Last month, the citizens’ initiative Protestoj returned to the streets.
Born in the summer of 2016 as a group of independent citizens protesting against corruption, their return was sparked after Prosecutor Elez Blakaj reported political intervention in his work; he had been investigating corruption revealed in the 2016 ‘Pronto Affair,’ as well as manipulation of the official list of war veterans. Until recently, weekly protests were held with two main demands: the resignation of Chief Prosecutor Aleksander Lumezi, and a complete vetting of those in the justice system.
But this hasn’t been the only reason for which Kosovo’s citizens have raised their voices lately. The past month has also seen a series of protests against the inability of the justice system and government to fight violence against women. Protests under the label #BollMo [#Enough] have been organized in several cities across Kosovo on a weekly basis, demanding effective protection mechanisms from the police and judiciary.
Protests and strikes aimed at improving working conditions have also taken place in other sectors, at a time of political tension as the government, presidency and opposition have been fighting for control of the dialogue with Serbia.
While citizens demand action from their representatives, are the institutions and opposition ready to listen? K