(english / srpskohrvatski)

Bosnia: Righteous protests endangered by instrumentalization

5) Enraged workers and youth protest austerity in Bosnia (Ognjen Markovic)

VIDEO: Rioting in Sarajevo
Haris Alisic - 07/feb/2014
Clashes with police in Sarajevo. Rioting, stones and police injured. Few hours after this the building were torched. Severe clashes start at 0:50

=== 1 ===

----- Original Message -----
From: S. K.
To: undisclosed-recipients
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 7:58 PM
Subject: Srebrenica Historical Project: Riots in Bosnia presage a Gene Sharp phony revolution

Stefan Karganovic




          The color revolution that was expected for over a year in Bosnia has finally started. But the fundamental point that needs to be stressed is that, contrary to what many analysts expected, this is not going to be a “regime change” in the Republic of Srpska only. It is shaping up as a country-wide putsch that will include both the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republic of Srpska.

 That is a very important point because it suggests that Western intelligence services and their governments, of course, wish to have a clean slate in the entire country. The plan is to use mounting social dissatisfaction, for which there are plenty of genuine reasons, in order to provoke general chaos. That chaos, and the illusion of a better life that Western media and propaganda agencies will generate in the minds of the public, will be then used to install a new team of puppets not just at the entity, but at the central level as well.

          The basic goal remains to get rid of President Milorad Dodik and his independent policies in the Republic of Srpska, and to bring to power in Banja Luka a team of collaborationists who will facilitate the absorption of the Serbian autonomy into a centralised Bosnian state. The further goals are to bring Bosnia as a whole into NATO and to integrate it completely within Western Euro-Atlantic structures. Under the current constitution that cannot be done without the consent of a compliant government in the Republic of Srpska. What is now a protectorate, with some measure of local autonomy here and there, in the end is therefore to be transformed into a completely subservient Western colony.

          The protestors in Bosnia, like those in Kiev, are motivated by the illusion that, once they “throw the rascals out”, their actions will result in a vaguely conceived and tantalisingly undefined “better life”. However, that will never happen if it is left to Western installed puppets to do the job. As we saw in the Ukraine, only Russia right now can step up to the plate and make a large enough economic contribution capable of improving their lives. The EU has made it clear that they do not have the wherewithal to contribute to the reconstruction of the Ukraine, although they of course do have the small change sufficient to buy the services of the rioters. What applies to the Ukraine  applies also to Bosnia and the Republic of Srpska.

          The current upheaval, which began two days ago in the Muslim-Croat Federation town of Tuzla, and spread from there to Sarajevo and other urban centres in the  Federation, has been marked from the start by the use of extreme violence on the side of the protesters. Since the “regime change” operation generally is being orchestrated  following closely Gene Sharp’s scenario of “non-violent resistance” it may strike as a bit odd that in Bosnia the non-violent phase was unceremoniously skipped. In the initial stage, the usual pattern of “provocation – escalation” in fact calls for goading the authorities to assault the peaceful demonstrators so that they could be portrayed as innocent victims. But in this case Western orchestrators may be in a hurry to quickly finish the job in both targeted countries, the Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They may have decided to accelerate the process of installing their puppets while the illusion of a “better life” can still be plausibly nurtured and before the disappointing news of the West’s own deep economic crisis reaches the teeming masses of the East.

          The way the uprising is being managed is succinctly portrayed by this picture published on one of the websites of the opposition network: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=488685791242036&set=a.486758234768125.1073741828.486748144769134&type=1&theater .

          This suggestive image shows at least three things. First, the aggressive level of street violence practiced by the demonstrators, including the use of burning tires. Second, the old, familiar “Otpor” symbol of the clenched fist, which has characterised similar operations ever since the first successful color revolution under Western auspices in Belgrade in October of 2000, a dead giveaway of the inspiration behind the current events. Finally, the somewhat incongruous English text on what is supposed to be a Bosnian poster, a clear lapsus lingue which undoubtedly in due course must be corrected because it accurately suggests who is behind the entire charade.

