FAU will hold a demo on Friday Sept. 25 at 12:00 at the Embassy in Frankfurt/Main at Thüringer Str. 3
FAU will hold a demo on Friday Sept. 25 at 12:00 at the Embassy in Frankfurt/Main at Thüringer Str. 3
Zagreb: A protest of solidarity took place…
On Monday, the 14th of September of 2009., a protest of solidarity with the arrested Serbian anarchists took place. The protest was organised by the „Stop the repression!“ campaign initiated by The Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists (MASA).
The beginning of the protest took place at the Petar Preradovic Square with the gathering of approximately 30 people. Since the protest was reported to the police, quite a number of police officers were present. The protesters marched through the street of Ilica towards the British Square carrying the banner that said: „Stop the repression! Freedom for the Anarcho-Syndicalists!“ and those words were accompanied with the picture of the caged snow owl. The snow owl that is actually the logo of Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative (ASI), now caged, became the symbol of this campaign on the international level. While the protesters approached the British Square, some of them have been distributing leaflets to people passing by. All the leaflets were distributed even before we reached the British Square.On the British Square our official statement was read, it was the same statement as the one on the leaflets. After that, our unexpected visitors, a folk band of squatters from Belgium, played for us one of their songs.But, since they were not planned, the police didn’t allow them to perform more than just one song.
After the performance had been completed, three of our delegates, accompanied by two police officers, went by bus to the Serbian Embassy, where they put the protest letter and the leaflet into the letter-box.
The letter to the Serbian Embassy
With this letter we protest against the arrest, harassment and the media lynch of five of our fellows and friends: Tadej Kurepa, Ivan Vulović, Sanja Đokić, Ratibor Trivunac and Nikola Mitrović. The majority of them are the members of The Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative (ASI), the Serbian section of The International Workingmen’s Association (IWA). They are accused for throwing two molotov cocktails on the Greek Embassy in Belgrade, on te 25th of August of 2009., and they are being charged for the criminal act of international terrorism. Although there are no evidence and no proof whatsoever that they commited that act , that did not prevent the media from writing about the accused as if they are proven to be guilty. This kind of behavior is deliberate and it has as its goal the ruination of ASI’s reputation and the criminalization of ASI’s syndical work. Except that, the state of Serbia would this way inaugurate a new praxis of punishing everybody who may present a threat to it, and who fight for a more just and more humane society, for a society that above all respects the human life, and not the needs of profit. The „Stop the repression!“ initiative strongly condemns this kind of behavior and demands the immediate release of the imprisoned anarchists.
If our demands won’t be respected, we shall continue with the pressure through the media and with further actions of solidarity, as well as our comrades throughout the world.
„Stop the repression!“ initiative
On 14th September, Priama akcia – Bratislava members and supporters (around 10 people) visited the Embassy of Serbian Republic.
Serbian embassy protest
Our previous action at the Serbian embassy on 7th September was met with police harassment (more info here). This time we were a bit more successful and actually got inside the consulate premises (because the door was open at the moment). We delivered our protest letters and explained the reason for the protest to an employee of the consulate. However, we did not manage to meet with the ambassador, who was apparently once again out of his office. The employee claimed he can not guarantee that the consulate or embassy would inform authorities in Serbia as it is not (their) “standard procedure”. Interesting.
A few days ago we wrote here about how a group of professors and intellectuals wrote a letter protesting the arrests of our comrades. Here is the English translation of the letter:
Announcement of the state prosecution institutions that they will press charges for an ”act of international terrorism” against six suspected of throwing two Molotov cocktails at the building of Greek Embassy in Belgrade made us write this letter and express our concern.
Without a desire to justify this kind of act in any way we consider it to be our duty to point out at what we believe to be political background of applying double standards that can have a devastating effect in further development of our society.
Not so long ago, during protest held on 21. February 2008 after proclamation of independence of Kosovo United States of America embassy building was burnt down in Belgrade. Embassy building was significantly damaged by fire while one of the attackers lost his life. The only participant of this attack that has been prosecuted is being charged for “heavy criminal act against public security”.
