“It will be hell”. “Let’s inform people, but be careful that the information doesn’t come out. “I arranged for pictures of her that say “MP traitor”, let’s prepare the location during the day.” We will make the arrangements in the morning. We are gathering at the local community at 19 o’clock, from there we will continue 100m away from where she lives.” “I do not need to confirm that each member is expected to attend.”
This is the conversation that took place in a group on social networks ,involving well-known activists and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE, of which the SDSM vice-president of the Assembly, Frosina Tasevska-Remenski, has as evidence that the protests in front of her home in Skopje Bardovci were not spontaneous on Sunday evening, but organized by opposition activists from the Municipality of Karposh. The conversation reached her through an activist from VMRO-DPMNE who, as she said, probably disagrees with the methods of pressure on the ruling MPs, after the adoption of the Law on the Use of Languages.
Protests were held in front of the MPs’ houses of the ruling SDSM in the past few days in several cities, and there were also protests in front of the Government building in Skopje. The MP from SDSM Slavica Sumanska-Miteva from Vinica suffered most damage, when her car was lit in front of her home last week. On the other hand, a meeting for the support of President Gjorge Ivanov will be announced for tomorrow evening on the Skopje square, which indicated that even after the second voting, he will not sign the decree on the proclamation of the Law on languages for which the deadline expires precisely this Wednesday.
Although there were well-known faces from the current opposition among the people in front of the MPs’ houses, the same party, who during its rule practiced counter-protest against SDSM and civic organizations, now distance itself from involvement. Party leader Hristijan Mickoski also claims he does not justify violence.
“The responsibility for what is happening in Macedonia is on the side of the ruling majority, because on many occasions in the past, without any argument, they ignored the appeals we sent to them. I sincerely regret that all this is happening to Macedonia at the moment,” said Mickovski.
However, two of Mickoski’s party colleagues from the municipal committee in Karpos, where he lives, will face criminal charges for violence, after Remenski noticed them in a crowd gathered outside her home on Sunday. She announced yesterday that she will prosecute Toni Jarevski, an adviser to VMRO-DPMNE in the municipality of Karpos and the chairman of the party’s local committee, Saso Lazarevski.
“Today I will file criminal charges with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Skopje because with the knowledge and evidence I have at my disposal, agree that behind the organization of hooliganism in front of my home is the municipal committee of VMRO-DPMNE from the Municipality of Karpos, together with the chairman of the committee and current adviser and president the OC of the party, the former president of the OC, many employees in public institutions… Such type of autocracy must not be practiced in front of the homes of deputies who, according to the law and the Constitution, have the right and obligation to vote for laws by personal and personal conviction,” Remenski said yesterday. The crime she will file criminal charges against, as she said, foresees imprisonment for the organizers and participants of the riots. She pointed out that the Constitution guarantees the right to protest, as well as the right to privacy, security of the home and of protection of life. According to her, public gatherings and protests are regulated by law and are subject to appropriate duties by the organizer himself and the responsibility of the participants themselves in case of certain damages during the protest in public spaces. In this case, says Remenski, this is anything but a public protest, yet it is about autocracy and autonomy allowed by a group of citizens politically organized to verbally offend and threaten the security and safety of her home and family.
Remenski made a request to VMRO-DPMNE to distance itself from the organization of the protests, which, according to her, were still planned by the party. As she stated, not distancing from the organization of such protests in front of the MP’s houses makes them direct accomplices and successors of a bad practice that has been successfully developed in Macedonia in the past period.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that the protest is a constitutional right that needs to be practiced. But, he added, what is being done in front of the MP’s homes, in front of their children, their family members and parents is absolutely unacceptable.
“It is a violation of the privacy of their homes, direct threats are directed, deputies are belittled, and their children scared. We will not allow this to continue. I personally and everyone around me will protect the children of the deputies,” Zaev said.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Interior undertook actions, because several crimes were committed. He stressed that he does not expect a new political crisis in the country despite the protests in front of the citizens’ homes and the announcement of protests by the main opposition party.
“It is clear who stands behind the protests in front of the MPs’ homes and how they are organized, but it is absolutely clear who and what kind of money they receive for it”, Zaev stressed. According to him, what was done in the Parliament when adopting the Law on the Use of Languages was probably the only possible solution, in accordance with the right of the President of Parliament to establish a non-governmental and unconstitutional blocking possibility in order to review 36,000 amendments.
– In a multiethnic country it is very easy to sow seeds of nationalism, and the question is how to build a society in which everyone feels equal. Nothing will change in Macedonia, and it is impolite to say that in eastern Macedonia, it would be obligatory to learn Albanian language, and that there would be fines if it was not spoken, or that the administration would have to learn Albanian. These are lies,” Zaev said.
VMRO-DPMNE did not formally stand behind the protests against the so-called Tirana platform and against the Law on the Use of Languages, when it was only announced. These protests lasted for weeks before the parliament building, and their culmination was the events in the legislature on April 27, 2017, due to which a lawsuit was conducted against thirty former officials and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE, including six current MPs.
I do not feel safe, but I am guarded by two “policemen”
According to Remenski, the gathering in front of her house was not announced to competent institutions, and caused consequences that if not prevented in time, may delineate some practices from the Third Reich.
“I appeal to the citizens that everything we do is in the interest of Macedonia for the long-term security and political stabilization of the state. Any attempt to manipulate the public, especially individuals who go beyond the bounds of their behavior, must be sanctioned and every citizen should be guaranteed a democracy within what he/she has as a right. But this democracy does not, in any way, mean endangering the safety of others,” Remenski said.
She confirmed that she did not feel safe, but, as she said, she had two “policemen” at home, implying to her dog and her husband, who is employed by the Ministry of Interior.
“One policeman is called Rex and stands in front of my house, while the other sleeps next to me, because my husband is a policeman,” Remenski said.
Regarding the police’s handling of the security, she said it was very professional, but according to the wrong law. She believes that, instead of under the Law on Protests, the police should act according to the Law on Public Order and Peace, which provides for unconditional protection of all citizens who are at risk of their rights and property.