It’s a major escalation in the Bosnian “baby revolution”, which began in earnest last month. Some of 1,000 Bosnians gather on June 11, 2013 in front of the parliament in Sarajevo to protest against a legal void which has left all babies born since February without identity numbers.
The demonstrations are desperate but calculated. Having seen Yugoslavia unravel and burn in the 1990s, and having known too much corruption and poverty ever since, citizens of BiH are confronting their bickering, evasive leaders with all they have left: their dignity and pride.
It’s an old story, and history tells us that love can win. The struggles of Gandhi, King, and Mandela come to mind, along with more recent nonviolent campaigns for justice and human rights across the globe. But we also know that nonviolent resistance can falter in the face of raw power, or even provoke violent repression–as it did just over twenty years ago, at the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo.
Tom Simpson, Ph.D., teaches religion, ethics, and philosophy at Phillips Exeter Academy.