Albania marks 29th anniversary since the overthrow of communist dictatorship

December 8th marks the 29th anniversary of the Student Movement of the 1990s, which overthrew the communist dictatorship and established the democracy in Albania.

On December 8th, 1990, about 300 students marched from the Student City, a student residential area in the capital of Tirana towards the main Boulevard. On its way, the number of students increased up to 1000 people.

Despite the appearance of police forces, the students continued marching, causing the movement to increase in number during the following days.

The following day, on December 9th, the students officially confirmed their demands to then President Ramiz Aliaj. Their demands included political pluralism, freedom of speech and accelerating democratic reforms.

The Protests would continue for the next two days until December 11, when then President Aliaj announced political pluralism, while the students immediately started organizing into what would become the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the movement continued even an year after, until February 20th, 1991 when students, supported by the rest of the citizens and their university professors finally overthrew the communist system.

Twenty nine years later, Albania is still in a deep political crisis with the official opposition, led by the Democratic Party remaining out of parliament and every other sphere of political power.

While the Student Movement of the 1990s achieved its peak with calls pro-US and pro-Europe, ironically enough, President Ilir Meta had called for a rally on this commemoration day to protest against these two Western powers.

The Protest was cancelled after the devastating earthquake of November 26, which caused 51 victims, hundreds injured and thousands left without homes.

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