Bad Haircut E-Zine #13

goforth at igc.apc.org goforth at igc.apc.org
Sun Feb 25 18:54:33 MST 1996


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"In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be
imposed by force.  Rather, they must be instilled in the public
mind by more subtle means.  A totalitarian state can be satisfied
with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths.  It is
sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary
concern.  But in a democratic political order, there is always
the danger that independent thought might be translated into
political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at
its root."
            Noam Chomsky



                    BAD HAIRCUT E-Zine #13
                      February 25, 1996
                         Ray Goforth
                         Kim Goforth

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IN THIS ISSUE:

1) MILOSEVIC CLAMPS DOWN ON INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN (SERBIA)
   YUGOSLAVIA

2) CROATIAN NATIONALISTS CALL FOR MORE "ETHNIC CLEANSING," A BAN
   ON ABORTION & BIRTH CONTROL, AND GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR
   "ETHNICALLY PURE" FAMILIES.

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   Welcome to the latest issue of Bad Haircut.  The Noam Chomsky
quote is taken from "Necessary Illusions" published by South End
Press.  B.H. is an electronic magazine (e-zine) designed for free
distribution through the internet. Feel free to make copies and
share with friends (or enemies).
   Those wishing to be added to the subscription list (or
conversely, those who want off the list) should write to us at:
goforth at igc.apc.org

Some of our other projects:

Progressive Web Site:  http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/2915
Feminist Web Site:  http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/2995
Ray's Personal Site:  http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/2115

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February 16, 1996

MILOSEVIC CLAMPS DOWN ON INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN YUGOSLAVIA

AUTHORITIES SENT IN TO CLOSE DOWN ONLY REMAINING INDEPENDENT TV
STATION - NTV STUDIO B

On Thursday 15 February authorities overran Studio B. Following
the moves to ban opposition parties' participation in Parliament,
the take over signals a crack down on all democratic and
anti-government forces. Other remaining sources of independent
information (Vreme, NIN magazine, Radio B-92) may soon suffer the
same fate. The following is the text of a protest letter sent by
the General Secretary of the International Federation of
Journalists.

Readers are encouraged to send their own letters to:

Mr Lilic, President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
Fax: *38 111 603 245.


Protest letter from International Federation of Journalists
Brussels 15 February 1996

Dear Mr Lilic

   The International Federation of Journalists, the worlds
largest journalists' organization representing over 400,000
journalists worldwide, is disturbed by today's takeover of NTV
Studio B by the Municipal authorities of the City of Belgrade and
members of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia.
   According to our information, the Commercial Court has
annulled the registration of Studio B as a joint stock company.
As a result the municipal assembly has the founding rights of
the station and has appointed Ljubomir Milic, secretary of the
assembly, to the presidency of the managing board. The temporary
general director is Dragisa Kovacivic, who is also to
be temporary editor-in-chief; he previously ran a sports channel.
   The majority of the new management board are members of the
municipal assembly or the SPS, they are Predrag Petrovic, Goran
Vujacic, Mira Djurovic and Branka Dikanovic. The only remaining
members of the previous Studio B board are Dragan Kojadinovic,
Vesna Vojvodic and Dimitrije Sladic.
   As we understand it, news broadcasts from Studio B have been
suspended and journalists have been prevented from commenting on
the takeover.
   It is clear, from the nominees to the new board, and the
manner in which this change has been undertaken, that the
municipal assembly and the SPS are concerting their efforts in
order to silence the only independent television station in the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
   This is an attack on freedom of expression, it contravenes the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention
for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and
Resolution Nr R4-0508/94 of the European Parliament on
independent media in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
   We urge you to ensure that the independent managing board of
Studio B is reinstated and that the free flow of independent
information is restored in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Aidan White (General Secretary)

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CROATIAN NATIONALISTS CALL FOR MORE "ETHNIC CLEANSING," A BAN
ON ABORTION & BIRTH CONTROL, AND GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR
"ETHNICALLY PURE" FAMILIES.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN CROATIA: SHORT HISTORY OF THE CAMPAIGN
On 7th February 1996 Women's Human Rights group B.A.B.E. in
Croatia launched an appeal to the international community to
help keep women's right to abortion and access to contraceptives
legal. These are currently questioned by the governmental Program
for Demographic Development supported by extreme right-wing
parties, Catholic church and the government itself.

