PovstaNIE – 71 397 candles against election of Marián Kotleba
Sunday the 1st December, 2013
“We do not need to be citizens of Banska Bystrica, we do not even need to own slovak passports. What unites us is the feeling of a personal uprising we got when we heard the election results. We decided to stand up, to be adamant nonconformists in the face of intolerance. We want to express our disapproval of the hatred, that he represents – in all our cities, under any circumstances.”
That is the international appeal of the social activists and students operating under the wings of the movement Blokujeme, who are raising their voices of disregard with the recent election of Marián Kotleba, the leader of the political party Naše Slovensko (Our Slovakia), to the function of municipality governor of Banska Bystrica. Together they decided to join the protests in Slovakia by organizing a series of symbolic “uprisings” – lighting candles on the day when Kotleba will take over the office.
“The election of Marián Kotleba forced me to literally rise from my seat and say No, “ comments Miriam Kaniokova from the Blokujeme movement , one of the initiators of the happenings. “Banska Bystrica was the centre of the partisan resistance fighting against fascism during the Second World War, known as Slovak National Uprising. Kotleba’s victory, moreover in this municipality, is shocking,” adds Kaniokova.
Since the date of Kotleba’s swearing in the office is still not set (the previous date on 29.11. was cancelled), the appellants are trying to mobilize the biggest number of people possible, that are willing to participate in the Uprising when the date is announced. Here the symbolism of the Slovak National Uprising sets in. “Almost every bigger city in Czech republic has named a square or a street after the Slovak National Uprising. It seems fitting that it should be the place where we light thousands of lights symbolizing resistance against racial and ethnic intolerance,” explains Imrich Horvat from the cell of Blokujeme movement operating in Ostrava.
As stated in their written appeal, the organizers disagree with the nao-Nazi rhetoric and calls for racial and ethnic intolerance spread by the newly elected regional governor of Banska Bystrica. They voice their dissent with the fact that the election in Slovakia was won by a man, whose election campaign was targeted mainly against the “non-conform” citizens.
The aim of this happening is symbolic. The initiators believe, that with the help of other citizens, they will be able to light as many candles as the number of votes who supported Kotleba, that is 71 397.
The text of the appeal is attached.