          Furthermore, all the classical and telltale signs of a Gene Sharp operation are present. The regime change infrastructure that Western specialists have been carefully putting together in Bosnia for the last two years has been given the signal to surface. What we witness now is a very well coordinated network in the Federation and the Republic of Srpska cooperating to achieve identical goals and using all the standard modern technological devices to that end. The demagoguery is suitably vague and focuses on nebulous objectives, such as “respect for rights” and “decent future,” that undoubtedly enjoy mass support in Bosnia just as “end to nuclear radiation” would probably be a popular slogan in Fukushima. Oddly, no specific policies to achieve these high-minded goals are being offered. Right out of Sharp’s playbook, however, demonstrators are appealing to policemen to join them. The anonymous organizers of the Tuzla riots refer to themselves by the acronym “UDAR,” clearly evoking the name of Vitali Klichko’s political organization in the Ukraine.

                    The authorities in both Bosnian entities are plainly unprepared for what is in store for them. In the Federation, Muslim politicians foolishly mistook the West’s tactical support for an immutable guarantee, just as Egyptian president Mubarak did for years before them, while in the United States activists of the "April 6 Movement" were being trained  to overthrow him. In the Republic of Srpska, not only has the ruling coalition failed to make a timely assessment of the situation and to plan effective counter-measures, but the opposition as well may have miscalculated. They may wake up to realise that they also were manipulated by Western mentors for the sole purpose of undermining President Dodik but that an entirely different set of Western-trained protégés – not they – is slated to be installed.   

=== 2 ===


Nova komunistička partija Jugoslavije (NKPJ), Savez komunističke omladine Jugoslavije (SKOJ) i Studentski front (SF) pružaju punu podršku opravdanom nezadovoljstvu radnika i studenata u Tuzli.

Radnici, penzioneri i omladino Tuzle - podržavamo vaš protest i solidarišemo se sa vašom borbom! Nezavidna situacija u kojoj ste se našli posledica je restauracije kapitalizma i imperijalističke okupacije na prostoru naše socijalističke domovine Jugoslavije. Kapitalizam je društveno-ekonomski sistem koji uvek ide na štetu radnika a na korist predstavnika kapitala. Restauracija kapitalizma uslovila je sve nesreće kroz koje prolazi naše društvo: počev od apsurdnog bratoubilačkog rata i razbijanja naše domovine od strane zapadnog imperijalizma, preko masovnih otpuštanja, rasprodaje narodne imovine, devastacije privrede i industrije, privatizacije i propasti školstva i zdravstva, sve do opšteg pada životnog standarda i osiromašenja najširih slojeva stanovništva. Čestitamo vam, drugovi, na tome što ste pokazali solidarnost, borbenost i visoku razinu svesti o uzrocima problema koji vas ugnjetavaju, time što ste izašli na ulice u ogromnom broju i krenuli u srž problema – na zgradu vlade. Time ste pokazali jednistvo radničke klase kao i njenu istinsku snagu. Vaše nezadovoljstvo koje je uzrokovalo spontano udruživanje i borbu za opšti progres društva, ne sme se zaustaviti na toj spontanosti, ne sme se slomiti pred kontra-udarom režima koji je u službi kapitalističke klase, a do koga će uskoro doći. Iz spontanosti vaše borbe mora se izroditi bolja i čvršća povezanost radničke klase čitave Bosne i Hercegovine. Vi ste, vašom borbom, upravo postali inicijator i predvodnik tog udruživanja i povezivanja. U vas su uprte oči naroda BiH i kao i svih naroda Jugoslavije. Vi ste postali primer i zvezda vodilja ideje da se očajna situacija u kojoj smo se našli može prevladati i da izlaz postoji. Iz tih razloga neophodno je da budete još bolje organizovani, još konkretniji u vašim zahtevima i ciljevima.