CURRENT SITUATION:
According to existing law (dated from 1978) abortion in
Croatia is available on request. However, women are exposed to
heavy pressure from pro-life campaigns in media, pro-life
posters are in most of state gynecological wards. Doctors are
allowed to refuse to perform abortions on the ground of
conscience objection. Women in such cases have to resort to
private practice where the same operation costs them more than
300DM (THIS IS AN AVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY IN CROATIA). Some
doctors now refuse to operate in hospitals on "conscientious
grounds" but do the operations for high prices in private
practice.
   Attempt to criminalize abortion in Croatia was made in 1993.
The protests of liberal press, women's groups, and, above all,
international pressure succeeded in removing the threat.
Women's groups from Croatia appeal to international women's
community once again for support.
   The current crisis is the result of a convergence of
governmental, religious, and nationalist forces in the country.
The loose Croatian nationalist coalition is advocating a ban on
abortion and birth control, deportation of non-Croats, government
subsidization of "ethnically pure" births, censorship of
magazines
that "poison Croatian youth," and some measure of political
disenfranchisement for those who don't comply with the
nationalist program.

The present "Program for Demographic Development" passed by the
Croatian Parliament suggests the following:

1. The huge and general threat of extinction of the Croatian
nation due to a higher death rate than birth rate, as well as
emigration, is momentarily, according to the Program, among one
of the biggest problems of the whole nation and state.

2. The reasons for this are historical, political and social
circumstances which were created during the last centuries of
"anti-Croatian" policy, especially during the forty-five years of
the former ("Communist") Yugoslavia's rule of which aim was to
"eradicate the Croatian nation". Due to the fact that the
political system is now changed, and ,"despite Great Serbia's
aggression" Croats finally have their own state, so the right
time for change in the population policy has come. Finally, the
time to stop the "national hemorrhage" has come.

Demographic policy, e.g. demographic development is focusing on
two main points:

1. Increasing the national birth rate, described as "demographic
renewal of Croatian people and family", and,

2. "purposeful replacement of the population", "planned
displacement of immigrants" and "selective immigration". Such a
replacement of people includes the use of "legitimate means that
Croatian state has on its disposition, like any other state". The
project openly states that "redistributive population policy is
in function of political and military circumstances"

Some of the proposed measures that were ratified by the Croatian
Parliament and which will be incorporated in different laws are:

- Immigration of Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina should be
stopped, as it is of "national strategic interest" that Croats
stay in Bosnia. If this is impossible (and it is), the immigrants
should be directed in organized ways to under-populated and
ethnically cleansed territories (e.g. the territories that the
Serb population left during the four years of war.)
   The number of Serbs who left is estimated to be between
300.000 and 600.000 people. Only in the last Croatian military
operation in Krajina in the Summer of 1995 approximately 200.000
people fled in a few days.  All the regions formerly inhabited by
Serbs are in the Program called "regions of strategic importance"
for the Croatian state.

- Immigration from countries of former Yugoslavia should be
regulated by (ethnic) quotas.

- Demographic renewal of the nation (increasing the birth rate)
should be backed-up and followed by a "positive spiritual
atmosphere" which will be created through "protection of the
family as a basic society unit" which is the "headquarter of the
renewal of nation and state",  through "speech and behavior of
public persons who will incorporate respect towards life from
conception until natural death, as well as respect towards women,
marriage and family". "The beauty of family life should be
promoted through mass- media".
   In general, the Program does not define the status of women in
any other way than being reproductive vehicles for new Croats. It
foresees "positive measures for the population policy" such as
privileges for families with three or more children (prolonged
paid maternity leave - three years for third and any additional
child, tax reduction, child support, professional status with
salary, health- and social-security for parents with three or
more children, etc).
   One of the Program's conclusions says: The massive immigration
of demographically stronger peoples to Croatia has already
started. This could by the end of 21st century lead to the Croats
becoming a minority in their own country.
   Although women's groups could support social security measures
for families and women with many children, the existing practice
shows that so far the Croatian state does not fulfill obligations
already guaranteed by the existing laws - child support,
prolonged maternity leave for women, or by the Labour act which
was effective of January 1996 which recognizes women with four or
more children with a paid status as a "Mother Educator".
Participants in public discussions have stressed that the state
budget for 1996 cannot cover the expenses for such a population
policy, neither will the future Croatian economy.
   Women's groups consider the National Program for Demographic
Development, and new laws which support its policy as purely a
political and ideological campaign being exclusively ethnically
oriented and fundamentally anti-woman as it announces a policy
which will exclude women from labour and the public world and
return them into the traditional roles of mothers and spouses in
kitchen, family and church..

