Posts Tagged ‘english’

Solidarity Protest in Kiev

Friday, September 18th, 2009

On Sept.15, about 20 acivists with black and red flas picketed the Serbian Embassy in the Ukraine.

The activists protested against the arrest of five libertarian acivists. They blamd the government of Serbia and police for attempting to repress social activists. Even the police who were guarding the embassy expressed their disbelief at the disproportion between the “crime” and the proposed charges.
“15 years for smashing a window – that’s absurd, especially if there is no proof that those arrested had anything to do with it,” said one of the speakers.
They were not able to submit a protest letter to the embassy. The clerk refused to take the letter and ran away. The demonstrators thus left their text with the guards.
The protestors wrote*:(*Incomplete translation)

We are writing to demand the immediate release of Tadej Kurep, Ivan Vulovic, Sanja Dojkic, Ratibor Trivunac and Nicola Mitrovic, arrested September 4 this year in Belgrade on absurd grounds. The claims of the prosecution, which accuse the social activists of the most serious of crimes, international terrorism, are obviously far-fetched. The aim of the members of the International Workers’ Association is union struggle, and not throwing flammable bottles. These activists distinguished themselves as members of student protest in Belgrade, not as warriors. The members of the Anarcho-Sindikalist Initiative immediately declared that they have nothing in common with the group “Black Elijah” and had nothing to do with the action. We believe that violations of law, taking the police taking family members of activists hostage point to the political nature of this case.

Thus the state is trying to divert attention from the changes in the penal code, rise of authoritarian tendencies in the country and to label all those who are active and not indifferent criminals.

We will not sit idly by when people are fighting for social justice, are oppressed on the basis of their political activity. We will conduct a campaign for the immediate release of these activists and an end to state repression.

Participants of the left and the trade union movement in Ukraine

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protest-in-kiev/

5 Responses to “Solidarity Protest in Kiev”

  1. admin Says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 07:22 Hello from the Admin side. I tried to translate the text of the Ukrainian protesters. I hope the translation is OK. However, I cut out two sentences: Це все одно, що судити всіх сербських політиків, що тільки висловили свою незгоду із відокремленням Косово, як погромників, що вчинили підпал американської амбасади не обтяжуючи себе працею по збору доказів. Так це звучить абсурдно, але справа проти Белградської „п”ятірки” і є абсурдною у правовому сенсі.

    The second sentences I can translate, but did not because it related to the first. It says: Yes, it sounds absurd, but the case against the Belgrade 5 is absurd in the legal sense.

    The first sentence, if I understand correctly, says something like “it’s like calling all Serbian politicians who were against Kosovan indepedence pogromists”… and then something about attacking the American Embassy and collecting evidence about it. Honestly, I can’t understand the sense because I don’t understand Ukrainian 100% and I cannot guess the logical connection. I will try to get somebody to fill it in later, but I thought the statement was OK enough (or even better:-) without that, so I put up the slightly shorter version.

    The full text, in the original, is in the Ukrainian language section.

  2. admin Says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 09:03 Other admin here. I also don’t understand Ukrainian 100%, but I would say that it means something like that:

    “The serbian polititians supposedly only ‘expressed their anger at the independence of Kosovo’, when they burned the American embassy and no one bothered to collect evidence. Maybe instead they can be judged as pogromists. In this context, the case against the Belgrad “five” is legally absurd.”

    Of course it would be better if a Ukrainian person commented :)

  3. admin Says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 09:11 Admin 1 back: I’m not sure but let our Ukrainian comrades say rather than keep speculating. :-)
  4. admin Says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 13:53 I received this translation into Russian:

    Это все равно, что судить всех сербских политиков, которые выразили свое несогласие по поводу отделения Косово, как погромщиков, которые подожгли американское посольство, не утруждая себя сбором доказательств. Да, это звучит абсурдно, но дело против Белградской “пятерки” и есть абсурдным в юридическом смысле.

    So that would mean:

    “It would be like judging all Serbian polititians who were against the independence of Kosovo to be guilty of setting fire to the US embassy, without bothering to get any proof. It sounds absurd, but it is just as absurd as the case against the Belgrade 5 is absurd in a legal sense.”

