by Emin Eminagić, a researcher and activist from Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Today on February 5, 2014, the city of Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina witnessed a protest, which errupted in violence. The protests started as a peaceful gathering of people, mostly workers from privatized and bankrupted companies, followed by students and activists, and others. They came as a reaction to the privatization of Tuzla’s large industry (i.e. Konjuh, Polihem, Dita, Resod-Guming), which was the main source of income for the city and its population. This left workers on the streets, struggling for their very existence. This marks the first protest of this kind in Tuzla, about 3000 people took to the streets, and occupied the two main roads of the city and blocked traffic for several hours. The protests escalated into violence as riot police came to drag away the protestors from the premises of the Canton Government and the Cantonal Court. The workers demand their worktime be linked, and that their owned health and pension care be paid. They also demand the creation of conditions for a decent life and the employment of young people whose unemployment numbers grow by the minute.