Contrary to this, state institutions have characterized the act of smashing a window on an empty building of Greek embassy with two burning bottles that didn’t cause fire as an act of international terrorism. In criminal law of Republic of Serbia that act is next to genocide, war crimes and leading an aggressive war.
We are afraid that such a different positioning of prosecution institutions regarding these two cases is motivated politically by some of the current authorities who are trying to improve their rating with nationalistically orientated voters.
This has an encouraging effect on strengthening chauvinistic and extreme right wing tendencies in our society just like those that have participated in burning down USA embassy in Belgrade without any significant legal consequences.
For this reason we are addressing the public as well as the state institutions hoping that by doing so we will contribute in making the law treat all members of our society equally and adequately concerning the seriousness of act that has been done.
On Sept. 11, a group of people from ZSP Warsaw, Anarchist Solidarity and some non-alligned supporters visited the Serbian Embassy in Warsaw to demand the release of comrades arrested in Belgrade.
On Sept. 7, some people also visited the Embassy and delivered a protest letter. Apparently the presence of even such a modest protest unnerved the Embassy people. When we arrived on the 11th, there was a police van and cops waiting.
Members of ZSP made some speeches and delivered a new statement to the Embassy, but, as the Embassy people were hiding, it only went into their mailbox. The activists harshly criticized the actions of the Serbian government, the way the comrades were arrested, police methods used, the detention of the comrades without charges, etc. etc. There was also a long diatribe against state terrorism and the hypocrisy of the government.
In rather absurd style, there was also a strange exchange with the police, who warned us against “cursing in public”, which is a punishable offence in this whacky country. The police however did not want to define which words constituted curses, but we did manage to establish that only curses in Polish are curses under Polish law.
The new embassy building is in the middle of nowhere, so there were almost no passersbys. However the picket could be heard for kilometers around due to the strange accustics in the location.
The text of our statement is publishd here:
On Sept. 11, members of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation protested in Sydney, Australia. A video of this protest can be viewed here in the following post.
Below we print their open letter.
Open letter to the Serbian Consulate, Australia
We demand the release by the Serbian government of Ratibor Trivunac, Tadej Kurepa, Ivan Vulović, Sanja Đokić and Nikola Mitrović, members of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative (ASI). We protest the unjust arrest and detainment of our comrades on trumped-up charges, which the ASI has vehemently denied.
This attack on the ASI, and by extension the International Workers Association (IWA), is an attack on organised labour everywhere. All dissenters should be concerned by the trend towards labelling all dissent terrorism. The latest escalation of oppression by the Serbian government comes after an ASI member was arrested for the trivial offence burning an American flag. Clearly there is an attempt to target the ASI.
This will not go unnoticed internationally. Even today, in coordination with this action comrades are also protesting at the Serbian consulate in Britain.
Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation Melbourne
After the arrests of five people in Belgrade, Vienna today saw the second protest within a week. Despite light rain, the demo went from Schwedenplatz through the city centre to the Serbian embassy on Karlsplatz.
Embassy staff, apparently terrified by the 40 protesters, had to be protected by the Viennese special ops team WEGA and refused to accept the protest letter. As with the previous demo, the big gate to the “Otto Wagner Bau” remained firmly closed and pale faces were seen peeping from behind the curtains on the second floor
Protesters then resorted to calling the embassy’s phone line while standing in front of their door but strangely no one answered. Perhaps Dragan (the embassador) prefers to get our protest letter by fax?
On the way to the embassy, that led right through the busy city centre, leaflets in German and English were distributed. Of the 800 leaflets we had produced, there were none left after only two thirds of the way…
A couple of dozen people picketed the Serbian Embassy in London on Friday lunchtime 11th September. Not bad at such short notice. Members of SF and FAU (German IWA Section) were supported by London Anarchist Federation, libertarian students’ group Autonomy & Solidarity and others.
