CIVIL forever!

In the late hours of the night of November 25, 1999, the founders of CIVIL were preparing the basic documents of the organization. Then there was the three-month legal battle to register CIVIL. We weren’t very appealing to the court even back then…

I myself had the honour to be among one of the founders. We decided to defend human rights. We have been serving that goal for 19 years.

CIVIL’s first “official” vehicle was the privately-owned “Fico” of our friend Aco, while the first money for our activities came from the private pocket of our friend Cicko...

In the days when the organization was founded, we didn’t assume that we would grow into one of the biggest and most well-known civil society organizations in Macedonia. We don’t have a photo from the founding, but that’s why we have tens of thousands of photos from our activists in the years that followed. Indeed, a part of our documentation did disappear after the intrusion in the organization’s main office in the days after the attack on the Parliament on April 27, 2017. But memories and testimonies remain for our work, for our commitment and unscrupulous fight for freedom, justice and equality. No one can take that away from us.

Thousands of people were and still are involved in our activities throughout the country. CIVIL’s team and I, in this occasion would like to thank all those who were and have stayed with us and in the most difficult moments shared the burden that we carried and still carry as an organization. We created a space for free expression and dialogue. We enjoy wide spread support from thousands of conscious and mindful citizens.

We united all the differences in one enormous, strong and multi-coloured CIVIL. Together we fight for a better, more just and happier society. We don’t deal with percentages and excel tables, but with the facts of the lives of all our fellow citizens, life, as it is.

While some where calculating between money and comfort, we were revealing electoral theft, structural violence and violations to human rights and freedoms. While some had their eyes shut, flirted and kept silent, we watched with eyes wide open and spoke aloud.

We were and will remain among the first lines in the fight for a free, democratic and just society. We were and will remain sharp criticizers of the bad policies and practices. We never withdraw. We never give up!

We were and will remain CIVIL forever.

Xhabir Deralla

President of CIVIL

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