Potrebno je stvoriti alternativu čitavom postojećem sistemu u kome nema nikakve perspektive za društveni progres. Treba udariti protiv rušilačkog karaktera nehumanog sistema – kapitalizma. Valja nam se još jednom izboriti za njegovu jedinu alternativu, za društvo u kome je radniku garantovano pravo na dostojanstven život – za socijalizam. Mi poručujemo radnom narodu Bosne i Hercegovine da je potrebno udruživanje u okviru ozbiljne, borbene, revolucionarne radničke partije, istinske avangarde kakva je NKPJ, kroz čiji će proglas hrabro i odlučno uzviknuti: Dosta bede, dosta kapitalizma, napred k socijalizmu! NKPJ, SKOJ i SF pozivaju sve progresivne radničke sindikalne strukture širom Jugoslavije na solidarnost sa radnicima u Tuzli. Pozivamo celu radničku klasu Jugoslavije, sve radnike, nazaposlene, studente i celokupnu omladinu, osiromašene, prevarene i ponižene Jugoslovene da podrže i da se pridruže borbi tuzlanskih radika.

Najoštrije osuđujemo napade policije i primenu sile nad radnicima u protestu! Pozivamo pripadnike policije da u učesnicima protesta prepoznaju svoje drugarice i drugove, braću i sestre, roditelje i decu, svoje komšije i sugrađane, da prepoznaju volju naroda i stanu odlučno na njegovu stranu. Da spuste palicu sramne službe krupnom kapitalu i upotrebe je protiv njega. Ukoliko to ne učine izazvaće revolt i opravdanu odmazdu radnog naroda. NKPJ, SKOJ i SF nastavljaju da podržavaju i učestvuju u borbi radničke klase širom Jugoslavije. Mira, slobode i pravde nema bez uništenja kapitalizma.

Živela borba tuzlanskih radnika!

Živela borba radnog naroda Jugoslavije protiv eksploatacije i imperijalizma!

Sekretarijat Nove komunističke partije Jugoslavije

Sekretarijat Saveza komunističke omladine Jugoslavije

Sekretarijat Studentskog fronta


5.februar 2014. godine

=== 3 ===


U tuzlanskom kantonu je nezaposleno čak 100 000 radno sposobnih osoba koje padaju samo na teret zaposlenih radnika. To masovno osiromašenje je posljedica restauracije kapitalizma, odnosno pljačkaškog imperijalističkog pohoda kojemu je cilj bio uništavanje jugoslavenske privrede, razbijanje saveza do tada ravnopravnih naroda, osvajanje tog tržišta i preuzimanje svih prirodnih i ljudskih resursa pod svoj nadzor preko njima odanih vazala iz redova novopečene domaće kapitalističke i politikanske oligarhije.

Radnici robovi, vi, skupa s vašom djecom, polako umirete od neimaštine, smrzavate se po zimi, lutate uzaludno tražeći bilo kakav posao dok gospoda uživaju u toplim kancelarijama, siti i bezbrižni vode svoj nemoralan život lažući vam u oči da su oni vaši predstavnici koji zastupaju vaše interese. Ta gospoda žive od znoja radničkog na kojem su se obogatili kroz nemoralnu pretvorbu i privatizaciju huškajući radnika jedne nacionalnosti na radnika druge nacionalnosti.

Ne dopustite da vas razjedine te politikanske gulikože radnog naroda koji imaju obraza nabacivati krivnje na druge narode da bi prikrili svoje buduće zle namjere i osigurali svoj pljačkaški plijen i ratno profiterstvo. Oni su vas razvlastili za vrijeme bratoubilačkog rata, a sada je došlo vrijeme spoznaje pa vi konačno razvlastite bandu lopovsku i njihove vazale i postanite vlasnici poduzeća koje ste ionako VI stvorili, a ne oni.