Embassy staff were a bit startled but took a keen interest in proceedings, and the police harassment started after we’d been outside the embassy for about half an hour. First the Diplomatic Protection Group – all wearing badges showing their support for the roadside-bomb-fodder in Afghanistan – first told us the demonstration was illegal and we should disperse; then they said it was “a public order situation” in spite of our being relaxed and peaceful; then they claimed we were obstructing the pavement in spite of the almost total absence of pedestrians and told us to cross the road (to a narrower stretch of pavement people were actually walking along). We rotated people arguing with plod as he kept changing his arguments and eventually he retired to talk to his bosses. By that stage there were six armed officer present.
We handed in a letter of protest – the door opened immediately and it was accepted. After another half hour the regular Met turned up, only one, with a Community Support Officer – plastic plod – in tow. We then became a “security risk” because apparently by standing outside the embassy we could provide cover for unspecified criminal activities. Then eventually it came down to the alleged likelihood of our committing criminal damage. Plod’s “reasonable grounds for suspicion” constituted the fact that an act
of criminal damage during the Belgrade picket of the Greek Embassy was mentioned in our leaflet! This was exposed as an obvious ploy when Plod became impatient and dropped the act, threatening us all with being searched unless we crossed the road. We continued arguing while drifting over the road, having achieved what we had set out to do. We stayed to 2 O’Clock, forcing Mr Plod and Mr Plastic (who looked like a building contractor with his bare head and yellow safety jacket) to guard the embassy from the heinous threat of handing in letters until we left. About
four police hours were expended during the course of the demonstration,
plus report writing. Result.
Un grupo de profesores de la Universidad de Belgrado, junto con otras personas del mundo de la cultura, envió una carta abierta expresando su preocupación por el anuncio de que las seis personas arrestadas en Belgrado serán acusadas de terrorismo internacional.
Los profesores critican la “situación política de la doble rasero” aplicado en este caso. Sin embargo, señalaron que no apoyan el acto de vandalismo en la embajada griega.
Los firmantes se refieren a las protestas del 21 de febrero de 2008,después de la declaración de independencia de Kosovo. La Embajada de EE.UU. en Belgrado fue considerablemente dañado por el fuego y una persona murió. Nadie fue acusado de un delito grave en este caso.
Por contra, las autoridades estatales de Serbia califican a dañar una ventana con la ayuda de dos molotov que no llegaron a prender, como un acto de “terrorismo internacional”.
Los firmantes defienden que el Código Penal de la República de Serbia debe ser modificado. También mencionan la responsabilidad penal de aquellos que cometen genocidio y crímenes de guerra.
Los profesores y personalidades públicas firmantes, han expresado su preocupación acerca de la diferente manera en que la ley se ha interpretado en ambos casos y los esfuerzos de la actual política del gobierno para mejorar su imagen con el ala nacionalista del electorado. «Esto tiene el efecto de fomentar y fortalecer las tendencias de extrema derecha de nuestra sociedad”.
A group of professors from the University of Belgrade together with other people from the world of culture sent an open letter expressing concern over the announcement that the six people arrested in Belgrade will be charged with international terrorism.
The professors criticize the “political background of the double standards” applied in this case. However they pointed out that this doesn’t mean they support the act of vandalism at the Greek Embassy.
The signatorees referred to protests on 21 February 2008, years after the declaration of independence by Kosovo. Then the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade was substantially damaged by fire and one person was killed. Nobody was accused of a serious crime in this case.
In contrast, the Serbian state authorities characterize damaging a window with the help of two petrol bombs which failed to ignite as an act of “international terrorism”.
The signatorees say that the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia needs to be updated. They also mention the criminal responsibility of those who committed genocide and war crimes.
The teachers and public figures have expressed concern about the different positions law enforcement has taken on the two cases and with the current government policy efforts to improve their rating with the nationalist wing of the electorate. They stated: “This has the effect of fostering and strengthening the chauvinistic and extreme-right tendencies of our society.”
The complete text of the letter is printed here in the Serbian section of this page.
Note from the page editors: Prior information that there was a demo in Melbourne was incorrect. The demo was in Sydney.
On Sept. 11, solidarity protests were held in Sydney. London, Vienna and Warsaw. Before that, actions took place also In Ljubljana, Lisbon, Bratislava, Warsaw and Vienna. Leaflets from the protests can be found by clicking the “Upcoming Protests” button on the right side of this page. Some accounts of individual pickets and statements have been published in the English section of this page.
