Reaction of 74 CSOs from Macedonia on the attack on the office premises of the Association LOUD and Cultural and Artistic Centre TEKSTIL in Shtip that occurred on 26 November 2016

By endorsing this public release, below enlisted civil society organizations express their strong disapproval of last week’s attack on office premises of the Association LOUD in Stip, resulting in demolition of windows and logo plate of the Cultural and Artistic Centre TEKSTIL. It is our belief that this attack is a strike against the struggle for human rights and citizens’ freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Having in mind that in the last months this space was considered a free zone for meetings and organization of textile and leather industry workers, both men and women, we believe that this act of vandalism is also an attack on workers due to their will to have their status changed and fully exercise their rights.

We demand the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecution Office to immediately and urgently discover perpetrators of this attack that implies serious threat and evokes feeling of unsafety. In the last years, different civil society organizations (CSOs) had been attacked on several occasions, but perpetrators thereof remained unidentified in all cases. We believe that it is high time for this type of impunity to be abandoned and for perpetrators of all attacks to be discovered.

For almost one year, the Association LOUD, in cooperation with several CSOs, is actively working on empowering workers with a view to promote their human and labour rights. Last year, large number of citizens, both men and women, working in textile and leather industries were introduced to their labour rights and found an ally and supporter of their struggle for change of their status in the Association LOUD. The first major gathering of textile and leather industry workers is scheduled to take place on 8th December 2016 and it already triggered interest in the local community, as well as in the broader public.

Hence, we raise the question about the entity or entities that have problems with this association and its work? Why are stones cast at such noble idea and goal? Nobody will stop us in the struggle for improved rights, conditions and wages of workers in textile and leather industries, which will continue and will be LOUD. We would like to say that attacks on the Association LOUD are understood solely as fear from citizens’ empowerment to finally demand exercise of their guaranteed rights and promotion of their socio-economic status.

At the same time, the Association LOUD invites you to take part in the major gathering of textile and leather industry workers on 8th December 2016 that will be organized in Stip, starting at 19:00 hours.

Organizations that endorsed this press release:

  1. Culture and Art Association “FRU” – Faculty of Things That Can’t Be Learned / AKTO Festival
  2. Regional Centre for Sustainable Development
  3. Young European Federalists (JEF) – Macedonia
  4. Association Center for Strategies and Development PACTIS – Prilep
  5. Freedom Square
  6. PROFICIO – Multiethnic Tolerance through Economic Prosperity
  7. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia
  8. Women’s Organization – Strumica
  9. Association for Spreading Democracy and Democratic Principles in Society “PROJECT EU” – Kavadarci
  10. Youth Club – Stip
  11. Forum – Centre for Strategic Research and Documentation
  12. LGBTI Support Centre
  13. HOPS – Skopje
  14. HERA
  15. Centre for New Initiatives in Arts and Culture “Lokomotiva”
  16. Subversive Front
  17. Local Community Development Foundation – Stip
  18. Coalition for Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities
  19. Contemporary Arts Centre – Skopje
  20. Association for Development of Critical Theory, Socio-Cultural Activism and Contemporary Cultural Practices “Kontrapunkt”
  21. Youth Cultural Centre – Bitola
  22. Centre for Economic Analyses
  23. Association of the Independent Cultural Scene “Jadro”
  24. Citizens’ Association “Signposts” – Gevgelija
  25. Civic Initiative “Arsena” – Gevgelija
  26. Association “Press To Exit Project Space” – Skopje
  27. Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies
  28. Centre for Integration “Umbrella”
  29. Centre for Research and Society Development “Vizio” – Kicevo
  30. Foundation for Local Development and Democracy “Focus” – Veles
  31. Centre for Local Democracy Development – Skopje
  32. Association for Advancement of Gender Equality “Akcija Zdruzenska” – Skopje
  33. Environmental Association “Planetum” – Strumica
  34. Local Development Association “Akcija Plus” – Resen
  35. Environmental Association “Deshat” – Debar
  36. Metamorphosis Foundation
  37. Foundation Open Society – Macedonia
  38. NGO “Journalists for Human Rights”
  39. CIVIL – Centre for Freedom
  40. National Council for Gender Equality
  41. NGO Info-Centre
  42. Union of the Macedonian Diplomatic Service
  43. Association for Research, Communications and Development “Public”
  44. Association for Counselling, Treatment, Reintegration, and Resocialization of People Addicted to Psychoactive Substances “Izbor” – Strumica
  45. Association of Citizens for Promotion of Women Activity “Tiiiit! Inc.”
  46. Association for Promotion and Protection of Rights of Workers “Dignified Worker” – Prilep
  47. Coalition of Civic Associations “All for Fair Trials”
  48. Institute for Human Rights
  49. Informal Feminist Active Group “LezFem”
  50. Young European Federalists (JEF) – Macedonia
  51. Center for Civil Communications
  52. Association for Development and Activism “Aqua” Struga
  53. Association “Initiative Voice” – Prilep
  54. Institute for Macedonian Literature
  55. European Policy Institute – Skopje
  56. Transparency Macedonia
  57. Coalition for Sustainable Development (CSD) – Skopje
  58. World Culture Centre “Esperanza”
  59. Humanitarian and Charitable Association of Roma Intelligence “ANGLUNIPE”
  60. Civic Initiative “I love GTC”
  61. Food Bank Macedonia
  62. National Network to End Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence
  63. Association “Justitia”
  64. Youth Educational Forum
  65. Centre for Democratic Development and Initiatives (CDRIM)
  66. Humanitarian and Educational Organization “HAJGA”
  67. Association “Radika” – Debar
  68. Macedonian Centre for European Training (MCET)
  69. Friedrich Ebert Foundation – Skopje Office
  70. Initiative for Independent Cultural Activism (INCA) – Struga
  71. Centre for Interethnic Tolerance and Refugees – Skopje
  72. Centre for Economic Analyses
  73. Internet Hotline Provider – Macedonia
  74. Association for Democracy, Debate, Dialogue and Decentralization “PLAN D”