Kapital se ne može oplođivati sam jer je mrtva materija. Živi rad radnika oplođuje kapital, a to znači da je kapital plod udruženog rada svih radnika i zato on može biti samo u vlasništvu radnika, a nikako pojedinaca. Za razvlaštenje svih parazita imate svako moralno i logičko pravo. Organizirajte se u odbore i krenite u izgradnju socijalističke revolucije!

Socijalistička radnička partija Hrvatske pruža punu podršku opravdanom nezadovoljstvu obespravljenih radnika, nezaposlenih radnika i nezadovoljne omladine osuđene ne svojom krivnjom na neizvjesnu budućnost .

Poništenje pretvorbe i privatizacije! Poduzeća radnicima!

=== 4 ===


Najpre, pozdraljamo hrabru, predanu i požrtvovanu borbu radnika u Tuzli. Radnici i omladino Tuzle , već smo pisali da vaše borba, ukoliko opstane i istraje, može pokrenuti čitavu BiH. Pisali smo da je njen prvenstveni cilj sve veće udruživanje naroda i čvršća povezanost radničke klase čitave Bosne i Hercegovine. Bilo je neophodno da čitava BiH stane iza vas kako bi vaša borba urodila plodom. Do progresivnih promena na nivou vašeg grada može doći jedino ako ih bude na nivou čitave zemlje. Vi ste taj zadatak ispunili. Još jednom ste se dokazali kao najborbeniji deo naroda naše domovine Jugoslavije. Pokazali ste da čvrsto sledite onu odvažnost i hrabrost kakvu su imali inicijatori i učesnici slavne „Husinske bune“. Sada ishod vaše borbe zavisi od ishoda borbe čitavog naroda Bosne i Hercegovine.

Narode Bosne i Hercegovine , vi ste danas ustali protiv svoje pro-imperijalističke buržoaske vlade, protiv sistema i državnog kursa koga ona zastupa. Taj sistem je varvarski kapitalizam koji je za sobom ostavio stravičnu bedu i pustoš. Od presudnog je značaja da ga prepoznate kao takvog, i jasno poručite da se borite protiv njega. Reuspostavljanje kapitalizma na prostoru naše socijalističke domovine Jugoslavije, inicirano, organizovano i pomagano od strane imperijalističkih sila dovelo je do očajne situacije u kojoj se nalazimo. Vi se danas borite za svoje materijalne interese, ti interesi direktno su suprotstavljeni interesima vladajuće klase, predstavnicima kapitlizma – novoformiranoj buržoaziji. Ona se formirala iz redova onih koji su rasprodali narodnu imovinu, opljačkali privredu, izdali interese naroda cepajući ga i gurajući u besmislen rat za interese zapadnog imperijalizma, na kome su profitirali kako oni tako i strain kapitalisti.

Vi ste već pokazali visoki stepen socijalne svesti time što ste naglasili da se borite protiv buržoaske demokratije a za narodnu demokratiju. Time što ste odbili „podršku“ raznoraznih buržoaskih stranaka i svoju borbu okarakterisali kao radničku. Čestitamo vam na tome! Sada je važno da se socijalna svest dalje razvije i izgradi u socijalističku svest. U svest o tome kako i čime zameniti postojeći sistem. Socijalizam je ne samo alternativa već jedini put za prevazilaženje kapitalizma i njegovog nehumanog produkta – siromaštva radničke klase, njenog izrabljivanja od stane kapitalista prisvajanjem profita i otuđenjem proizvoda rada. Sada je vreme da se širom Bosne gromoglasno ori: „Smrt kapitalizmu! Živela narodna socijalistička revolucija!“