Μια πληροφορία για ετοιμασία διαδήλωσης στη Μελβούρνη ήταν λάθος, τελικά έγινε στο Σύδνευ.
Information regarding a Melbourne demo was incorrect, it was done in Sydney.
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
Around 40 anarhists have gathered in the center of Ljubljana in
Thursday evening (10.9.2009) for solidarity action to manifest our
full support to the detained Belgrade anarhists. We marched with red
and black anarchist flags through the streets towards the Serbian
embassy. Solidarity graffiti was written at the entry of the embassy:
“Freedom to anarcho-syndicalists!” and “Death to the state!”, “Freedom
for BGD5”. Statements of Federation for Anarchist Organizing (FAO)
were distributed and pasted on the walls of the embassy. The police
appeared more than ten minutes after the action had already
successfully finished which. Activists were thus able to avoid the
repression and conflict with the police. After the action the
activists retreated in the night.
Aim of the action was to express unconditional support for
Anarcho-syndicalist initiative and to our detained comrades, to inform
the public about the repression against autonomous organizing of the
workers and to press on Serbian authorities to immediately stop with
Statement in support of the activists of IAS, Serbia
Five activists of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative (ASI) Tadej Kurepa, Ivan Vulović, Sanja Dojkić, Ratibor Trivunac and Nikola Mitrović were arrested by the Serbian authorities on 4th September 2009. They have been accused of international terrorism (which is in Serbian criminal law placed in the same category as is genocide). The foundation of the accusation is the suspicion that the arrested were allegedly involved in a recent action in which two molotov cocktails were thrown at the building of Greek embassy in Belgrade. State prosecutor commanded 30 days of detention for our comrades. If the court finds them guilty of the acts that they had been accused of, they are threatened with 3-15 years in prison.
Completely unprovoked arrests and made up charges against our detained comrades are the acts of an open state pressure against ASI. It is no coincedence that precisely those members of the syndicate that have been recently the most exposed in public appearances are among those arrested. Through organized activity in the interest of workers – that is of those who are again and again separated from the fruits of their labour, the syndicate has been increasingly gaining on support, trust and credibility – exactly on everything that the corrupted Serbian political clique is so deprived of. In order to deter the political threat that an autonomously organized syndicalist movement obviously represents, this clique has in time of it’s own complete political bankruptcy taken refuge in the method that was recently dissmised even by it’s western mentors – in a pathetic effort to silence them our comrades were put into prison and accused of “international terrorism”.
The arrests and the harrasment of syndicate’s activists and of those who are affiliated with them is the real face of contemporary Serbia – of the state that is even on the ashes of neoliberalism still continuing to defend it’s project of deepening of exploitation and enslavement. This represents one more step towards establishment of an ever harsher model of repressive governance that is willing to use any means available to silence those that are showing its disgusting image in the mirror.
Federation for anarchist organizing (FAO) expresses solidarity with our detained comrades, offers unconditional support and help and is joining the calls for their immediate release and withdrawal of such absurd accusations.
FREEDOM FOR ALL DETAINED!
Federation for anarchist organizing
Ljubljana, 10. 9. 2009
on 9.9.09, 15-20 activists gathered at Schwarzenbergplatz (Vienna) to demand the release of 5 imprisoned anarchists in serbia who are being accused of international terrorism.
The demo, including many banners, one of them in serbian, went along the Rennweg to the serbian embassy where it remained for a short period of time and then moved to the opposite side of the street to express its discontent.. It then continued right outside the embassy whose employees apparently didn’t so much dare as to look out of the windows.
The demo, which was small but very loud, lasted for about half an hour and then dispersed without police involvement.
The international protests will continue until the five people are being released…we will be back, that’s no question!!!!!!!!
Frankfurt / Main Φρανκφούρτη
FAU will hold a demo on Friday Sept. 25 at 12:00 at the Embassy in Frankfurt/Main at Thüringer Str. 3
Η FAU θα κάνει διαδήλωση τη Παρασκευή στις 25 Σεπτέμβρη στις 12 το μεσιμέρη στη Φραγκφούρτη στην οδό Thüringer Str. 3.
