Apr 3, 2009

Sociologist: "not going to calm down by itself"

Sociologist Ilo Trajkovski is cited by BalkanInsight.com as follows:

"The wave of intolerance seen at Saturday’s violent breakup of a student protests in Skopje is a result of the isolation of society and will not calm down by itself ... The loud shouts of 'traitors' by the group that disrupted the architecture students' protest [are] an expression of growing intolerance towards people holding different opinions ... Trajkovski says this trend of marking people as enemies of the nation is growing as the country stalls on its path to the EU, causing feelings of isolation among people. The trend, he says, is additionally fueled by the ongoing presidential and local election contest. 'But this wave is not going to calm down by itself,' Trajkovski forecasts. Only political leaders can play an influence in relaxing the tensions, he says."

The Helsinki Committee similarly sees the incident as "part of the internal conflict encouraged by the ruling parties". Who organized the buses that brought counter-protesters from outside Skopje to the manifestation still remains unclear. Police, blamed with remaining passive while the conflict escalated, insists on not having made a mistake and charges the protest's organizers for not providing adequate security. Because the counter-protest was spontaneous, police says, they could not hold anyone responsible on the other side.

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