Pisali smo, takođe, da radničku pobunu u Tuzli pored cele BiH, prati i čitav prostor bivše Jugoslavije - naše jedine domovine, i pozivali na solidarnost i podršku toj borbi. Pozdravljamo sve sindikate i radničke organizacije širom bivše Jugoslavije koje su podržale borbu radničke klase u Tuzli i pozivamo ih da nastave sa podrškom. Pozdravljamo rad svih pro-jugoslovenskih grupa na društvenim mrežama koji predano prate, podržavaju i omogućavaju dostupnost informacija o događajima u Tuzli i širom Bosne te i na taj način stvaraju sve veću povezanost radnog naroda s našeg prostora. Sada kada je borba radnika u Tuzli prerasla u narodni ustanak, čitava bivša Jugoslavija budno prati dešavanja u BiH. Kao što uspeh borbe tuzlanskih radnika zavisi od borbe čitavog naroda BiH, tako i uspeh borbe BiH zavisi od toga da li će biti i drugih svenarodnog ustanka u regionu. Uspeh progresivnih promena na nivou BiH, biće moguć samo ukoliko dođe do progresivnih promena u čitavom okruženju, prvenstveno u bivšoj Jugoslaviji, što će dalje stvoriti odličnu platformu za progres na čitavom Balkanu.

Upozorili smo, takođe, i na kontra udar reakcionarnih i pro-buržuaskih snaga koji će uslediti i koji je usledio. On se ogleda u tome što razne buržoaske stranke pokušavaju profitirati na vašoj borbi. Razne vas nacionalističke snage u službi imperijalističkog kapitalizma pokušavaju podeliti i razdvojiti, time oslabiti i razoružati vašu borbu.

Narodi Bosne i Hercegovine – recite im odlučno NE! Podele su uzrok vašeg nezadovoljstva, one su uzrok očajnog materijalnog položaja u kome se nalazite. One su uzrok propasti najširih slojeva stanovništva Jugoslavije. Na podelama su profitirali samo korumpirani prokapitalistički političari, raznorazni „biznismeni“ i tajkuni, ratni profiteri i privatnici - predstavnici buržoaske klase. Vas su zatvorili u nacionalne torove a sebi sazidali dvorove, rasprodali narodnu imovinu, opljčkali privredu, razorili industriju i poljoprivredu a zdravstvo i školstvo učinili privilegijom bogatih.

Sada je vreme da dokažete narodno jedinstvo, da pokažete odlučnost i istrajnost. To ste u izvesnoj meri već pokazali time što su u vašoj pravednoj borbi udružena sva tri naroda koja žive u Bosni i Hercegovini i time što stalno pozivate na jedinstvo. Time ste na ispravnom putu jer pozivate u pomoć i radni narod drugih republika bivše Jugoslavije. Međutim, od presudnog je značaja da pokažete još veće jedinstvo time što ćete odlučno i ponosno stati pod jedinstvenu zastavu Bosne i Harcegovine. Ne postojeću državnu zastavu, pod njome se nikada nećete ujediniti, ona je simbol podeljenosti i imperijalističke okupacije zemlje. Već narodnu zastavu slavne i ponosne Socijalističke Republike Bosne i Hercegovine. Tom zastavom reći ćete bez ijedne reči sve ono što želite da kažete. Njena crvena boja označava radničku – proletersku borbu, to je simbol vaše trenutne borbe. Umanjena zastava Jugoslavije u njenom gornjem levom uglu simbol je narodnog jedinstva Bosne i Hercegovine i dostojni reprezent onoga što BiH u svojoj suštini jeste – Jugoslavija u malom. Pozivamo učesnike protesta širom BiH, da na ulice izađu sa ovim i drugim simbolima proleterske borbe u prvom redu crvenim zastavama i zastavom Jugoslavije. To je korak koji se sa nestrpljenjem očekuje i koji će biti inicijator ustanka radnog naroda protiv nepravde u svim ostalim jugoslovenskim republikama. Pokažite da se dosledno borite za interese radničke klase, za svoje interese.

