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article imageOp-Ed: Presence Counts — Slovenians send a message to the world

By Anne Sewell     Dec 18, 2012 in World
Ljubljana - Slovenians are sending a message to the world, saying "We take responsibility for each other!" as they stand up for their rights in the streets of their country.
Digital Journal reported on December 1 on the protests in Ljubljana and six other cities in Slovenia. Protests have been ongoing since that date, with Slovenians demonstrating peacefully in the streets, after the infiltration by Neo-Nazis in the earlier demonstration.
The Slovenian people are demanding that the "irresponsible and the unpunished government officials, bankers and CEO's withdraw from the democratic process we are creating at this moment in Slovenia."
They state that they know exactly what they don't want. And they want to speak about what they do want and desire as individuals and as a community.
They wish to open the channels, to talk about the pain, oppression and violence experienced by the people, as well as the hopes and visions of Slovenians.
Slovenians say that they need to listen to each other, and know that the people are able to take the steps of building a democratic society, where even the weakest voice is heard, and one person’s pain is everyone’s pain.
Protests prior to the presidential elections in Slovenia  November 30  2012.
Protests prior to the presidential elections in Slovenia, November 30, 2012.
Prisotnost Steje OccupyLjubljana
The people have had enough of the violence, injustice, intimidation and arrogance. They say that the theft and economic looting must be punished and that an end must be brought to the undue oppression of Slovenians.
As a collective people, Slovenians have to put the concepts of equality, reciprocity, fairness and dignity into action. Only through action, can changes be made for the better.
Slovenians have risen, and have been out on the streets of the country, without fear. In exactly two weeks, Slovenia has had a total of 54 uprisings in 28 cities: Maribor, Ljubljana, Ptuj, Gornja Radgona, Jesenice, Kranj, Bled, Koper, Nova Gorica, Novo mesto, Velenje, Ajdovščina, Trbovlje, Celje, Dravograd, Ravne na Koroškem, Krško, Brežice, Izola, Murska Sobota, Bohinjska Bistrica, Lendava, Trebnje, Slovenske Konjice, Litija, Kočevje, Radenci.
According to reports from all over the country, over 77,500 people took to the streets. Although, of course, media, police and politicians quote lesser numbers.
Presence Counts states, "They trivialize our fight and they will continue to do that. They can’t hide our numbers, because the streets belong to those who care about the country and want to change what has been forced upon us over the last 20 years. In order not to lose the future, we have to take back the freedom and power of our votes!"
Protests prior to Slovenia presidential elections  November 30  2012
Protests prior to Slovenia presidential elections, November 30, 2012
Prisotnost Steje OccupyLjubljana
Protesters have been jailed. "Repressive authorities have detained 254 people in Slovenia, some of them still remain in custody. Young people are locked in jail because Minister of Interior Gorenak claims they will return to the protests. Thousands return regardless, for we are not all in jail! We are the mothers of the arrested children, we are all the friends, families and supporters who will return to the streets and participate in the uprisings until we achieve change."
"As long as there are children confined, no one is free! Young people can not be criminalized by the very people who have stolen all the prospects of their future, by those that violently choke the protests that are the only channel available for the people to express their collective will. The never ending violence of capitalism goes unchecked, and meanwhile the attacks of rulers and marshals continue in impunity, without responsibility or accountability. What they call riots have emerged from the state of fear and poverty, into which we as citizens were pushed. We demand tears of joy, not tear gas!"
Presence Counts states: "We have only just begin our uprising, and it will only intensify and grow as we build an alternative to the corruption and economic despair offered by the officials of Slovenia."
"We reject your methods: we don’t intimidate, humiliate or use force, we will deny them the repression they try to impose on us. We are different, ordinary people, the crowd in the street. If their only communication is using violence and oppression, we will respond by playing music and dancing in liberation. If they use the army, they still will not take away our voice. We do not destroy, we collaborate and create. We want to create a society of welfare, trust, justice, equality. We shall achieve that. Their water-cannons and pepper spray are useless. They must open their eyes and ears to the messages of each and every uprising. We will show them what we can accomplish without them."
"Together we know, another world is possible…"
"They are finished! (GOTOVI SO)."
The full text of the Slovenian statement can be read here.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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