protests and show solidarity with their fellow country men, when they face suffer injustices. The spirit to react will be crushed, whenever there’s reasonable doubt that power abuses with innocent people.
Lastly, I doubt that BDI and PDSH can make a difference among Albanians in Macedonia. It’s a waste of time to deal with these irresponsible people. Common people must just ignore them.
The strength of the Albanian citizens is within them if they’re clear on what they want, if they elect the right leader to take them toward common goals, in order for Macedonia to be a free, democratic and multi ethnic country, integrated in the EU and NATO.
*The author is a journalist and head of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia
** The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line