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OPINION Twenty years loud and proud

by: XHABIR DERALLA

To defend the public interest before one’s own, to stand on the side of the powerless and deprived at the cost of endangering one’s own well-being, security and life…To hold one’s head upright even when everyone has fallen on their knees, with their heads down… To look the truth in the eyes even when it hurts…. That is the choice we make every day, every hour, for 20 years now. That is CIVIL.

Threats for us are a call for a fight, and not a reason to withdraw. We always respond to threats, attacks and violence with loudness and a call for a fight, because CIVIL never withdraws. Open, honest, uncompromising, loud and proud – that is CIVIL. Always ready for the road, for a conversation, for support, for action, for a fight – these are the people of CIVIL. Not a single propaganda machinery can hesitate these modest, but ready to fight and hard-working people.

Even people who are close to us tell us that we are strongminded and stubborn, that we do not listen to the voice of reason, that we should protect also our own interest sometimes, that submissiveness is a good and reasonable tactic.

There is nothing reasonable in submissiveness! There is nothing reasonable in the endlessness of selfishness! There is nothing reasonable in keeping silent! Because those who seek submissiveness, those who think that people and dignity are bough with money, those who want to silence us, will never give up. They want to rule people’s minds and lives forever. That is why there is nothing reasonable in submissiveness! Dignity and freedom have no price.

Tens of thousands of people were and are part of CIVIL’s work throughout the country. Together we monitor the election processes, we monitor the situation of human rights and freedoms, we disclose injustices, we expose fake news, misinformation and propaganda, we participate in the fight against corruption, we fight against hate speech and nationalism…

Together, loudly, uncompromisingly, decisively!

From the very first day, CIVIL has been an open platform for exchange, and even clash of ideas and views, a space where citizens can share testimonies and learn new skills. In the difficult years of the authoritarian regime and in the period of renewal and restoring of democracy and freedom, the trust and support of citizens has meant the most to CIVIL. Because they are CIVIL! Precisely the support, the everyday communication with hundreds of citizens from all around the country, helps CIVIL perform its function – to be the guardian of human rights and freedoms, of the aspiration for justice, freedom and equality, of the strong need to be loud and free.

It is a privilege and an honour to be part of CIVIL. We thank the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, all members and supporters, we thank the donors who have expressed their trust in our organization and have helped the projects we implement. We also thank those who attack and slander CIVIL, because they are also part of our strength.

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