Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Well, my google fiber is out and i am using my ipad for this.  I really am not a fan of the ipad keypad, so I don't intend today to write much at all.  I also have screwed up the article posting I planned for below, so I am giving up and leaving you only with this little bit I wrote as the introduction for the vanished piece which is not below.

 While the media has mostly been focused elsewhere, the activity of the multitude in Bosnia has taken a back seat.  As reported by Gal Kirn on LeftEast:

The movement first emerged in the city of Tuzla on February 5 (click here for some videos of the actions). After a peaceful start, the tension with police escalated into violence and eventually theburning of the government (canton) building on February 7.

People were stunned, but encouraged by so many parallel protests. The government buildings in Mostar, Sarajevo and some other places also began burning. This time the political violence was not ethnically motivated, but opened up a space and deployed a strategy that targets the systemic violence of the dominant order. In one of the high points of the Tuzla protests, police officers dropped their shields and joined protesters in their public outcry.

For the first time in the history of BiH, mass protests traversed ethnic political lines and use a new political language that points to the issues of social justice, direct democracy      and political radicalism. Despite criminalization and immense pressure, thousands of people kept protesting in front of the government buildings, blocking the roads and coming together on different squares. The protesters consisted of marginalized youth, workers, unemployed, students, socialists, pensioners, war veterans — an increasingly colorful palette of social groups started participating and organizing.

Apart from the continuing protests on the streets and the anti-nationalist stance taken by protesters, what is perhaps the most fascinating and the most precious part of these political mobilizations is how quickly (few days after first uprising) protesters started building up popular institutions from below that are known as “plenums.”Plenums have a long history within the council (soviet) movement, and can be defined as a sort of general assembly. These had already been used in the region during the occupation of Croatian universities. In the current situation they empower citizens and articulate the political demands of protesters.

Now, I have also read reports that were not so impressed with these Plenums.  Some have said they have been dominated by this or that faction, and by intellectuals.  I am not in Bosnia, so I don't know. However, what is most significant is that increasingly wherever an uprising of the multitude does occur, almost from the get go Soviets, Plenums, Genreal Assemblies, Whatever are formed.  Such bodies,have p, of course, been the dominant form of self organization by working people for much longer, it is just that recently we seem to see new ones every week.  This means something.  I will leave it to you to ponder just what.

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