Ponedjeljak 14. rujna 2009. u 12 sati na Cvjetni trg.
Στο Ζάγκρεμπ της Κροατίας έγινε διαδήλωση 14 του μήνα, πιο κάτω στο μπλογκ μπορείτε να δείτε φωτό και είδηση.
Τετάρτη 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009, 18:00
Βασ. Σοφίας 106 – Πρεσβεία Σερβίας
16 September 2009 at 18:00
Vassilissis Sofias 106, Serbian embassy
ΕΙΝΑΙ ΜΕΣΑ ΓΙΑ ΜΑΣ, ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΕΞΩ ΓΙ ΑΥΤΟΥΣ
THEY ARE INSIDE FOR US, WE ARE OUTSIDE FOR THEM
Πρεσβεία της Σερβίας στην Αθήνα: Λ. Βασσιλίσσης Σοφίας 106
Προξενείο της Σερβίας στην Αθήνα: Έβρου 25 (πολύ κοντά στη πρεσβεία)
Το προξενείο της Σερβίας στη Θεσσαλονίκη: Κομνηνών 4
Serbia embassy in Athens: 106, Vassilissis Sophias Ave.
Serbia consulate in Athens: 25, Evrou St.
Serbia consulate in Thessaloniki: Komninon 4
ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ 16/9 ΔΡΑΣΗ ΑΛΛΗΛΕΓΓΥΗΣ ΣΤΟ ΣΕΡΒΙΚΟ ΠΡΟΞΕΝΕΙΟ ΣΤΙΣ 11:00
Θεσσαλονίκη, Τετάρτη 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009, 11:00
στάλθηκε από –
Ακριβής τοποθεσία: Προξενείο Σερβιας (ΚΟΜΝΗΝΩΝ 4)
Recordemos, en Belgrado, a finales de agosto, en solidaridad con los detenid@s en diciembre pasado, después de una revuelta en Grecia, un grupo “anarquista” desconocido autodenominado “Negro Elías”, asume responsabilidades por el lanzamiento de dos botellas incendiarias a la embajada de Grecia. Sin embargo, y sin pruebas, una semana después cinco compañer@s, miembros de la ASI-AIT son detenid@s bajo los cargos de actos de “terrorismo internacional”…Y es que a perro flaco todo se le vuelve en pulgas:
“Los defensores de los Derechos Humanos en Serbia se enfrentan a amenazas y ataques por parte de actores estatales y no estatales, y las autoridades están fracasando en su protección, según denuncia la organización Amnistía Internacional (AI). La organización de derechos humanos denuncia que los activistas se han enfrentado a diversas acusaciones incluso desde los medios de comunicación serbios, unos ataques que han incluido amenazas de linchamiento.
Estos ataques los hacen parlamentarios, miembros de organizaciones de la extrema derecha y miembros de los servicios de seguridad acusados de crímenes de guerra. Otros activistas han encontrado sus propiedades destruidas, sus oficinas devastadas o han sido atacados por grupos neonazis.
“Los ataques físicos y las amenazas a la vida y a la propiedad de los activistas no suelen ser investigados de forma rápida e imparcial por las autoridades, y pocos autores son llevados ante la justicia”, indicó un experto en los Balcanes de AI, Sian Jones.
“La falta de voluntad política por parte de las autoridades para cumplir con sus obligaciones de garantizar a los defensores de los Derechos Humanos su derecho a la libertad de expresión y asamblea crea un clima de impunidad que divide a la sociedad civil”, añadió.
Entre estos activistas se encuentra la directora del Centro de Legislación Humanitaria, Natasha Kandic, un miembro del Comité Helsinki para los Derechos Humanos, Sonia Biserko, y otra activista de la Comisión de Abogados para los Derechos Humanos (YUCOM), Biliana Kovacevic…”¿ Casualidades de la vida ? Sin comentarios.
CNT-AIT, CHICLANA ( SPAIN )