An angry mob storms Macedonia’s parliament in the country’s capital, Skopje. Image by Ivor Mickovski
“History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce.” – Karl Marx
Tonight in Macedonia the unimaginable happened: for the second time in its short democratic history, the main opposition party was assaulted by the paramilitary forces of the outgoing and nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE, leaving several MPs wounded and the leader of the opposition in the hospital.
In 2012, the same group of MPs was violently ejected by the security after trying to prevent the passing of the 2013 budget. Now, they were beaten and cornered in Parliament by an angry mob. The endless cycle of violence and state capture of these past years under VMRO came to a conclusion for us when the opposition party – along with its Albanian partners – elected a new speaker of parliament in an unusual fashion, having been systematically denied in the previous months by the VMRO members of Parliament.
During tonight’s violent and barbaric entry, the police and parliament’s security were nowhere to be found, showing lenience and tolerance. Unlike the Colourful Revolution and the student protests, when the police’s response was not only quick, but also brutal – even though the protest hadn’t manifested any signs of violence.
I would not like to dwell on the messages from abroad that conveys a message of reason and non-violence, but it’s time the EU members show their big guns of diplomacy and pressure this government to stop terrorising its citizens. The EU has tolerated and supported this process of state capture for the sake of stability and safety of the Balkans for a long time, not to mention the refugee crisis. Yet now, when this criminal installation has been deconstructed by the valiant effort of its citizens and the opposition, we cannot scale back into uncharted territory that leads to more violence.