Interview on strikes and other resistance in Yugoslavia

Borba100 at Borba100 at
Thu Mar 8 08:26:47 MST 2001

In a message dated 03/08/2001 3:48:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
mstainsby at writes:

<<  Actually the SPS is involved in strikes all over Serbia.  I was told
 > yesterday: "At present the people see mainly their own imemdiate needs and
 > there are not sufficient connections between struggles and these strikes
 > other actions are not political in a conscious sense."
 > Jared
 Who are you quoting here? That would seem encouraging.

Dear MacDonald,
FYI, here is the exact transcript of my conversation with Vladimir Krsljanin
which a short while ago. Mr. Krsljanin (pronounced Kershlyanin) is in charge
of relations with foreign groups and media for the SPS.  Following the
transcript of my brief interview with him, I have reposted a statement he
already posted on the internet, which I urge people to read.  If you or your
group has not sent a statement of support to the SPS, which is refusing to
buckle despite vilification and terror, I urge you to do so - it means very
much to people in these conditions to know that folks in other countries,
especially in Western countries, have not deserted them. Youy can send
statements of support to vlada at

You will notice that Mr. Krsljanin describes a struggle over privitization
that is the reverse of what one would expect if one were trying to "figure it
out" from ThEORY with no knowledge of those often uncooperative practical
details.  It is DOS, at the behest of Western interests, which wants
everything nationalized - so that they can then sell it off, just as the
South Korean banks were recently nationalized and then given away (for
nothing) to a consortium of Western vultures, including, by the way, Senator
Diane Feinstein's husband.  It is SPS which is organizing a mass movement of
workers and pensioners to demand their right under existing Yugoslav law:
that they get shares in businesses where they have worked.

Here is the interview with Krsljanin:
Jared Israel: I just wrote that strikes are going on all over Serbia and
someone asked "who are you quoting" so may I turn on the tape recorder and
quote you?

Vladimir Krsljanin: Absolutely. And yes, there are strikes now all over. The
biggest at the moment: Yesterday two of the main trade unions, one which is
the majority trade union and which was before associated with the SPS, which
is now more or less independent, and another so-called independent trade
union which was close to DOS originally, are together organizing a general
strike in primary and high schools (medium schools) of teachers.  Their
negotiations with the government according to the statements of people from
the unions the government did not show responsibility in these talks.  They
offered increased of salaries of only 10%, whereas the unions are demanding

Jared Israel: There has been a great deal of inflation in prices of food.

Krsljanin: Absolutely.  The cost of basic necessities has doubled in the last
few months.

The biggest struggle that has gone on, which is continuing, is around
privatization.  We have started successfully the process of privatization in
which socially owned businesses are transformed to again socially owned
businesses but based on shares distributed to actual and retired employees of
the companies. This is their right under the law, which DOS wishes to change.

Israel: The privitization is to prevent these businesses from being sold to
parasites from foreign parasite companies that want to seize them, strip them
and close them.

Krsljanin:  Absolutely, absolutely.  The intention of the government is to
stop that process, to reverse it and to transform all the property into state
property and then authorize the government itself to decide in each
particular case which company can be sold to which foreign company, which is
total you know dictatorship in matters of selling the county's economy.

Israel: How politically aware are people involved in these struggles?

Krsljanin: Everything in our country is political, not only recently.  The
truth is all these strikes all over the country are not yet coordinated in
one anti-governmental movement but I think it is only a matter of time when
that will happen.

--Here is Mr. Krsljanin's appeal for support:

I am quoting a conversation with from the SPS.   But Subj:   [L-I] APPEAL FOR
Date:   03/06/2001 8:26:47 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:   vlada at (Vladimir Krsljanin)
Sender: leninist-international-admin at
Reply-to:   leninist-international at
To: vlada at (vk)



Ever since the federal elections of September 24, setting ablaze of the
Federal Assembly and the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation building and the
putsch that took place on 5th October, after the republican and local
elections of December 23, 2000, Socialist Party of Serbia is facing organized
campaign of the new DOS authorities to eliminate it from the political scene,
while in the country, under the guise of democracy, Europeisation and rule of
law, normal political life would be blocked. Atmosphere of fear, staged court
trials and persecution of persons of different political opinion, especially
members of the SPS, is spreading over Serbia.

