Macedonia's Colorful Revolutionaries defy the state by splashing paint on government buildings and monuments

Macedonia's laws define vandalism as a misdemeanor which puts a limit on the jail time faced by participants in a political movement whose symbol is splashes of brightly colored paint.

The Macedonian police are notorious for their crackdowns on protest, and the Colorful Revolution's many anti-corruption demands include an end to police harassment of political opposition. To make their point, the opposition has splashed bright paint on national monuments and government buildings.

The Colorful Revolution has picked up steam, creating eye-catching reminders of its existence that persist even when the participants have been swept up by the police. Last week, an attempt by police to seize a van full of protesters' audio equipment had to be called off because massed protesters surrounded the police and chased them off, chanting "Freedom! Freedom!"

The Macedonian government -- which took power through rigged elections -- has responded by isolating, brutalizing and arresting the Colorful Revolution's leadership, but the Colorful Revolution keeps growing.


After departure from the protest more than 30 policemen stopped the van, driven by Lidija Dimova, MP. At the moment when the crowd gathered in front of the Parliament heard about this, they started coming towards us in order to help us. When our police realised that the citizens are approaching, it took them literally 5 seconds to enter their vehicles and escape as some kind of mafia gang. Is this a normal police?! Thank you, good people, you make our fighting and living worthwhile!

Defying Police Harassment, the Macedonian Colorful Revolutionaries Continue to Chant “Freedom”
[Filip Stojanovski/Global Voices]

(Image: Filip Stojanovski, CC-BY)