Relayed in Tuesday 30 March, letters from Yuoslavia

I listened to Radio Free Europe today. It seemed just fine, since i had enough of hysteria spread through state and para-state media and of mental constructions like "aggressor armada of evil nato butchermen army". I was fed up of non informative propaganda, inspired by patrotic blerbs from all kinds od so called public persons.

For example I have heard through RFE for the first time about recent fightings in Kosovo, about Koha (Albanian daily, translator) beeing banned, about the murder of Bajram Keljmendi and his sons (he was a negotiator for A lbanian side in Rambouleu. transl.). Then, I have also heard that there are different interpretations about the purpose of nato attack (within nato). Greece, Portugal and Italija are more moderate... Then I have heard about splits within Italian and German govermnents, I have heard opposing opinions from Yugoslav and foreign experts about the strategy of the intervention, which 5 phases of the attack are we talking about, why infantry can/can't come. Also about diplomatic initiatives from Russia and Italy... I must admit that I could get this kind of info only through BETA info service which doesn't exist anymore, because it's war state censorship time. It was banned. Today Yugoslav media transmits (brings) only official statements from the state, selected and filtered agency news, mainly from our national news agency Tanjug.

– Beta agency and studio B have forwarded the news that death penalty could be reinstoled in Yugoslavia. Not that the state has only suggested this option, but they want to shorten the procedure, cancel privacy of mail and private property... –

NATO shouldn't have bombed FRY for the following reasons:

legal reasons: they didn't have the permission of UN security council (although Russian resolution against the attack was outvoted with 12:3, which is an indirect support, legaly invalid offcourse). One regional organizatios has dared to take over UN's role.

factical reasons: nato intervention has caused a counter effect - they wanted to protect civilians in Kosovo, and today they suffer more than ever. Similar effect had the uprising of KLA one year ago.

political reasons: if they don't accomplish total capitulation of Yugoslavia, meaning with ocupation and ocupational government, i don't see anything will change to better once they stop bombing. There won't be any Albanians in Kosovo, Milosevic will have a 100% support, the country will remain unstabile.

moral reasons: Usage of violence can't be justified. Just like secession of Slovenia, military intervention in Slovenia, Serbian uprising in Croatia, Croatian military intervention, bombing of Vukovar, Sarajevo, Mostar, Srebrenica, NATO bombing of Bosnia, repression in Kosovo, KLA terrorism, paramilitary Serbian offensives can't be justified as well. There is no conflict which can't be solved through (often long and difficult) dialogue.

Knowing that my life will never again be the same, that Serbia will fall to lower and lower spheres i have to mention one horrible and simbolic fact:

28th March 1989, in Pristina, Kosovo, 22 citizens of Serbia have died while protesting against suspension of the new constitution. That's when Yugoslav crisis had begun. In Belgrade, in front of SKC building a rock concert was held.

28th March 1999, Serbia is paying the final check for it's bloody politics of turf ocupation, hatred, conflict provocation, ethnical cleansing, vicious murders... for it's ten year long bloody dance Serbia has found partners in Slovenia, Croatia, Krajina, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia and Kosovo...

At the end, the show is beeing closed with another rock concert. Even the same bands are playing. And what will remain from Serbia? It's destroyed, thorn to pieces, dieing from theft, inflation, sanctions....What will remain after this schouvinist drunken party?

Wake up, this is a logical end of an orgy over dead bodies.

I don't know what we'll do when all this ends, but I probbably won't do any public activist work. This is too hopeless for me, as there is no chance for anything constructive. At least not before things change. Not just the regime, not just the system. A whole generation has to cry over the graves of innocent victims and heal, in order to be able to build anything new with clear conscience. I don't dare to predict in which century that'll happen.

good bye.

From: Branko, Belgrade

"I don't know what's it with you, you're calling from all sides and are telling us about the situation here, and what can be seen on the TV screens and other tools of misinformation. If you want real information, read the few following lines. The alarm howling here around 8pm is letting us know about air raids.

I am suggesting to my family to go down and look for a shelter. My mum says "No way, not until "Esmeralda" has finished (a Mexican soap-opera watched by all retired women and broader). Jasna says, "I won't go. I am hungry, and I have only just came home from work and want to see the soap too."

Igor says, "as pets are not allowed in the shelter, I won't even go down, and BTW the cat has shitted itself, so go and change the sand and throw the shit in the container, so the terrace won't stink."

I am going down, and in front of the building there are some 13-14 year old kids waiting for paratroopers with baseball sticks. No one cares for any sign of warning. Four 15-story high-rises in front of our building with their turned on lights seemed more magnificent than Las Vegas and what should I think rather than, brother American we are not made for these scaring tactics and some kind of explosions and us going down to the shelters and similar jokes.

It is Friday now, 30 minutes past midnight, which means 48 hours of declared war state and I give you my word that that me and my family where in the shelter for 00 hours 00 minutes and 00 seconds, We are playing remy with the neighbours, learning about windows 98, looking at silly things at TV (kosava was running rap music for the first few hours, and the others the movies "Neretva" and "Sutjeska". The Vuk Draskovic movie "Noz" (Knife) is taken off the program, for it's supposed to be too heavy and not suitable for the present time?! The movie theatres are open, but the films are domestic. The children are playing on the street carefree although they have not slept half the night.

The West is not able to understand that we are indirectly at war for the last ten years, and that we have watched everything we are going through now on TV from Croatia and Bosnia, and one can see that we have learned our lesson. We don't care about anything, which shows that life is not at a very high price here. It's not as if we do not give a dam if someone gives us hell, but everything has its charms.

