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Mihajlo Acimovi: Re:from edi for the syndicate list (fwd)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 18:07:02 +0200
From: Mihajlo Acimovic <>
Subject: Re:from edi for the syndicate list

All I can say is that I participated in a huge antiwar action called
Antiwar Campaign, that gained unexpectedly great popular support. Most of
it was done in serbia april/may-july 1998, although some of the materials
from that were reused in autumn '98 The campaign had one major flaw - We
publicaly condemned all violence, police violence especially, but there
was almost no one among the albanians in Kosovo, who was ready to join the
campaign, for one good reason - the public opinion among Kosovo Albanians
was that Albanians should have nothing to do whith Serbs. An Albanian
youyh NGO called Postpessimists Pristina was harrased by albanians for
having gone to an anti-rasist camp IN BULGARIA, because there were serbs
at the same camp. If your neighbours found out that you were doing
something whith "The Serbs", they would stop talking to you, and your
relatives would renounce you if word gets out further. The antiwar
campaign could not find a counterpart in Kosovo because nobody
dared/wanted to join it. Only a few lonely kosovo-albanian voices have
ever condemned the UCK/KLA/OVK for violence, although a lot of it's
actions were primarily targeting at civilians. It also used unselective
violence against Serb families, regardless of age and sex. No purely
kosovo-albanian NGO or group found it necessary to say a word against
this. During our leaflet-distribution actions throughout Serbia we were
frequently asked to go to Kosovo and do something there. What could we
tell them? Police violence of the .yu government was condemned by dozens
of NGO's, syndicates, groups of intellectuals... Those included the
Student Union(s) of Serbia, the biggest student organisation in .yu,
Independence syndicate - the biggest non-government syndicate, at least 4
parliamentary parties- democratic party, civic alliance, socialdemocrats'
league of vojvodina and reform democratic party of vojvodina. Other
parties like democratic party of serbia and new democracy have condemned
police violence but blamed the war only on KLA. The police violence was
also opposed by several teacher syndicates, the Social Democratic Union -
a young, alternative, political party, hundreds of university teachers...
About a half of the so-called independent media have also opposed the war
and many have been closed down consequentially. I don't know if anyone
estimated, but at least 50 alternative radio stations have been banned in
one way or another in the last 12 months. The number could be over 200 for
the past 3-4 years. That's a lot for a country whith under 10 million
people. The newspapers Nasa Borba, Danas and Dnevni Telegraf have also
opposed Milosevic's violence and been closed for it. Danas and Dnevni
Telegraf were printed in montenegro for a while. The Danas still exists,
but has dared publish little but agancy news since the bombing started.
Chief-editor of Dnevni Telegraf and of the monthly Evropljanin - Slavko
Curuvija was killed for his opposition to the regime. The B92 radio, along
whith tens of other less known (more easily closable) radio stations has
opposed the repression and later killings until it was banned and it's
chief-editor arrested. Hope this is enough for starters. I can send more
on this. 

Mihajlo Acimovic

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