  5. Free the Belgrade anarchists! » Blog Archive » Ukrajina: Prosvjed solidarnosti u Kijevu Says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 00:39 […] Izvor: http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protest-in-kiev/ […]

upcoming solidarity protests

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Berlin

18. September 2009, 11:30 bis 14:00 Uhr
Serbische Botschaft
Taubert Str. 18
14193 Berlin Grunewald

The Hague

In the Hague, there will be an action on the 18th of
September @ 14.00 in front of the Embassy of Serbia.

Groot Hertoginnelaan 30

18 SEPTEMBER NAAR DE SERVISCHE AMBASSADE

om 14:00

Adres: Groot Hertoginnelaan 30, Den Haag

Frankfurt / Main

FAU will hold a demo on Friday Sept. 25 at 12:00 at the Embassy in Frankfurt/Main at Thüringer Str. 3

Denver

There will be an emergency demonstration outside the Serbian Consulate at 999 18th Street (18th Street and Champa) on Wednesday September 16th at noon.

Hamburg

Fau will hold a demo at the Serbian consulate Wed. Sept. 16 at 12:00.

Address: Harvestehuder Weg 101

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/upcoming-solidarity-protest/

Appeal from ASI

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

On 04.09.2009, following the decision of the investigating judge of the District Court in Belgrade, the groups of six anarchists who were arrested 3rd of September 2009 were sentenced to detention measures up to thirty days. year. The charge states that the suspects, on 25th of August, about three o’clock in the morning, initially wrote the graffiti on the facade, and then threw two “molotov cocktails at the building of the Greek Embassy in “Francuska” street in Belgrade.

Wanting to brutally deal with it’s hardest critics, the state acts, through it’s mechanisms of repression, with utterly banal logic. Those who have explicitly expressed their libertarian beliefs are mapped as the only suspects. The case ends with their imprisonment and gives a false picture to the general public about state’s expediency.

Due to the unusual course of action of the police and prosecution in this case, the arrested are suspected of having committed a crime of international terrorism. That act, in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, is treated in the same group with the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes against the civilian population, organizing and encouraging to commit genocide and war crimes, the conduct of aggressive war, etc. Due to the legal weight of such characterization, the costs of the representation so far during the process have exceeded 10,000 euros.

For this purpose, the account was opened to help the arrested anarchists, which is listed at the bottom of this page. In addition, there is a phone number and e-mail that you can get additional information about the state of the arrested as well as the condition of the collected funds.

We hope that the freedom-loving individuals and organizations will get involved in this humanitarian fundraising action, and help the arrested anarchists to manage to prove their innocence.

FREEDOM FOR ANARCHOSYNDIKALISTS!

Instructions for the donation of money:

Account with institution:

RZBSRSBG

RAIFFEISEN BANKA AD

BEOGRAD, RS

Beneficiarz customer:

RS35265050000016043150

MILAN (MILUTIN) STOJANOVIĆ

SENJE.

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/appeal-from-asi/

banner

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

untitled1

Συγκέντρωση αλληλεγγύης στην εξέγερση του Δεκέμβρη στο Βελιγράδι (Ημέρα παγκόσμιας δράσης ενάντια στην κρατική τρομοκρατία, 20/12/2008): http://inicijativa.org/grcka/node/55

Solidarity action in Belgrade (20th December 2008, Global day of action against state terrorism): http://inicijativa.org/grcka/node/55

Solidarity by the “Autonomous group of PAMAK” (University in Thessaloniki)

Thursday, September 17th, 2009
FREEDOM TO THE SERB ANARCHISTS. THE STATES IS THE ONLY TERRORIST (A)

FREEDOM TO THE SERB ANARCHISTS. THE STATES ARE THE ONLY TERRORIST (A)

A banner is placed near the entrance of the University (photo) and a text is circulating:

PUT DOWN YOUR HANDS FROM OUR SERB COMRADES!
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!

On 25th of August a group of 5 persons attacked with molotov cocktails against the Greek embassy in Belgrade, without causing significant damage. The responsibility was claimed by an organization with the name Black Sun, which, according to its statement, made this attack in solidarity with the hunger striker Th. Iliopoulos.

