Ljubljana’s ‘Boj Za’ Camp, Day 7 (LJ Pics of the Day)

Here are a few shots taken about an hour ago of the gradually growing camp of demonstrators in the plaza in front of Ljubljana’s Stock Exchange. The three large army tents firmly in place likens the area to a small, but growing refugee camp.

General assemblies continue daily at 6 pm along with a full slate of workshops. A few more details and contact info here.

Ljubljana’s ‘Boj Za’ Camp, Day 5 + Occupy Tibdits

Quick update on the Boj Za occupation of the plaza in front of Ljubljana’s Stock Exchange:

Demonstrators spent a fourth straight night camped out on Tuesday. Despite the onset of crappy weather –rain today, and snow on the way–  the numbers attending the daily workshops and those spending the night are actually steadily growing. PopTV reports that Prime Minister Borut Pahor visited the protesters on Monday night. Kids from a nearby elementary school stopped by this morning. I don’t ever recall field trips of those kinds.

Some links, most in Slovene: website, schedule/workshops/activities, and a webstream. Twitter feed is here. And here’s a brief video I shot on Sunday.

Background on the name: Borza is Slovenian for bourse, or stock exchange. At Saturday’s demonstration, the R was knocked off the archway and on Sunday replaced with a J. Boj za translates to, “Fight For”.

** **

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi had a great time discussing why talk radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh is freaking out about OWS after accusing journalists of leading and advising the movement:

Dylan Ratigan didn’t invent four million people in foreclosure, he didn’t invent ten trillion dollars in bailouts, and he didn’t invent Wall Street’s $160 billion bonus pool the year after the crash of its own creation.

People out there do not need media figures to tell them how fucked things are, or how pissed they should be that the same bankers who caused the crash are now enjoying state-supported bonuses in the billions, while everyone else gets squeezed.  As someone who has been covering this stuff for three years, I can say with confidence that people across the country don’t need a push to be angry. They’re already there, and have been there for years. Rush should go hang out outside a foreclosure court in his home state of Florida for a few hours, if he wants to see where the rising heat under these protests is coming from.

Anyway, the hysterical responses from the Rushes of the world are just more signs that these protests are working. I never thought I’d see it, but some of the dukes and earls high up in America’s Great Tower of Bullshit are starting to blink a little bit. They seem genuinely freaked out that OWS doesn’t have leaders or a single set of demands, which in addition to being very encouraging is quite funny.

And finally, the first (that I’m aware off) OWS marriage proposal via human microphone: “Will you occupy my life?”

Occupy camp at Ljubljana’s Stock Exchange

One last bit from the weekend before my mind will have to be occupied elsewhere. Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of what the Occupy Camp at the Ljubljana Stock Exchange looked like late Sunday afternoon. Several demonstrators spent the night last night, and some 50 are there now.

BORZA is Slovenian for bourse, or stock exchange. At yesterday’s demonstration, the R was knocked off the archway. Today it was replaced with a J. BOJ ZA translates to, “Fight For”.

At an afternoon meeting, demonstrators declared the square/plaza in front of the stock exchange a public area, and are setting up a full schedule of daily afternoon workshops to make use of that public space. I have no idea what the morning will bring.

Previously from this weekend:
OccupyLjubljana vidblog
OccupyLjubljana notebook and pics

OccupyLjubljana vidblog

Here’s a quick (semi) rough cut of yesterday’s 15 October demonstrations here in Ljubljana, complete with a kick-back-and-relax-perfect-for-a-Sunday-Afternoon/evening soundtrack. Please, do share.

If you can’t download from vimeo I also uploaded it to YouTube here.

Some pics and a late night notebook were posted here last night.

Meanwhile, the focus has shifted to the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (Borza) where several demonstrators will camp out for the second night. I was there briefly earlier this evening – about 20 tents were set up, about 60 people were planning spend the night, and the evening chill was descending. I’ll post some pics later tonight.

#OccupyLjubljana Notebook.

Here’s a few dozen images from today’s #OccupyLjubljana demonstrations in the Slovenian capital, and a few scattered notes:

The crowd of some 3000 to 4000, which filled much of Kongresni Trg, or Congress Square, under the sunny mid-afternoon skies, certainly exceeded most people’s expectations. So to did the 50 or so demonstrators who decided to spend the night in tents in front of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

In front of Ljubljana's newest Apple store

The bulk of the crowd was made up of students and younger faces, but there were lots of young families and retirees as well making up a significant minority. There was a mildly festive feel to the gathering, but there was an underlying sense of urgency. An urgency strong enough for police to cordon off – ahead of time – the street leading to Parliament. Security was also added to the area near the U.S. Embassy.

There was plenty of creativity in the signs, most variations on the theme, ‘We won’t pay for your crises’. ‘No Jobs, No Apples’ was one of my favorites. Oh, and quite of bit of good music as well.

