Karolína Farská was getting fed up with Slovakia’s politics. Every time she looked at the news, a corruption scandal seemed to have hit the headlines. “And we’re a really small country,” she says. “I couldn’t see how it was possible for so much corruption to happen here.”
Corruption in the Slovakian Government Uncovered Yet Again
She called a friend to let off steam and he suggested that the pair march through the capital, Bratislava, just to show they, at least, weren’t happy. She set up a Facebook event. “We thought maybe 20 people would come – our friends, you know-"
No one's doing anything!
How about we go and protest at the capital, just us and maybe our friends- to show that we care?
Over 10,000 turned up.
No more corruption!
We want change! We want change!
Nope, never seen them in my life.
Give us closure!
Do you know them?
Today, Karolína is one of Europe’s most celebrated activists and one of the few people making the continent’s future look optimistic, persisting even when told to stop.
Uh...okay. I've spoken out and protested about our failing democracy before I even started a career. What have you done successfully? Quickly.
‘You can’t change anything. Come on, go study.’
She co-organised new protests, which this time saw up to 65,000 people march through Bratislava – almost a fifth of its population.
She organised a second march, and a third – each one bigger – and the mood in the country changed. “People realised they truly have power,” she says. “It’s not just that they can vote once every four or five years.”
“‘Are we going to protect our democracy, our rights, everything we’ve built here? Or are we going to do nothing?’”