Geert Lovink on Tue, 18 May 2010 16:47:59 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Tirana Hunger Strike

Tirana Hunger Strike

Dear friends,

Douglas, Philippe and I were shocked when we arrived to Albania to
discover the massive protest in Tirana. Following a demonstration of
200,000 people, 200 citizens and 22 MPs started a hunger strike to ask
for democracy. We launched a live streaming video page to help bring
attention to their cause.

Below is the letter from the Hunger Strike Committee.

?Anri Sala, Philippe Pareno and Douglas Gordon

Tirana, May 04, 2010

The Hunger Strike Committee

Re: Letter to the members of International Community and Media

Dear Friends,

We, 22 members of parliament and 200 citizens of Albania, concerned
about the fate of democracy in our country have decided to engage in
the ultimate form of democratic protest by going on a hunger strike in
the name of the cornerstone of any democracy: free and fair elections.

Our demand is simple and democratic: a full and thorough parliamentary
inquiry into the elections of June 28th 2009, including the opening
of the ballot boxes and the examination of the electoral material
contained therein. Our demand is not motivated by a yearning for
power, but by the aspiration that the next elections are guaranteed
against falling prey to the same machinations and manipulations.

For nine months we have tried in vain to realize our constitutional
right to transparency only to be denied in all our efforts through
the arrogance of a government that is no longer constrained by the
Constitution in its actions. Nor has the government reacted to the
massive show of support for our cause on the part of the citizens of
Albania. 200,000 Albanians protested in Tirana in the name of the
transparency of their votes and yet their government turned a deaf
hear to this most democratic of demands.

Prime Minister Berisha speaks of a court decision that stands in the
way of transparency but he has never, in ten months been able to show
this decision to the public for the simple reason that it does not
exist. We also regret the fact that this lie construed by Berisha as
an alibi in order to avoid the transparency of the elections, has been
instrumentalized by a significant portion of Albania's friends and

Faced with the obstinate, illegal and arrogant denial of our
constitutional right to transparency, aware of the crucial importance
of our cause to the future of free and fair elections and democracy in
Albania, we have decided to escalate our action by engaging in an open
ended hunger strike accompanied by protests in every town and village
of our country.

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