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
On Saturday, November 17, a massive demonstration of 70,000
workers and youth took place in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The workers
are fed up with low wages, high prices, cuts in services and privatisation.
They have had a taste of capitalism and clearly don’t like it.
This article was sent to us by Nikola VukobratoviÄ‡, who is the Chairman of the Socialist Youth of Croatia, the
youth organisation of the Socialist Workers' Party of Croatia. Since most of
our readers will not be familiar with the corruption scandals mentioned in the
article, we provide here a short introduction.
collapse of the former Yugoslavia
had led to a swathe of privatisations, cuts in social spending and a systematic
dismantling of all the gains of the past. But one event back on November
revealed that below the surface a new situation is brewing. Suddenly in
reaction to worsening conditions, the imposition and increase in fees and so on,
the students in one Faculty occupied the university building in an exemplary