As I have not slept for the last two days because of people phoning from all over the world, I'll try and go get some sleep because we have organised football on the parking place in front of the building, for the people here are not going to work, more or less. It's supposed to be a declared state of war.

Lots of love from the Jeremic family

If you need your parents to be called and bugged, just say so for my phone is not working anyway. Just kidding. I usually go to people whose numbers start with a 6 or 3, these are modern switchboards, which usually function regardless of the increasing number of users.

I will stop here, for I have another 14 messages to look at and answer, but not really have to send off. You like CNN better anyway. You can reach us but we are not allowed out especially at the time of bombings when the local population is experiencing a catharsis masturbating over the phone while one can hear explosions outside."

from: Mirko S.Mandrino, Miroslav Samardzic, human rights and peace activists, Pancevo, Zrenjanin. (Vojvodina)

A call for cease of NATO attacks

For almost ten years now, peace activists in Vojvodina have been fighting with courage and determination against war, violence, militarism, hate, schouvinism, and for tolerance, understanding and human rights. During wars lead in former Yugoslavia we have bitterly opposed the bombing of Vukovar, Sarajevo and other cities in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Since the escalation of Kosovo crisis we are putting our efforts info peaceful conflict resolution and respect for human rights of Albanians and all other inhabitants of Kosovo.

We energically oppose NATO air strikes against Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We can not believe that statesmen and politicians which decide on world's future aren't able to come up with another solution for political violence other than violence.

Bombs and missiles don't bring peace. They bring death, destruction and wish for retaliation.

We demand that bombing of FRY stops immediately, that opposing sides in Kosovo conflict immediately stop with all their activities, give up violence and negotiate about lastable and just solution of Serbian-Albanian conflict. We are happy because our friends, western pacifists, support our views. Today it is much more difficult than ever to persuade citizens of Serbia that cooperation, mutual respect, tolerance and compromise among people are possible NATO bombers have irrecoverably damaged all our pacifist activities.

from: natasa, women in black, belgrade are some thoughts, observation and feelings that are totally personal, of course...

So in Belgrade Women's centre has organised crisis centre, where during the day call women from all over country and give support and talk with women from NGO's...they are very consistent so they manage to get even some contact in phones don't work anymore because something on Kopaonik was hit...tonight they spoke with Igbalu who sounded OK and told that today one part of people succeed to flee from Kosovo, which is good balance considering all other news which state that last couple of days they killed all politicians, journalists, intellectuals... also paramilitaries have tactics door to door taking all male family members which then disappear, and if they don't want to go they g3et executed right away... in shops which are run by Serbs they ask for ID card if you want to buy something, in buses that go from Pristina only Serbs are allowed... today I succeed to talk to Nora in Ohrid, she said that her parents left Pristina but she doesn't know if they arrived to Macedonia... In Belgrade, Incest trauma centre organised shelter for children who are refugees se don't have anymore to be with... Everyone from women's peace and human rights organisations are trying to keep contacts with Pristina and they watch foreign channels news... also we try to find them on Internet, which for now works without, from the moment I arrived in country three days ago, seems like three weeks, this city became quiet, few people on streets and fear is in the air...OK further, I was on the rock concert yesterday which was organised by city government (opposition), there was around 1000 people, aside from nationalism )every possible serbian sign), vandalism (burning out american flag) and sexism ("we will fuck you Chelsie"), I think those are some new, different and unknown, at least to me, people which gather... I mean, I was with a friend and we both live in this city, we didn't meet anyone we it was concert with Arkan who it seam that I have big luck in life, because yesterday and today I met Seselj in the centre of city, yesterday he was with his dear friend Tomo "grave-digger" and 1 gorilla, and today he had whole group of people around him...that light, self -sufficiency, pride and vainglory that rise from him are indescribable... I tried to see how I feel, first day I looked at his eyes with disgust, today I couldn't even look at him... all those bombings doesn't bother me so much because I see the problem of it in smaller terms than Kosovo problem... sirens are that what gets to me, especially because from start of this concerts at noon, sirens go on before the concert and last for a whole day, but nothing is happening, so they manipulate whenever they can and with whatever they have, in order to produce the effect - they are bombing us but we don't give the fuck... I have some anger which doesn't apply to this what is happening right now because I see it in short terms, but at the moment when all of this will finish, considering all this homogenisation, Milosevic became king for life, not just president... Kosovo will, with large amount of victims, get international protectorate or state, but Serbia will be in shits for next 30 years... that is what pisses me off and what I can not deal with... talking to other activists these days I realised that some of them are frustrated that whole their work, life project, whole peace orientation is falling apart... I don't feel like that yet, but this anger in relation to future days doesn't leave me... because this is country with 2-5% of people with high level of education and 30-40% of people who are brainwash lasted for 10 years, war was always in the air and it was never materialised, and if for most of the people stays just this relatively short bombing experience with shelters and military targets, it won't get to the bottom... when we speak about responsibility of citizens, first this is not citizens' state, because that term I use for aware population that is responsible first to itself and then to the everything else in their lives and to expect that because of wars, killings, hunger and poverty someone would stand up it is utopia...

In some parts of Belgrade, there is no bread, which is also manipulation because there is enough production, but it is another way of producing panics, only thing which is really missing are cigarettes. Way to help aside of writing appeals and protest letters is to write and call people you are already in contact with...that kind of support is important and not totally faked because those are people you care shooed write and call when you feel good, when you are it won't lead to paradox situation that happen when someone from Belgrade or Pristina needs to confort you on the phone...

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