The authorities in Belgrade have been holding our five of our comrades for a week now. A sixth person is reportedly arrested as well, although the police, with their typical games, will not confirm this publically. We demand their immediate release.
The repressive nature of the state is evident. All who oppose its power, violence and repression or its legal support of forms of mass exploitation are potential candidates for arrest. It does not matter if you actually break one of the state’s laws designed to protect its own power or not; the state can always find somebody to accuse when they need to show off their power to crush their opponents.
In recent years, when many of the states have embarked on a self-righteous and hypocritical “war against terror”, across the globe the concept of “terrorism” is being broadened by governments in attempt to terrify citizens and misled them. In the Belgrade case, the prosecutor has also branded the arrested as “international terrorists”, a false accusation stuck on people which may follow them their whole lives. This is a hard accusation for social activists, some of who have publically denied any knowledge of the acts they are accused of. As members of Anaracho-Syndicalist Initiative have rightfully pointed out, the action in question, where allegedly somebody threw Molotov cocktails at the Greek Embassy in Belgrade, is merely a symbolic attack against the property of the state in retaliation for its real acts of violence.
Terrorism is, on the other hand, more characteristic of the murderous acts of the state.
Our demonstration takes place on Sept. 11, a date almost synomous with the word “terrorism”. A terrorist act took place that day”: hundreds of random people were killed. However such acts take place on a more regular basis, for war is terrorism. Murderous social and economic policies are also terrorism, albeit in a sanitized form. Millions of people die from war, poverty and social displacement and the governments of the world are looking for terrorist threats elsewhere. In this way, people’s attention is diverted.
Last Sept. 11, we also had to protest, that time at the American Embassy since the authorities there tried to infamously charge protestors against the Republican National Convention in a similar way to our Serbian comrades. We see a clear pattern in this repression.
In the meanwhile, the Serbian state acts as if the main source of terror in their country is a group of workers’ activists. The state has a long list of terrorist acts to account for itself. Besides the real crimes against humanity directly sponsored by the state in the recent past (a long list of war crimes and the brutal repression of demonstrators in the country), we can add the state’s role in creating unbearable working conditions for hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands who became victims to corrupt privatizations who have not been paid for their work in a long time. In light of the real misery that state has inflicted on hundreds of thousands, we should rather remind people of who has been the real terrorists.
In the meanwhile, the state always looks for easy targets to villanize and for people inconvient to them which they can take off the streets.
Enough Political Repression and Enough State Terrorism
Free the Belgrade 6 Now