ACTIVISM IN THE MEDIA
We bring you a brief overview of activist actions achieved by individuals, organizations and initiatives in 2016, which will be updated along with other news and current events.
Protest action organized by initiative under the same name; “Take responsibility for murdered women”, was held on Saturday, February 26th at Petar Preradović Square. The organizers wanted to draw attention to problems that are systematically ignored or are given insufficient attention by institutions responsible for combating domestic violence and punishing perpetrators.
“Night march – March 8” brought together more than 500 feminists and their supporters in the fight for women’s rights. March started at the Park of King Peter Krešimir IV and finished at Zrinjevac, along with several stops made on the way for the purpose of alerting public on the disastrous situation and imminent threat to all aspects of women’s rights in Croatia.
On March 31th, at Zrinjevac, a meeting was held under the name “For Satire Ready”, as a response to systematic attacks on freedom of verbal expression and stigmatization of satire in public space.
In this year’s “Night of the book”, participants of the initiative Kulturnjaci 2016 carried out a performance called “In memoriam Umberto Ecce homo” in 25 cities and 40 locations. They read fragments from Eco’s “Essay on the eternal fascism”, which resonates with a lot of phenomena’s within our current political moment in which our government opens space for intolerance, hatred and physical violence by disregarding symbolic violence.
This year The International Worker’s Day was marked by two union confederations – The Alliance of Independent Croatian Unions (SSSH) and The Independent Croatian Unions (NHS), under the slogan “People before profit!”. Their leaders rallied for a fight for preserving worker’s rights in front of more than two thousand gathered.
About two hundred people gathered on May 3rd, in front of Croatian Journalists’ Home in a protest called “Freedom of the press”, organized in response to assault on the media which was directed by our former government and Ministry of Culture. The protest was held on “World Press Freedom Day” and the gathered protesters headed for the building of Ministry of Culture as a destination in front of which the symbolically expressed their dissatisfaction.
The initiative “Croatia can do better!” brought together more than 250 different associations, unions, enthusiastic teachers and individuals interested in quality education. The initiative called on the citizens to support the curricular reform and send a strong message that we value education above all and consider it as a priority in society. A large protest was held on Ban Jelačić Square on June 1th, and was later followed by a protest action “Croatia can do better – without you!” in front of Parliament.
Pride parades for rights and visibility of LGBTQ+ people, were held in Split on June 4th, and in Zagreb on June 11th, with the mission of protection of acquired rights and freedoms for all, and not just those of gender and sexual minorities. Organizers stated that the message of this year’s Pride Parade is that Croatia must remain a free and democratic society without returning to the darkness and extremism.
An anti-war protest was held on August 4th, on Ban Jelačić Square, regarding the celebration of military operation “Storm”, in which were pointed out the consequences of wars and long-term damage that comes from continuous militarization and celebration of military operations without mentioning harmful consequences that those operations left on the life of civilians.
On the eve of the deadline for the appeal against the decision of Zagreb City Office for Physical Planning on issuing a permit for building a church in the park, the initiative called “Guard our park” handed over the “final appeal” in front of the city administration, and thus showing they won’t stop fighting for their park. A large protest against construction of the church was held in the park itself, on September 10th.
Following the announcement made by former Dean of Faculty of Humanity and Social Studies, where he planned to integrate his Faculty with the Catholic Theological Faculty, students held a plenum. They stated a high number of procedural irregularities and Deans overstepping his authority on September 21th, in front of the Faculty of Humanity and Social Studies.
A broad coalition of unions and associations organized a visual performance on St. Mark’s Square, on November 16th, under the name “Last employment contract for indefinite in Croatia”. Through it, they presented a scenario from not so distant future in which contracts of indefinite duration in Croatia no longer exist, except as museum exhibition specimens.
More than four thousand citizens of Slavonski Brod gathered in the evening of November 24th, in order to once again, warn the country of the polluted air emissions coming from refineries in Bosnian Brod, after more than eight years of pleading to responsible institutions with no results in sight.
Initiative Kulturnjaci 2016 has launched an international signing of letters of support to professors and students of Faculty of Humanity and Social Studies in Zagreb, who are fighting for autonomy and secularity within their Faculty.