A campaign, into which almost all the media, now controlled by the current
regime are included, is for last few weeks mostly directed against president
of the Socialist Party of Serbia and up-to-recently President of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. Aim of this campaign is to brake
up the Socialist Party of Serbia and to move the country from the path of
free and independent development.

Incompetent DOS authorities are not ready to solve economic and social
problems growing ever deeper, not able to wipe out Albanian terrorism and to
protect sovereignty and integrity of the country. By the campaign of
intimidation, lynching and persecution against Slobodan Milosevic and other
prominent members of the SPS they are attempting to hide their responsibility
for catastrophic deterioration of social, economic and security situation in
the country.

So-called "crisis committees", under the DOS control, by violent means took
over and are still taking over leading positions in the economy,
administration, education, health care. Along with threats and blackmail mass
dismissals of experts and competent persons are carried out.

In several municipalities where SPS won local elections (Bosilegrad,
Batocina, Kladovo, Ub, Dimitrovgrad, Bela Palanka) DOS is usurping local
self-rule, by crude force and in a bandit's manner. SPS leaders and militants
all over Serbia are subjected to violence and intimidation. House of the
chairman of the County Committee of the SPS in Leskovac was burned down, an
explosive device was thrown at the offices of SPS in Nis. Town councilors
from SPS in Vranje were held locked in the Municipal Assembly Hall for six

Ministers in the DOS government are taking active part in the campaign.
Atmosphere of the public lynching of the SPS members is imposed.
Constitution, laws, moral norms, human rights and rights of the citizens are
drastically violated by the "revolutionary justice" of the "new democratic

Socialist Party of Serbia, as the strongest opposition party (44 deputies in
the Federal and 37 deputies in the Republican parliaments respectively) is
resolutely confronting such situation and practices. After its Fifth
Extraordinary Congress, SPS strengthened its unity, reaffirmed its
progressive, democratic political attitudes in the new conditions. Citizens
are defending dignity of the nation and the state, freedom and human rights
by democratic means. There are daily protests and strikes, requests for
release of the victims of staged political trials and calls for
responsibility of DOS authorities for economy going down-hill,
impoverishment, abnormal growth of unemployment and endangering national and
state survival of Yugoslavia and Serbia. Daily, 24-hours people's watch is
held in front of the home of the SPS president Slobodan Milosevic.

Socialist Party of Serbia calls upon friendly parties, movements,
non-governmental organizations and individuals in the Balkans, in Europe and
in the world:

- to request an end to the campaign of public lynching against President
Slobodan Milosevic, leadership and members of SPS;

- to condemn most decisively unlawful, pogrom-like behavior of the ruling
regime that represents flagrant abuse of democracy and a disallowed violation
of basic human and political rights;

- to condemn media gloom in Serbia;

- to request dissolution of the Hague Tribunal as an ad hoc political
institution that has no legal grounds, that is under NATO control and used
for persecution of Serbs;

- to support Yugoslavia's legal suit against NATO officials and persons from
governments of NATO-member countries for crimes at the Balkans, as well as
the claim for compensation of the war damages.

SPS is thankful for the expressions of support in confronting external and
internal pressures and in the defense of the principles of freedom, dignity,
human and political rights received so far.

SPS shall highly appreciate all the messages of solidarity with the efforts
to stop the current campaign against SPS, as the largest opposition party and
its President Slobodan Milosevic and for provision of conditions for normal
conduct of the political life in Serbia, as a precondition of real democracy
and continued development.

Belgrade, March 7, 2001

To join or help this struggle, visit: (official SPS website) (forum for the world of equals) (the only free daily newspaper in Yugoslavia)

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