NKPJ, SKOJ i Studentski front će dati svoj doprinos u vašoj pravednoj borbi, i već ovih dana će organizovati protestne akcije u znak solidarnosti sa radničkom klasom Bosne i Hercegovine. Pozdravljamo one sindikate policije koji su odličili da stanu na stranu radnika i prekinu sramnu službu čizmi pro-imperijalističkog kapitalističkog režima. Osuđujemo sve one koji to nisu učinili a vrše nasilje nad radnicima, penzionerima, studentima, učenicima i svim učesnicima u protestu.

NKPJ, SKOJ i SF nastavljaju podršku radničkom ustanku u Bosni i Hercegovini i pozivaju na ujedinjenje u okviru avangardne komunističke partije kakva je NKPJ, koja se bori za vlast radničke klase – za socijalizam!

NKPJ, SKOJ i SF nastavljaju da podržavaju i učestvuju u borbi radničke klase širom Jugoslavije. Mira, slobode i pravde nema bez uništenja kapitalizma.

Živeo ustanak radničke klase Bosne i Hercegovine!

Živela borba radnog naroda Jugoslavije protiv eksploatacije i imperijalizma!

Sekretarijat Nove komunističke partije Jugoslavije

Sekretarijat Saveza komunističke omladine Jugoslavije

Sekretarijat Studentskog fronta

Beograd 7. februar 2014.

=== 5 ===

Enraged workers and youth protest austerity in Bosnia

By Ognjen Markovic 
10 February 2014

Over the last few days, workers and youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have erupted in rage against the abysmal economic conditions and ethnic divisions imposed by the imperialist powers and enforced by the local political elite.

The country is still divided into two semi-independent entities—the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), inhabited mainly by Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS)—created by the US-brokered 1995 Dayton agreement that ended the four-year war provoked by the imperialist powers amid the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe.

The protests started last Wednesday in the former industrial town of Tuzla in the north of the country. Regular weekly demonstrations by several hundred workers, laid off from formerly state-owned companies that went through privatization and restructuring only to be declared bankrupt, were joined by youth, the unemployed and wider layers of the population. Many apparently responded to an informal call for “50,000 people in the streets for a better tomorrow” posted on social networks.

The protesters were appealing to the head of the Tuzla cantonal government to take part in talks about their grievances. “We wanted to talk to the government about restarting production, about the payment of our wage arrears, but nobody ever showed up,” said Hrustan Muminovic, one of the protesting workers quoted by Reuters.

Instead, the Tuzla government released the riot police on the workers, which sparked violent clashes and led to dozens of protesters being arrested and hurt. Some 17 policemen were injured and 11 police vehicles damaged.

Stunned by the reaction, the Tuzla government then called on “dissatisfied workers to seek to achieve their rights through syndical institutions, with whom [this] government has had continually good cooperation.” It is notable that the trade unions are considered such reliable allies by these malignant institutions that they desperately peddle them to angry workers.

Undeterred by the police brutality, an even larger gathering of workers and youth gathered on Thursday in front of the Tuzla cantonal government building. “The people have nothing to eat, people are hungry, young people do not have jobs, there is no health care insurance, no basic rights. It can’t get any worse,” Maja, one of the protesters, told reporters.

That afternoon, the police deliberately spread misinformation about widespread looting—completely debunked the following day, including by those who were supposed to have been looted—and used this as an excuse for a crackdown. Several neighbouring police districts and special forces were mobilized. Thursday saw many more injured, with some 50 police reportedly hospitalized.

By Friday, much larger protests and demonstrations were triggered in more than 30 cities and towns across the country, including the capital Sarajevo and the towns of Mostar, Zenica, Bihac, Banja Luka and others. More than 10,000 people protested in Tuzla—population 80,000—burning the cantonal government and municipal buildings and stoning the court and prosecutor quarters. The graffiti inscribed on the demolished local government building included “Resignations, everyone,” “Death to nationalism” and “One people.” Reports suggest some 400 were injured nationwide on Friday.

