Popular Justice

Rumena Buzharovska

I was part of the “Colorful Revolution”. I’m proud of that fact. The scenes in which crowds of people, after many years of silence and fear devotedly and regularly took the streets, chanted together and with color balloons smashed the disgusting monuments  – symbols of repression and corruption, symbols materialized in the criminal “Skopje 2014” – feel me with awe and admiration. These moments I consider not only to be the creative achievement of our society, but, most importantly, for its critical growth, which is often caused in periods of crisis (for that critical growth and waking from the apathy of not doing anything, thank you VMRO).

Now, it’s in style to hate the “Colorful Revolution”. I am not surprised by the apathy following a long battle, the disappointment that is normal after great expectations. The individuals who were part of the great exhilarated crowds now no longer feel important: they feel like they are a small and forgotten part of a rusted state machinery in which corruption and dysfunction are deeply absorbed in the pores of our daily social life. And when feeling such unimportance, not only does apathy develop, but also anger: someone somewhere wronged us. Someone screwed us up with “The Colorful”. Of course, there’s always a certain someone profiteering. Of course, we have fought for nothing. Not only did we fight for nothing, but all is for nothing. It’s the easiest way: giving way to not taking responsibility, then protecting oneself from further disappointments (“and I knew it would turn out like this”). But often this attitude leads to something even more dangerous, and even abominable, and that is popular justice.

And exactly one such (despicable and shameful) popular justice was served to former MP Pavle Bogoevski last week. Pavle became a symbol of the “Colorful Revolution”, and so, those who protested and fought against the previous regime now hungry for revenge for their disappointment – a disappointment disproportionally big compared to the real state we are in – found it easiest to take down from the pedestal the boy they put there themselves, the boy they admired for so long: Pavle.

Pavle, who not only during “The Colorful”, but during all other long-standing protests that did not draw such crowds, devotedly kept order, peace and gave a sense of security (personally, whenever I saw Pavle, and the situation was dangerous due to police aggression, I knew everything would be fine). You, who went to the protest and participated in the change of society, you thought it was good for non-partisan people from the civil sector to enter the new government: and when that happened, you spit on them, labeled them as dishonest chair-grabbers, even when they were almost killed in the Assembly on April 27 (I am talking about Pavle, yes). However, despite everything that is spreading poison in the country, you have decided that you will be most concerned with the stars that you want to bring down, instead of dealing with what actually, and in the bottom line, poisons this country far more.

This popular justice that happened on social media at the same time demonstrated a very disturbing small-minded backwardness (I have add, similar small-minded behavior was displayed in commenting on Eurovision, when it became clear how many people are racist and chauvinists, or when announcing that a pride parade will be held in Skopje, all those progressive small-minded expressed themselves using the phrase “I am not a homophobe, but …”). Dear me, an MP did drugs. In his free time, after work. The Macedonian puritans who guzzle rakia first thing in the morning, and through the day, when their nerves are thin and their head hurts, they gulp down a tiny Diazepam, a tiny Apaurin and tiny Helex, they had to condemn Pavle not related to what he does at work, that is, how he does his job in the Assembly, but related to what he does in his free time. I’ll tell you this in the simplest possible way: people, you’re backward and uninformed. Come on, read a little on the use of drugs for medical purposes, then for recreational purposes and exit the caves where you are gulping your 30 denar doctor prescribed Diazepam. You are no better: you are worse, and probably because of that you are angry to punish someone else.

And while lawmakers are liaising with criminals, cashing in traveling expenses in the amount of your annual salary, sleeping in the Assembly where they have ascended without any merit and expertise, and take the money you’re killing yourselves to earn, you, angry little men, you go ahead and lash out on Pavle. Maybe you will feel better.

(The author is a writer)