Translation: 'I'll trade two Barbie Dolls for one child's smile'

When the open mic session – amplification was allowed – ended just before 5 pm, much of the crowd answered the call by one of the (non) organizing groups to march towards the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, or Borza. The kilometer-long walk, with a police escort, spilled out onto one lane of Slovenska Cesta. Quite a few people voiced their support through open apartment windows and passing cars.

Once at the bourse, the crowd remained fairly energetic but peaceful. There was one minor incident: using a pole holding one end of a banner, one demonstrator gave the letter ‘R’ from BORZA several nudges until it dropped from the archway on which it was mounted in front of the building. The removal was symbolic, leaving two words in its place. Bo za roughly translates to ‘to be for’. Speakers worked that into their speeches.

That, along with a smoke bomb that sent a few small puffs of red into the air, prompted a few police officers, on the flanks, to move a little closer to the front of the building. But the situation remained calm.

The crowd began to thin just before 7. Back at Kongresni Trg, several groups of people were still hanging out, perhaps a hundred or so, a little before 8.

Like much of what transpires in this tiny alpine nation, today’s start – and it is just a start, according to organizers – won’t create too many media ripples in the world at large. But the local coverage was significant, and for the most part supportive – supportive in the sense that the demonstrators and their frustrations with the current financial order weren’t marginalized. Both Slovenia 1 and Pop TV, the two largest networks, opened their 7 pm news broadcasts with fairly extensive coverage of the events.

A few more pics below and 21 in all on my flickr stream here. Tomorrow’s a busy day, but I’ll try to check in on the campers at the Stock Exchange at some point. And hopefully put together some video as well.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery

Translation: Tito's Communist dictatorship was nothing (compared to this)

‘Are we all in the same boat?’ – #occupyLjubljana update

That was the title of a talk given last night by Slovenian philosopher and sociologist Igor Pribac, who clearly believes that we’re not.

Speaking before a group of some 80 people at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Philosophy ahead of Saturday’s #OccupyLjubljana gathering in the Slovenian capital’s Kongresni Trg, Pribac noted how the metaphor, once widely used by ‘everyday people‘ and politicians alike, simply isn’t uttered nearly as much as it used to be. The feeling of being in the “same community of destiny”, he argued, is falling apart with alarming consequences. Pushing the metaphor further, Pribac maintains that people feel that they’re not even being given elbow room in that metaphorical boat.

That was Pribac’s working thesis to show his support for Saturday’s global actions, set for upwards of 1500 cities, and counting. And Slovenian media (read, mainstream media), at least going by a quick cursory survey this morning, are giving the Ljubljana gathering –along with those planned in the northeastern city of Maribor, the port city Koper, and Nova Gorica in the west– some decent pre-demo promotion.

Today’s edition of the daily Delo features a front page pic of #OccupyWallStreet protesters in New York City, with a local story on page 3, entitled, 15 October – day for ‘world revolution‘. There’s a nice graphic showing the spots around the world where demonstrations are being organized. And 24ur.com, the country’s most visited news portal, includes a story with a strong local angle, and a few video news spots. All links in Slovene.

Zizek at #OccupyWallStreet open forum + a Foxnews.com poll

Here are a couple of videos of Slovenian philosopher and critic Slavoj Žižek‘s talk at the #OccupyWallstreet open forum yesterday. Besides Donald Trump’s wife and perhaps a few skiers, he’s probably the best-known Slovene, and is always a joy to listen to and watch.

Well worth watching when you’ve got 17min to spare. Among the highlights:

We are not communists, if communism means the system which collapsed in 1990. Remember that today that communists are the most efficient, ruthless capitalists. In China today, we have capitalism which is even more dynamic than your American capitalism, but doesn’t need democracy. Which means when you criticize capitalism, don’t allow yourself to be black mailed that you are against democracy. The marriage between democracy and capitalism is over.

And from the ‘For What It’s Worth (Probably Not Much) Department‘: Here’s a screencap taken this morning of a poll on foxnews.com. Even over there a majority seem to be behind the occupying forces.

#occupyLjubljana – 15 October (LJ Pics of the Day)

These are a couple shots of Ljubljana’s Kongresni Trg, or Congress Square, reopened after a v e r y long renovation in late June. On Saturday 15 October it will host the #occupyLjubljana gathering, one of dozens, if not hundreds planned around the globe that day.

What’s it all about? Despite the recent inability of media pundits in the US to figure out what the message behind the OccupyWallStreet demonstrations is, the answer is really quite simple: people everywhere are tired of paying the increasingly brutal costs for the massive economic and ecological crises that financial institutions, and the governments they essentially own, have created. The situations and specifics may vary country-to-country, but the underlying problem is the same: the unrelenting idolatry of the market has only left those without a voice accountable.

If you’re in or near Ljubljana that day, bring the whole family! And invite your friends and neighbors, too. 15:00 to 20:00.

Local organizers’ Facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=232811496770347; and their twitter feed is here: http://twitter.com/#!/OccupyLjubljana

UPDATE: Someone wiped out the FB event page, but the gathering is still happening. Here’s the new FB event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=168667253220790