“I think this is a genuine Bosnian spring. We have nothing to lose. There will be more and more of us in the streets. There are around 550,000 unemployed people in Bosnia,” said Almir Arnaut, an unemployed economist from Tuzla. The BiH unemployment rate is around 45 percent and 60 percent for young people.

In the capital, Sarajevo, the presidency and cantonal government buildings were set fire on Friday, while police met several thousand demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets. The day before, Sarajevo Cantonal Premier Suad Zeljkovic had reassured the media, “In Sarajevo, no one has reasons for unrest and actions like this. There is not a single unpaid salary, nor has any sector of society have reasons for dissatisfaction.”

Friday, a young protester who joined the thousands that had ransacked Zeljkovic’s offices, told the media, “Enough is enough! Politicians have been drinking our blood long enough and now it is time for people to bring them down. If we shed some of their blood in the process, so be it!”

Demonstrations and protests have taken place across the ethnic divide. In Mostar, a town which witnessed some of the bitterest ethnic divisions during the war, both Croats and Bosnians came out in protest. Local government buildings, including city hall, local parliament and others were set ablaze, as were the headquarters of the two nationalist parties—the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Bosnian Democratic Action Party (SDA). In Zenica, the cars belonging to politicians were thrown into the river, as yet more government buildings were torched, to the chants of “Thieves” and “Revolution!” In the RS capital of Banja Luka, a peaceful demonstration of hundreds was held.

The political elite were caught completely off guard by the ferocity of the protests and the speed with which they have spread. By Friday, they were issuing statements seeking to blame local governments and divide the “genuine” protesters from the supposed “anarchist” or “hooligan” elements.

Croat member of the BiH Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, declared, “Unfortunately, that hooligan manner, destruction of property and burning have killed the very essence of the justified protests by the people.” Another Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic, son of the late Muslim communalist leader Alija Izetbegovic, whilst admitting the people have good reasons to be frustrated and angry, condemned the violence and pleaded with protesters to recognise that government institutions were their institutions.

BiH Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic tried to ingratiate himself with the protesters, declaring the unrest, a “people’s strike against the state mafia” and scapegoating the head of the cantonal Tuzla government, calling him a “political bandit.”

This is rich coming from Radoncic, who is described in a 2010 US State Department cable released by the WikiLeaks as a “powerful, reportedly corrupt, and sometimes vindictive media mogul” with “ownership and direct control of the most widely-read daily newspaper in Bosnia,” who “is almost certainly seeking political status in order to secure protection from the investigation of his illegal business deals by wielding government influence over the judiciary.”

BiH Federation Prime Minister, Nermin Niksic, tried to slander the protesters, querying whether they were infiltrated by elements that “through burning might have tried to conceal evidence of the robberies they’ve made during the privatization.” This stands reality on its head, as it is the whole political elite, pushed by the EU and the US, that is responsible for criminal privatizations that have enriched a few tycoons while impoverishing the overwhelming majority.

Sarajevo Interior Minister Nermin Pecanac said Friday that he is “absolutely sure that hooligans were paid to ransack Sarajevo,” threatening that “the police will not let the hooligans beat them.”

Several cantonal governments, including Tuzla and Zenica, as well as Sarajevo cantonal Prime Minister Zeljkovic and the Interior Minister of Mostar, Mario Sulenta, have announced their resignation in the face of the popular upheaval.

While the protests have shown the strength of the justified working class anger and have shaken the political establishment, their biggest weakness remains the lack of political leadership fighting for the political independence of the working class, as a precondition for workers taking political power into their own hands.

In the face of the two-pronged attack by the authorities—who combine repression on the one hand, while trying to appease and offer limited reforms and personnel changes on the other—the question of political orientation is being posed with the utmost urgency. If the initiative is lost to the ruling class, they will undoubtedly use the most reactionary ways to divide the population, including by again appealing to the basest nationalist feelings that have devastated BiH and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.