For this reason, the government of Serbia detained 5 anarchists and persecutes another one, accusing them for “international terrorism”. All are members of Anarchosyndicalist Initiative (ASI), an organization that is not related with such attacks, while the arrested also made clear that they have no relation with the attack.

For one more time, the basic characteristics of the security state, that is being built in every country, become visible: increased repression, attack at the parts of the society that resist (in the particular case at anarchosyndicalists) and imposition of the doctrine of order and security. The state tries with every mean to accentuate the repression against politically radical groups: it names a simple attack with minimal material damage as “international terrorism” and afterwards it persecutes anarchosyndicalists without any clues. Purpose? The demoralisation of every political criticism against the dominating mechanisms and the cracking down of the “internal enemy”. It is not important if this is named “anarchist”, “immigrant” or “koukouloforos” [trans: the Greek state names like this the rioters that hide their face, it means hood-wearer]. The important purpose is the creation of an enemy, the creation of a (marginalized) social group that will lead the rest of the society to the conservativisation and loyalty. In the particular case the state mechanisms acted as they are used to act: two molotov cocktails and an alfadi [trans: alpha in a circle, Ⓐ] are enough to persecute 6 irrelevant with the attack individuals, that are facing imprisonment of decades.The fact that they are in an anarchosyndicalist union is enough in order for them to form the role of the “internal enemy”. An “internal enemy” that the state structures will try in any way to not let it from moving aggressively towards the power. In front of the repressive mechanisms of the state, we shall not stand back, but we keep walking with solidarity as our weapon.

FREEDOM TO THE SERB ANARCHIST PRISONERS

THE STATES ARE THE ONLY TERRORISTS

Autonomous group of “University of Macedonia” (Thessaloniki)

http://appamak.blogspot.com/2009/09/6.html

(with some minor spelling changes)

Solidarity with the Serbian anarchosyndicalists from Athens!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

On Wednesday afternoon at 6:00 pm more than 150 persons demonstrated outside the building of the Serbian embassy in Athens. There were 2 banners, one from “E.S.E” (Elefteriaki Sindikalistiki Enosi – Libertarian Labour Union) and one from “A.K.A” (Anarxiki ya tin Kinoniki Apelefterosi – Anarchists for Social Emancipation), a speaking trumpet, pamphlets and fliers with information about the case.

From the other side, there were 3 police trucks and many armed pigs from the riot police guarding the Serbian and the American embassy, which is very close. The speaking trumpet was informing people about the case of the comrades in greek and serbian language and many slogans were shouted about solidarity from the demonstrators. Some slogans about the Serbian comrades were written with painting spray in the area.

The demonstration stood outside the Serbian embassy for 2 hours.

The solidarity actions will continue anyway as there is a call for a new assembly next Monday in order to organize and coordinate further actions, even though we hope that the comrades will be set free and it will be unnecessary.

Later in the night, in an irrelevant concert by Thanasis Papakonstandinou (popular leftist musician), comrades went up on the scene and put a banner in which was written “Freedom for the Serbian Anarchosyndicalists”. On the scene, a text was read and slogans of solidarity were shout by the audience.

information and description from Athens IMC: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1079735 (with minor changes and additions. we thank the athensIMC user translator)

Communique for the Serb anarchosyndicalists

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

WE STAND WITH THE SERB COMRADES

At the Greek embassy in Belgrade takes place a symbolic attack with molotof and spray on the walls, by an unknown group.

The unknown organization “Black Sun” claims responsibility for the attack in solidarity with the prisoner hunger striker Thodoris Iliopoylos that was detained for the situation of December in the Greek prisons for a time of almost 9 months.

On 4th of September there are arrested five members of the organization “Serbian Anarchosyndicalist Initiative” (ASI) and one more is wanted with only clue their attendance in a peaceful protest outside the Greek embassy on 25 August.

The arrested, all with age under 30 years old, are imprisoned from then with the purpose for the Serbian “justice” to accuse them with the charge of “international terrorism”, accusation which attracts sentence of imprisonment from 3 to 15 years according to the Serbian laws.

Even according to the Serbian juridical reality the charges do not stand, as in another attack at the embassy of USA in the recent past the charge that was attributed was much milder.

According to common sense, even for those that consider the state monopoly for violence as sacred, there cannot be attributed the charge of terrorism for a slightly damaged glass, a trace of fire in the facade of the embassy and the writing of a symbol (alpha in circle), provided that there was not threatened nor is threatened the life and the body integrity of no one.

Compared to the terrorism of the states that abduct, torture, keep in hostage and condemn with fabricated clues persons or to the terrorism of the bosses that blackmail, destroy and murder workers, the attack at the embassy seems like a drop in the ocean. A drop, however, that contains an obvious message.

The defendants, via a statement of their organization, deny the charges declaring that they select other ways of action as the organizing of workers in libertarian [anarchosyndicalist] associations, the condemn via representations of protest and the sending of contra-information e-mails.

These belief-associated prosecutions remind us something. The prosecutions of anarchist comrades and social fighters, the prosecutions for revenge after the December that we lived here.

But there is something more. The internationalisation of solidarity, the break of the borders through the social struggles, the call for international unity of the oppressed accentuate the insecurity of each government clique in Greece, in Serbia, in the Balkans, everywhere. As we know, when a similar attack had happened at the Greek embassy few years ago for an athletic conflict, no one cared…

The people in solidarity with the Serbs that are persecuted denounce the misery of the Serbian state that – as and Greek one too- tries hard to offer space for its nationalists, to feed with even more blood and repression the famous “Greek-Serbian Friendship”.

We, on our view, are indeferent for the wolf-frienships [means in greek the fake friendship that is based on common profit] of the states. But we stand for the need of internationalist solidarity between the victims of these states. We denounce the effort of every state to eliminate the voices and actions of resistance, in their interior but also in the level of international solidarity.

We stand with the Serb comrades
and ask for their, immediate and without terms, release

THE STATES ARE THE ONLY TERRORISTS

Anarchists for social liberation

(Athens)

[independent translation, we are not part of the assembly of the group that signs the communique]

from http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1079545 (with minor changes)

poster of the same collective: http://asisolidarity.squat.gr/p/510

Solidarity Protest in Thessaloniki

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

A solidarity gathering took place in Thessaloniki (north Greece) in the morning outside the Serbian consulate. The protest was preannounced, so the police was there since yesterday and chose to use a huge number of policemen (riot police) to close the street of the consulate and not let the protestors to go near the building. This helped for even more publicity for the issue…

description and photos from athens IMC: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1079664

Solidarity Protest in Zagreb

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protest-in-zagreb/

zagasisoli

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

Respected ambassador!

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

Solidarity actions with arrested Serbian anarchosyndicalists

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-actions-with-arrested-serbian-anarchosyndicalists/

blavasoliasi

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.

http://www.priamaakcia.sk/Solidarity-actions-with-arrested-Serbian-anarchosyndicalists-and-Ukrainian-community-activists.html

Letter from Serbian Intellectuals

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/letter-from-serbian-intellectuals/

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.

Zaga Golubović

Želimir Žilnik

Todor Kuljić

Vladimir Ilić

Boris Dežulović

Sonja Drljević

Ljubomir Živkov

Vladimir Aresinjević

Protest in Warsaw, Sept. 11

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/protest-in-warsaw-sept-11/

trles-1691

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:
http://asi.zsp.net.pl/statement-written-by-zsp-sept-11/

Sydney protest in solidarity with arrested anarcho-syndicalists

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/sydney-protest-in-solidarity-with-arrested-anarcho-syndicalists/

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

11/9/2009

Video from Sydney Protest, βίντεο από τη διαδίλωση στο σύδνευ

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/video-from-sydney-protest/

Solidarity Protest Vienna 11.9

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protest-vienna-11-9/

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…

Protest in London

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

embas

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/protest-in-london/

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.

emb2

Belgrade: Professors Send Open Letter in Defense of Arrested

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/belgrade-professors-send-open-letter-in-defense-of-arrested/

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.

Solidarity Protests

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protests/

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.

Διόρθωση correction

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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.

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/solidarity-protests/

Statement written by ZSP Sept. 11

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

http://asi.zsp.net.pl/statement-written-by-zsp-sept-11/

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.

We say:
Enough Political Repression and Enough State Terrorism

Free the Belgrade 6 Now