Protest rally on the 5th anniversary of the NATO war on Yugoslavia in Vienna, Austria
On March 24, 2004, the fifth anniversary of the NATO aggression on Yugoslavia, about 250 people, many of them with Serb origin, gathered in the centre of Vienna, Austria, despite the pouring rain. They did not only commemorate the attack but also testified to continue the struggle against the imperialist occupation of parts of former Yugoslavia. The Serb embassy, still controlled by the former imperialist puppet regime of DOS in Belgrade. called for the boycott of the rally – as this clique around Djindjic, deceased, has always served as an instrument of NATO even supporting the bombardments.
Stop the ongoing expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo!
NATO and EU responsible for anti-Serb pogroms!
The fresh attacks on the Serbs who remained in Kosovo show that the Albanian nationalists hold on to their goal, a goal that is unfortunately shared by the majority of Albanians: the total expulsion of all Serbs! Any Serb claim on Kosovo should be eradicated. This implies the destruction of all Serb cultural monuments including the historic churches.
The recent pogroms around the fifth anniversary of the NATO aggression and of the expulsion of hundred thousands of non-Albanians represents, however, only a small portion of the systematic terror which has been inflicted on the remaining Serbs for the last five years. Thousands have been killed, have remained missing or have been chased away. They are forced to entrench themselves in their houses deprived of the right of self-defence. Work on fields is a dangerous exposure to their persecutors. Their houses as well as their churches are set on fire and destroyed. Even for shopping they have to demand armed escort from the NATO occupants. All that hardship has a clear aim – make live impossible and thus make the Serbs leave.
NATO and EU shed crocodile tears that the estranged peoples in Kosovo are unable to build a "multi-ethnic society". But it was the very West who strived by all means to destroy the historic-concrete attempt to unify the people of the Balkans, namely Yugoslavia. By smashing Yugoslavia the already complicated co-existence of intertwined peoples was rendered impossible. For the national conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo NATO and EU bear the prime responsibility as it was them to press for separation.
Today the colonial protectors boast that they take the persecuted Serbs under their wings – what a mockery! For the fact that about one million of them where expelled the Serbs now should even be grateful to their butcher.
In the second line, however, the nationalists allied to the West including the Albanian one can not be acquitted. This is not even changed by the fact that the Albanian nationalist have served their duty for the West and are now put by their patron in their place.
After the aggressions on Afghanistan and Iraq many will have grasp the geo-political background of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia and Serbia obscure to them before. Already five years ago it was all about the establishment of the American Empire – with the only difference that the EU was still fully supportive. But as we take side with Yugoslavia and Serbia against imperialism, we nevertheless denounce all chauvinist atrocities no matter by whom they have been perpetrated.
Instead of chauvinist excesses in order to provide a cheap valve, real steps of independence against the imperial dictate are required. The arsonists who set the mosques of Nis and Belgrade on fire must be called to account. The mosques must be immediately rebuilt and reconciliation must be sought – in the same way as the Serbs must return to Kosovo and the churches must be rebuilt.
Yugoslavia was the first really modern multi-national state in the world. Serbia succeed to continue this tradition – even if somewhat damaged – and remained the only multi-national state of the Balkans. We must defend at all costs this tradition of tolerance.
Speaking in historic terms peaceful co-existence of the nationalities of Kosovo is only possible if both the Serb as well as the Albanian claims are met. Thus, the solution is a bi-national entity within the framework of a new, democratic and anti-imperialist federation of the Balkans outside and against the European Union.
This must be the historic offer of reconciliation of the Serb nation to the Albanian one. But as long as the Albanian nationalists stick to their exclusive claim on Kosovo and know the majority of their people behind them, the struggle of the Serbs cannot only be for the right to return but also for the restitution of Serb sovereignty over Kosovo as stipulated by international law. Under the given conditions this orientation seems the only way to advance towards independence and self-determination against the West.
NATO and EU out of Kosovo, Bosnia and the entire Balkans!
Yugoslav Austrian Solidarity Movement
Vienna, March 21, 2004