APPEAL

   We call upon all women and international and national human
rights organizations to fight for women's reproductive rights,
women's human rights and their right to self determination.
   We call upon all women to lobby relevant institutions to void
the Program for Demographic Development and to keep abortion in
Croatia safe and legal.


    *************** *** PETITION *** ****************


To:
Mr Franjo Tudjman, President of Croatia   fax: +385 1 44 30 75
Croatian Government                       fax: +385 1 27 70 82
President of the Croatian Parliament      fax: +385 1 44 35 22
The Croatian Parliament
(Human Rights Committee)                  fax: +385 1 44 36 66
SDP (Social Democratic Party)             fax: +385 1 45 528 42
HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union)           fax: +385 1 45 526 00



SUPPORT TO CROATIAN WOMEN'S RIGHT TO LEGAL AND SAFE ABORTION


Dear Sir/Madam

   We wish to express our deep concern over the latest
infringements of women's human rights in Croatia. The news
that in this century women's rights to safe and free abortion
could be contested are indeed disturbing.
   The Platform for Action, adopted at the United Nations Fourth
World Conference on Women in Beijing as elementary document
for women's advancement in countries around the world, states
that each year 100,000 women die from unsafe abortions due to
lack of access to contraceptives and legal, safe termination
of pregnancy.
   The Program for Demographic Development which is currently
discussed in Croatia offers nothing that the world has not
seen before: often with catastrophic consequences. Whenever
women have been denied the right to safe and legal abortion,
the only demographic change that happened was an increase in
women's mortality. NATIONAL BIRTH RATE HAS NEVER RAISED AS
RESULT OF PROHIBITION OF ABORTION OR CONTRACEPTIVES. The
example of Romania during Communist time tells it all.
   We feel that nothing can justify infringement of basic human
rights. Interests of state or nation cannot be placed above
lives and health of women. Croatian women have the same basic
human rights as women of the world. We are willing to support
them in their struggle to keep those rights.

Therefore we urge:

       Mr Franjo Tudjman, President of Croatia;
       members of Croatian government;
       President of the Croatian Parliament;
       members of Human Rights Committee of Croatian
       Parliament; members of Social Democratic Party
       and members of Croatian Democratic Union

to do all that is in their power to keep basic women's rights
to safe abortion and access to contraceptives legal.

                                             With respect
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MORE INFORMATION CAN BE OBTAINED FROM:

B.A.B.E. Women's Human Rights Group in Zagreb:
Catherine Magelssen, Vesna Kesic tel/fax: +385 1 419 302,
e-mail: BABE-ZG at ZAMIR-ZG.ztn.apc.org
OR to the contact address in Amsterdam :
Young Women & Democracy programme
Louise Grogan, Ivana Balen
tel/fax         +31 2 692 58 13
tel             +31 2 663 31 19
e-mail          ywd at antenna.nl
                ivana at ywd.antenna.nl
                louise at ywd.antenna.nl


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For those who have inquired:  We (Kim and Ray Goforth) spent
several years doing progressive political organizing work in
southern California.  We moved to Seattle, Washington, USA in
1988 where we took positions with different social service
agencies. In 1995, we both completed undergraduate degrees in
political-economy.  We are currently law students.  Kim's area of
interest is women's and children's advocacy.  Ray's is
sustainable development and human rights.

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