q) The anti-NATO protests succeeded in gathering thousands of people, yet they weren’t officially promoted beforehand. How did people find out about them in the first place, and what’s been society’s reaction to this protest movement?
The anti NATO protest (actually the protest triggerred by the ratification of NATO’s Support and Procurement Organization (NSPO)Treaty Serbian goverment signed with NATO; It is the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed by the previous government and ratified by this one last March, that actually allows NATO personnel free passage across Serbia and immunity from taxes, fees and prosecution; and that’s not all – NATO shall have their own Counterintelligence force protection source operations incorporated in Serbian intelligence service.
There are still grave memories on what was done by NATO here – The alliance supported ethnic cleansing of Krajina Serbs, providing logistics, armament to the ressurected Independent state of Croatia (WW II Hitler’s satelite, where between 700 000 and some sources claim over a million Serbs were massacred by Croatian Ustashi) then armed, trained and transported militant Islamists in Bosnia turning it into Wahhabi save haven, then in Kosovo i Metohija openly siding with Albanian terrorists in aggression on then souvereign state of Serbia.
Before the very eyes of NATO, the Albanian terrorists were looting, destroying graves, ancient monasteries, whole towns and villages have simply dissapeared; In their reports from the province, NATO uses exclusively newly given Albanian toponymes, they publish maps even with totally Albanized toponymes, and that’s as dangerous as their ’99. bomb.
Not to mention consequences of DU.
In May 1999 the United Nations have hidden from the public the report by Bakari Kante, head of the first mission of UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) about the environmental consequences of the bombing of Yugoslavia.
The UN has never published the text, but parts of it leaked to the public thanks to the interviewee of “Vesti”, American independent journalist Robert Parsons, a reporter from the international institutions in Geneva.
He managed to get Kante’s report from his source in UNEP and publish its parts in June 1999 in Geneva daily “Le Courrier” in an article entitled “Hidden alarming report on the consequences of the bombing of Yugoslavia: Toxins that UN will not see”.
After 12 days of his stay in Yugoslavia, which was still being bombed at the time, in May 1999, where he was with missions of other agencies of the UN system, Bakary Kante submitted a report to UNEP which speaks of ecological horror: atmosphere and the soil in former Yugoslavia have been permanently contaminated with toxic materials because of the bombing of industrial-chemical complexes and use of depleted uranium weapons.
The report was categorical in the assessment that the future generations living on the bombarded soil will suffer from cancer, leukemia, the number of miscarriages and deformities of newborns will be increased.
Kante’s report further says that because of the bombing, the nature in Yugoslavia has been contaminated with toxic substances among which the most dangerous is polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), highly cancerogenous and responsible for immunological diseases. The report stresses that one liter of PCB is enough to contaminate one billion gallons of water.
Anyway, after all that has been done it’s both humiliating and creepy to find Serbs surrendered to NATO, and the people, public has clearly demonstrated what they thinks about it. Even those who didn’t participate in protest, say that they feel so proud about it, for it reminds us of some of the greatest days in our history, when the people of Serbia said NO to the aggression, occupation of injustice (while others welcomed them wormly, with music and flowers.
According to what I saw this treaty with NATO doesn’t represent neither close ties, nor Serbia’s approaching towards membership. but rather capitulazion, subordination to all the member of the Alliance.
As for the media blockade, that’s amazing. Only a month ago, reporters were protesting because a minister made vulgar comment that he pefers (female) reporter sand journalist, when they kneel. (The minister was fired later).
When they decided to obey and turn the blid eye’ to protest, all of them, failed on their knees. And not a single disonant voice from media.
That’s the way it is in Media: kneeling is ok most of the time; sometimes we remember dignity and honour, and then no kneeling anymore. But then things change again, and that’s an endless circle of kneeling, more or less.
But, the people were informed about protest the same way we saw in so called Arab spring – via soc. networks, Twitter, facebook, SMS – the way it was done in Tunisia.
Once organized, and when thousands of people flood the streets, it seemed to me that even the organizers were surprised. You know, after 2008. (Kosovo is Serbia protest) there has been no such successfull protest with so large number of people.
There was everything – energy, will, absence of fear… and organizers decided: ,OK, that’s it, the protest is over.” Just like that. They ought to remain on the streets until Goverment responds.
For the time being, as for the referendum demands, looks like the gov. keeps the same attitude they shown for protest – they remain mute. And that could trigger the protests.
Q) The protesters said that they will hold more rallies if the government doesn’t reverse the agreement or put it up to a referendum by 27 March, so what do you think will happen? Will the government agree to this, and if not, what do you think the reaction will be among the people and the protesters?
Next protest is scheduled for the begnning of Match in Niš (4 or 5th?), and if goverment doesnt bring decision to hold referendum, the general protest will be held on 27 March, and theres strong symbolism there: that’s the same day 1941. when peoples riots against the Tripatrite Pact (with Hitler) provoced Hitler so that he engaged German troops in Serbia instead on attack on the Soviet Union. Majority of the peple identify theselves with anti fascist protesters 1941, since they were triggered by Kingdom of Yugoslavia signig one millitary contractc, that time with Hitller.
If it comes to further protests, there’s a great chance for them to succeed.
Q) Serbia is expected to hold early elections at a later unannounced date. How do you think this new protest movement will factor into that? Could it become a unifying issue for the opposition?
As for the ELECTIONS, off the record, there’s 24. April circling . But what if Gov. decides noot to hold Referendum we could have people on teh streets and the elections.
Could these protests be a unifying corner stome for the Serbian opposition? I remeber when anti Milošević roits had sich function – they brought together parties that don’t have much in common;
The issue is that we have to face the reality – who represents opposition in Serbia? There is so called pro EU opposition, consisting of former rulling politicians, whose mantra is EU, NATO membership, so called Kosovo recognition, etc. They have signed SOFA treaty (Status of Forces Agreement), which led towards NSPO – treaty with NATO’s Support and Procurement Organization signed last week. They name themselves oposition, but they’re supported by unnational privileged minority that rules institutions, (western funded NGO’s) and simialr.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Vučić and his Progressive party keep patriotic rethoric, but their deeds collide with with their words.
It’s strange that ‘our western friends’ – a phrase often used by Serbian politicians, have forced Prime minister Vucic to swollow that soure pill – signing the agreement will certainly result
Any organized oppositional front that would be trully patriotic and, at least not pro NATO is what Serbia needs; There are some (STILL) smaller movements and organization but their inner infrastructure is still not developed enough.
Still I believe in miracle.