They Spent Months Protesting Corruption. Now What?

They Spent Months Protesting Corruption. Now What?

Transatlantic Media Fellowship

HBS Media Fellow Emily Tamkin traveled to Bratislava to report on a wave of anti-corruption protests. 

Creator: Kiwiev. Public Domain.

This article was first published by Foreign Policy on September 29, 2017 as part of our Transatlantic Media Fellowship program.

This week, for the third time, thousands of high school and university students swarmed the streets of Bratislava, the capital and largest city of Slovakia (it is still quite small). They were, once again, protesting corruption. They were, once again, calling for the resignation of the interior minister, reputed to have ties to shady businessmen, as well as a top cop and a top prosecutor. They were, once again, bound to be disappointed. Everybody is still in office and going nowhere fast.

Which raises a question: After a season of fervent, heartfelt protests that have pounded the cobblestones from Bratislava to Bucharest, giving a sclerotic system a good shake — what now? How can the resistance find something to stand for? What happens to anti-corruption protesters after the anti-corruption protests wither away?

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Please note that the views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

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