A big protest was called for in Sarajevo, Bosnia on the 1st day of July. I got this information from Twitter and Facebook. Even after three weeks, most mainstream media hadn't picked up the story yet and best bets to find information were on Twitter. The protest seems to have developed organically from an original gathering on June 5th regarding a lag in the issuance of identification, or pin numbers. Temporarily, this group of baby-carriage toting mothers (and eventually other hundreds of ordinary but supportive citizens)surrounded the Parliament, complete with Parliamentarians inside and pushed their weight around a bit. They were angry, frustrated, fed up. Justifiably so, considering that Bosnians are treated like shit, very obviously taking the back seat to the Croatians, the Serbs and often, even the hate mongering rattlers in the neighboring canton, Republika Srpska who are routinely invited to the party, as if nothing had gone on, those long, 22 years ago.
Eyeing a great opportunity is not enough, action has to be taken. So it was that someone, somewhere convened under the #JMBG hashtag, promoted it through Social Media, got a few more thousand people excited, called for a non violent /’let’s show them who we are’ mash up and soon, a revolt, of sorts, was born. Similar to Bulgaria,Turkey and Brazil, there was a collective consciousness that moved people into the streets. It is not clear if there there is anyone person or tight group guiding anything at this stage of Bosnia’s nascent activism. No one at least, who was willing come out to stake a claim or take the lead at yesterday’s protests.
Unlike Bulgaria, where citizens are just not giving it up, the ‘official’ day of civil disobedience scheduled for yesterday in Sarajevo was a bit of a flop. Someone lamented on Twitter that, no real goal was attained, a golden moment possibly wasted.
Truth. There were the 15 people in front of the UN HQ in New York, holding up signs in solidarity which was posted online. Then, of course, the adorable underwater divers carrying JMBG cards, the video of the lone plane that dropped a case load of flyers onto the city, letting people know to ‘come on down’!, the hundreds of well wishers from St. Louis to Korea who posted on FB and more. There was support.
Where was everybody else?
The original ‘up to ten thousand’ from the 11th of June?
The famous Sarajilje….. We saw you there, right?
Call me a crazy romantic. I believe in you. Make it happen Bosnia.