Monday, September 14, 2009

Ne zaUSTAVljate nas!

At the beginning of August, Pokret DOSTA! had a national gathering in Mostar to promote a petition drive for direct democracy, called "Ne ZaUSTAVljate nas", translated as "Don't stop us", but it's also a pun in Bosnian because the word for constitution "ustav" in in the middle of the word "stop". Bosnia-Herzegovina is hampered politically by the post-war constitution (among other things), and one concrete measure that the DOSTA! movement wants to take in making politicians more accountable to voters is introducing this provision for direct democracy, basically, advocating for referendums to have more of a political impact. I made a short video of the petition drive, which was held in a village market near Mostar.

Loose translations of the interviews:
"Parliament doesn't have to take petitions into consideration, but when we finish this petition drive, if we collect enough signatures, Parliament will be legally obligated to consider petitions more seriously. Just put down your name, signature and social security number."

"We're forcing politicians to take us seriously at last and to realize that citizens can change something, that politicians don't have absolute power in the period between each election."

"If we're not aware of the fact that we can change something, then we wouldn't be doing this. We would be sitting somewhere having coffee, not walking around in the heat collecting signatures."

"If we try, there's a big chance that we can change something. If we don't try, then we know for sure that nothing will change."

(The music in the video is from the local rapper Frenkie and his song "Promjene". The chorus says, "It's not getting better because we're just waiting for change", and then the slogan at the end of the video says, "Don't just wait for change!")

No comments: