On March 12, 145,000 workers took part in a massive work stoppage in Slovenia. Rising inflation and low wages are pushing the workers onto the path of class struggle. In line with the process of radicalisation taking place across Europe, the Slovenian workers are beginning to mobilise in a big way.

The Slovenian workers have taken part in several massive mobilisations in recent months. Here we reproduce a New Zealand comrade's experiences and lessons learned during his recent stay in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

There has been a lot of media hype about the big rally in Belgrade last week after the announcement that Kosovo had declared its "independence". But the real mood in Serbia, especially among the working class, is very different. There are indications that the workers are tired of the nationalism and chauvinism being pumped out by the Serbian bourgeoisie and in particular are fed up with all the bourgeois parties. What is missing a political expression of the working class.

We are publishing an eyewitness account from Belgrade of the violence that broke out after Kosovo announced its independence from Serbia. In spite of the media footage the vast majority of the masses ignored the small number of demonstrators! The working class responded quietly, treating the rioters with nothing but fear and disgust! Hardly anyone is prepared to come out and support the Serbian bourgeois... Its credibility is wearing as thin as the patience of the masses.

The manoeuvres of the various big powers in the region are leading to calls for “independence” for Kosovo, which in actual fact hide the naked material interests of the imperialists. The Serbian ruling elite however is now threatening to raise the stakes, potentially throwing the whole region into turmoil once more. The only solution can be offered by a working class struggling across the national borders for a Socialist Federation of the Balkans.

The process of capitalist restoration in Serbia has been brutal. Hundreds of thousands of workers in the old industries have lost their jobs. The old social buffers provided by the planned economy have been dismantled. In this atmosphere a sombre mood dominates the working class. The only outlet the ruling class can offer is to keep whipping up nationalist sentiment.

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