Macedonia Protests 2011

Protest over police brutality, Skopje, Macedonia. Image by Vedat Xhymshiti, copyright Demotix (19/06/11).

Protest over police brutality, Skopje, Macedonia. Image by Vedat Xhymshiti, copyright Demotix (19/06/11).


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Macedonians protested daily throughout the month of June 2011 against the police cover-up of a murder of a man during street celebrations for the re-election victory of Macedonia's ruling party, the VMRO-DPMNE. Martin Neshkovski, 22, was beaten to death early on the morning of June 6, in the main square of Skopje, the capital city. The prime suspect is a member of the country's special police forces, who has allegedly also served as a bodyguard to some of Macedonia's highest-ranking government officials.

Despite the presence of dozens of witnesses, authorities initially denied any knowledge of the murder. Eventually the word spread on Twitter, and social media continues to play a crucial part in raising awareness. Freedom of speech is tricky in Macedonia, with many people concerned for their security and employment opportunities if they speak out. The protesters were demanding full disclosure of all aspects of the crime and the alleged cover-up. Their cause is challenged by the government and official media, who have tried to characterize the protesters as violent.

Macedonia is situated in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Approximately 2 million people live in the country.

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What we do: Global Voices bloggers from Central and Eastern Europe report on how citizens use the Internet and social media to make their voices heard, often translating from different languages.

Featured Global Voices Posts – Macedonia Protests 2011

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21 Jan – Macedonia: Policeman Who Beat Young Man to Death Gets 14 Years


11 Nov – Macedonia: Interior Ministry Responds to Invitation for Debate
30 Sep – Macedonia: Protests Against Police Brutality Continue
02 Sep – Macedonia: Authorities Keep Ignoring Protesters’ Demands
06 Jul – Macedonia: Views from Abroad on Protests Against Police Violence
27 Jun – Macedonia: New Parliament Assembles, Cements Election Victory for “Big Fish”
24 Jun – Macedonia: .mk Twitter Republic
23 Jun – Macedonia: How the Protests Started
19 Jun – Macedonia: Pro-Government Media Promote Protest Impostors
17 Jun – Macedonia: Protest Achievements So Far
17 Jun – Macedonia: Concerns Over Anti-Protest Collusion of Facebook and Police
17 Jun – Macedonia: Twitter as a Vehicle for the Protests
14 Jun – Macedonia: Reasons for Protesting
11 Jun – Macedonia: Protests Against Police Brutality/Murder Cover-Up Spread
07 Jun – Macedonia: Online Community Prevents Murder Cover-Up
06 Jun – Macedonia: Alleged Killing of Young Man by Policeman Sparks Protests


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Hashtags: #Macedonia | #protestiram

Key users


  • Jovana Tozija [mk, en] – Macedonian woman studying in Germany, covering the protests from afar
  • Justice for Martin (Правда за Мартин) [mk] – Aggregating content and links about the protests
  • Sina [es] – Informing about the protests in Spanish
  • Stop police brutality (Стоп за полициската бруталност) [mk, some en] – Run by people who are active on the streets, and who do not like to be called organizers (the url reads “we protest”)
  • Tamara Atanasoska [mk, en] – Relaying news and announcements in Macedonian and English
  • Vnukot [en] – Chronicling the protests through daily posts, including video and audio in [mk] at and [en]


Why I protest‘ video [en]


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Thumbnail image shows ‘No Police Brutality!’ caricature by Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, made for and used as a poster by protesters in Macedonia.