How did it all start ( Protest against police brutality )

When something starts completely honestly, like a conscience that pressures you and disrupts your sleep and it expands so far as to reach and provoke the change in asleep Macedonian citizens consciousness, the story looks unbelievable. No man at this time, believes in human values, specially in Macedonia, where everybody walk with their head down. It is easy to add to that story, if you don’t know the beginning, any kind of a judgement, for whatever reason suits you.

The night on the 5th of June, everybody was at Basker Fest. I had work to do, I stayed home. Because I work at night, I was awake when a friend went online on Facebook. He was very distressed, he said that he has to tell something, he then went on by describing the murder that happened right in front of his eyes; he said that what shook him the most was that he saw the young body, covered with plastic bags, lying there alone, and nobody taking care of it. He was not alone. He was with about 10 of my other acquaintances. My friend is one of the main witnesses of this murder and maybe you have seen him on television giving statements, although with identity hidden, bravely from the first day. As I remember, he didn’t explain the murder in details, he just said that the young boy was brutally beaten, with a leg in the head, and the head hit from a bench by a “Alfa” special unit member.

Honestly, it sounded a bit unbelievable to me. Although he said the the boy was just lying there, covered with plastic bags, I thought that we will know more in the morning. And can you just imagine my shock next morning when instead of knowing more, we found out less. In Makfaks there was a news saying that the boy got sick. Everything was the same, just the reason for the death was different. I got cold shivers. I knew what was happening. We called our friend immediately, just for consultation, and he confirmed that it was about the same boy. I felt icy. I didn’t know what to do. And if you are a twitterholic and you don’t know what to do, you tweet. If you have seen the chronology of events, there is a tweet from a unnamed Tweeter user, that says: The alpha unit killed a boy last night
and see what the newspapers say (link to the news at Makfaks) . they are your
guardians, they kill your children. (tweet). What else could I say? I didn’t lie. After a very short period of time, I got many questions on Twitter, I tried to explain what happened to everybody. Some believed, some didn’t. The tweet is retwetted about 20 times. The news spread. That was at 4:34 p.m.. Angry and furious that I am powerless I shared the same on the slower Facebook. On Facebook, no one asked me what is happening, but in my inbox, I got a message from one of my friends that were there the night before, that at 5 p.m. at the fountain at the city park, a crew from A1 TV will be there to take statements from the eyewitnesses. I wrongly understood that she meant for us to gather there as a form of protest, but all she meant was for us to go there and give support to the eyewitnesses that are also my friends. Because I only got an involved attention from the Twitter community, I called them: “They already started gathering that the fountain at the park. If you are human, come.” (tweet) The tweet is retweeted almost as much as the first one. I got out.

My friends with the TV crew were a standing little further from the fountain, so the people can’t see them. We stood there for some time, to wait them finish, but because of the length of the interview, we decided to head to the fountain. There, because I was late because of the waiting, I already found some people. Most of them unknown. My phone started ringing, people saying they will come. Twitter users kept coming, I met many of them that day. At first there were more journalists than people. They scared the eyewitnesses a bit. After some time, more people started coming, I guess everyone called someone, I don’t know. I went from person to person, retelling what happened. A lot of times. After some time, when about 100 people gathered, everyone hearing about it from somewhere, we started to organise slowly. Someone brought a notebook, so we started a petition. We decided to move towards Basker Fest to spread the word there. Someone brought a megaphone. We went.

(See video here of us moving from the park fountain to Basker Fest:

We walked the streets, although not knowing what exactly happened or for who. We were walking, a handful of people, see from the video, not knowing each other, hitting the streets to get attention. We just wanted an answer, someone to say what happened. We knew for sure that someone was killed. We knew that they are trying to hide it. And we knew that we can’t let that be. We got to Basker Fest, I told the story than again, many times. We yelled as much as we can bare, we were looking for justice for our “Daniel” that we thought was the victim that night. What a feeling, to walk the streets, to look for justice, only for the justice itself, I don’t know if I can explain to you, people. All alone against everybody, us 150.

We were out till late at night, then decided to separate. When I got home and I opened the great Internet, and I saw how many negative comments there were, like the ones that said that the witnesses lie, that we are this, we are that… I am not ashamed to say that I cried. I thought, everything was gone to waste, but I knew I can’t give up. I wrote the same night on Twitter as much as I can, and then went to sleep, getting ready for the same thing tomorrow.

The next day, a surprise awaited me! The murderer turned himself in, the boy is Martin Neshkovski, we didn’t march for nothing! Justice! On sight! Beside all the facts, a feeling of success didn’t come over me, like after a won fight. I knew that this is just the beginning. Anyway, I was glad that we didn’t let the state to cover up the murder, that we let this boy rest in peace. That his mother would know how he died.

I came to Mother Teresa’s memorial house the next day, and can you imagine what I felt when I saw 2000 people? You can’t…and excitement and fear, and joy and sadness. It was a big day, that day. And a hard one. Very hard.

The rest of the story you probably know by now. We continued to seek our rights peacefully and gracefully, not responding to any provocation, not letting anyone to compromise our fight. For the battle being fought still at the moment, I can write a lot more that just a post, but I will live that to some other occasion. For now, I just wanted to describe how it all began, so it is not forgotten, it is not compromised.

See you, every day at 6 p.m.!

Tamara Atanasoska

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