Macedonia: The Colorful Revolution

Image Credit: FOSIM/Flickr

Image Credit: FOSIM/Flickr

The Colorful Revolution in Macedonia began in April 2016 with the release of information accusing the sitting government of wiretapping the opposition and various government officials.

The protests have been dubbed the Colorful Revolution due to the marchers' tactical choice to use paint balloons, paintball guns, and paint barrels during marches to canvas government buildings and monuments. Protesters have taken the name to heart by also noting the diversity of the participants in the events in a country plagued by social, ethnic and religious divisions.

The Colorful Revolution was sparked by the surveillance scandal but has also mobilized around corruption surrounding the 'Skopje 2014' project, a construction project designed to increase tourism but that surpassed the initial budget by millions of euros.

Due to the protests, a special prosecutor has been assigned to ensure justice along with the prosecution of the wiretapping scandal. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski also stepped down from office and President Gjorge Ivanov was forced to rescind pardons he had handed to political figures.

The Colorful Revolution is ongoing. Demands include a transitional government, increased transparency across the government and public institutions, and more oversight in the use of the government’s monetary resources.

 

Further Readings:

Macedonia's colorful revolution. PRI. 1 August 2016.
In-depth article on two of leading activists, including their motivations. 

Macedonia: 'colorful revolution' paints raucous rainbow. DW. 21 April 2016.
Context of Macedonia and what led to the movement. 

Macedonia charges protesters in 'Colorful Revolution'. Al Jazeera. 25 June 16. 
A look at the protests and initial government reactions.