From: Dritan Sakuta
Do We Need a New Movement in Albania?

The answer to the question “Do we need a new movement in Albania?” is “yes.”

Albanians are historically well known for identifying a problem and point their finger to it, however, they are not so good at finding solutions. If asked about this part of the problem they shrug and find excuses. Who are they trying to find an excuse for?! The generations before?! Themselves?! Or the generations coming after them, that will directly suffer the consequences of the choices that are made, the same way that the current generation is suffering from choices made by all preceding generations.

I think that Mjaft has to be one of the movements that is seared into Albanians’ memories.

This movement initiated its activity on March 15, 2003, and its main purpose at the time was the eradication of citizens’ apathy and the ignition of the spirit of the protest. Initially, the campaign was meant to last for four months and in this time frame it would cover a specific theme every other week. From the manner in which activities were organized by the leaders of this movement, it seemed that they were trying develop in the same way as the populist movements are spreading today in Europe. Every new protest gathered more people. Initially the protesters were young people, but little by little, every activity gained the support of many others who saw in this movement what Albania was missing since December 1990. The campaigns were divided into eight different themes and every other week one theme was put in focus.

What happened with this movement?! The answer is rather simple I think. It was politicized and used as a bridge for many people to reach politics. One of them today is the mayor of Tirana.

The second wave that left an impression on the Albanians, after 2000, was LRI.

This organization was established in September 2004 and since then it has served as a crossing bridge between the youth and the political party LSI. When this organization started its work, the Albanians were just getting acquainted with the party created by Ilir Meta. For a moment LRI seemed to be the continuation of Mjaft which seemed lost somewhere into politics.

What happened to this other movement?! As with Mjaft the answer is rather simple. It got politicized and it is now an oasis for young people who want job positions and to get one they must assure a certain number of votes in every election in the country.

I am allowing myself to put in the same “sack” some other movements such as Forumi Rinor Eurosocialist (Eurosocialist Youth Forum); Forumi Rinor Agrar Ambjentalist (Agricultural and Environmental Youth Forum); Forumi Rinor i Partisë Demokratikë (Youth Forum of the Democratic Party); Forumi Rinor i Partisë për Drejtësi, Integrim dhe Unitet (Youth Forum of the Party of Integrity, Justice and Unity), and Forumi Rinor i Partisë Republikane (the Youth Forum of the Republican Party), which, from the looks of it, exist only when there are elections while during the other part of their existence no one knows really what happens with them.

The aforementioned forums survive by applying LRI’s formula: “Find votes to find work.”

Another form of movement present before but never as active as nowadays is the one with an extremist sentiments. One can find one or two of them in  Tirana hopping to make it big: Organizata Politike (Political Organization), Organizata Udhëheqëse (Leading Organization), and Armata e Arta (Golden Legion), which seem to have more of a violent urge rather than an approach that is trying to change things. I admit it myself that in order to make changes I have tried many times to forgo several bureaucracies and obstacles that often times stand in the way, but violent calls are not the solution that should be championed.

Many times it seems that these organizations are made up of teenagers that think that the French Revolution happened using these means and could make the same revolution here, in this short time and by applying these same ways. What they have missed maybe is that in order to make a revolution time is an element that should be intertwined with the element of event. Event is found everywhere in Albania but time is not.

The youth of the nineties could organize the small revolution that had in itself characteristics of one, and because time and event were intertwined in such a way that it made it successful. Their event did not depend only on internal but also on external dynamics. Communist systems were falling everywhere around Europe and Ramiz Alia, despite trying, couldn’t hold on to that type of government. If we have a closer look, everything in this equation is fair and each reality promises to be fertile, but what isn’t taken into account is the political element that enters everywhere, and which seems to rot every young seed. Why does this happen? Why is this so negative in Albania?

We know, unfortunately, that Albanian politics demonstrates an aloof attitude for its people and it is ingrained into many people’s conscience that being a politician means being rich.

Maybe it is true up to a point, because rich people are either politicians or have powerful connections in politics that open roads that wouldn’t be availbale to an ideal student. A young man with ideals in such an environment could not survive, those ideals would be “eaten up for breakfast” by the majority involved in this game. Politics in Albania is a game, a game everyone wants to be part of, but where no one makes the effort to read the rules first.

The only question that comes to mind is: “Do we need a new movement in Albania?”