Demonstrations in Ljubljana: Carnations, Neo-Nazis and a Water Cannon

December 3rd, 2012 § 6 comments

serious large scale demonstrations are going on in my home town last few days. the last time so many people gathered in protest was before we joined nato, in the height of anti-globalism movements of 2001. unfortunately it’s not that simple this time.

Demonstrations in Ljubljana: Carnations, Neo-Nazis and a Water Cannon

Bob at Piran Café blog in Slovenia shares this photograph in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. On his blog, he explains: This [photograph of a policeman behind a riot shield] was taken at about 6 pm last night, shortly after protesters were giving carnations to police officers stationed in front of Parliament.

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these demonstrations have nothing to do with neo-nazi’s, political disagreements or economic recession. they are just about people finally understanding that disillusionment is nothing without action. so far we assumed that politicians are paid to do a job of managing the country, just like profesional managers.

one thing that foreigners can’t understand from reports about neo-nazi groups in the otherwise quite city is that slovenians are normally very serious about in-activity. they should have protested any number of times in the last decade, or at least vote for different people the last 5 times they had a chance.

but they didn’t. they know the democracy doesn’t work, so they don’t bother with elections. neither they would bother with coming forth with plans to improve parts of it. instead they would complain a lot, and look at the most promising new european country flounder. slovenians have proven to be very good at feeling helpless.

we didn’t have corrupt elections yet, people actually voted for corrupt majors. some voted for them because they don’t know better. the others didn’t bother going to elections, or engaging in actions / conversations that would raise the profile of counter-candidates. it’s a pattern we have seen over and over again in our history of elections – rule of thumb is 30% voters turn-up is guaranteed, and 60% of them will vote for the commonly recognized worst option. dare to count how many times this was deemed ‘majority’ ? dare to guess how representative this sample is?

so getting 10k people on the streets is a great success, and hopefully a sign of changes to come. this post is more intended for fellow readers in slovenia, who are very good at amplifying opinions, but i’d like to provoke you to actually fucking do something. vote, vote more carefully, talk about issues when there is time to do something about them.

i wouldn’t even ask the next complaining slovenian: “and what did you do to make things better?” – they wouldn’t get it. the right questions is: “and what have you not done to contribute to this mess?”

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§ 6 Responses to Demonstrations in Ljubljana: Carnations, Neo-Nazis and a Water Cannon"

  • and how would you answer: what did you do to make things better?

    • igzebedze says:

      a) I vote, I tell other people to vote. I also do things like, and

      b) and who are you to ask me this in the most smart-ass attitude possible without posting your view?

      • dataoko says:

        b) it wasn’t my intention to sound smart-ass in my short comment. I just turned the question you wouldn’t ask a complaining slovenian back to you. In a sense don’t complain but show us a good example. (^META) I know you are amongst more active.

        Otherwise, I do agree with all the points you made and would add that our (slovene) society (preferably) runs on ignorance, not knowledge, on club mentality rather than selfless critical thinking. On “doing” what everybody does, sustaining the status quo and in reality being inactive (not changing anything).

        Herds react best to fear, the other side of fear being hatred, so those 2 are the prevalent voices we are being served all the time thru commercial and political entities, to sell to us or to divide & rule us.

        But somewhere someone overstepped the magic line and people finally had enough, disasociated from their clubs and joined together directly.

        It’s very good that people activated. But, we also need to improve collective knowledge, or we will end at the other side of the same crap . Most rebels that throw off dictators become dictators themselves – and any movement can be sidetracked(stollen). knowledge is what gives is robust direction, and constructive pace.

        I don’t have a solution to that, but one of things how to improve the knowledge of masses is to give them chance for better/realistic/more-direct information about the world they live in. So they literally “know” more and their mental models matches reality better.

        a) That’s where supervizor.kpk and similar projects you describe step in big time. If you go read my last blogpost you will know I am a huge fan too (I didn’t know there was a fanclub! 🙂 ). And wheather my little quest is succsesfull or not, I do try to make the open data more visible.

        • igzebedze says:

          got it, sorry for harsh reaction 🙂

          I like to think people (and societies) are in essence the same, as we were from the beginning of time. when you look from up close, all societies face the same problem – not enough knowledge. and yes, Nixon said “people don’t vote from love, they vote from fear”.

          I believe open data can be a significant agent to increasing public awareness, possibly simply because it will give ignorant journalists tools to report the truth rather than repeat made up statements. so I’m totally excited by your work as well, we should figure out ways to collaborate. I have a nice backlog of ideas to talk about 🙂

      • dataoko says:

        I agree.

        I am for collaboration, if you know for any interesting data or have interesting ideas please do share. I am quite limited in this regard, and just browsing thru gave me whole sets of new data and potential ideas. I can’t promise anything, but if I see I can do something interesting with it I will try.

  • […] is going through severe disillusionment with politics as expressed by widespread protests. The role of a politician is so discredited at the moment that a decent and honest person would […]

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