The Donkey on Thu, 30 Sep 1999 22:21:25 +0100

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Syndicate: reactions and cosequences

This is Mihajlo speaking. I received a reaction from Andrea Szekeres, the program director of C3 to one of my recent postings. It contains a valuable correction to some things I had posted on Syndicate. In other words, I was misinformed and I sent untrue information.
A copy of it is far below. Guess Gordan was partly right, although I am not sure if he was aware of it. He wrote that I had been writing non-sence for months. I don't think my posts about Vuk Draskovic, Alliance For Change, "Resistance leaders", Serbian Orthodox Church, League of Socialdemocrats of Vojvodina and some others have been untrue. In fact, I didn't get one serious negation from the LSV, who are on the list, to what I had said about them.
I was clumsy in those postings, but I was trying to point out to the corruption, greed and opportunism that move most people who present themselves as social alternatives in Serbia. Often, they are better (less bad) than Milosevic's gang, by just a shade. Sometimes they are even worse, which is truly an achievement, considering what Milosevic's people are like.
I had many illusions in some mails. 
During the war in Kosov@, I was quite convinced that the police and paramilitaries were slaughtering Albanians there, en masse. I only lost this belief when I heard about the official UN report going down to 11 000 people killed. I know it's a lot of dead people, but I expected a Kosov@ with almost no population.
Then I heard the official NATO report about 13 YuArmy tanks destroyed in the entire bombing. I realised that their bombing was not aimed at the Army at all. Later I analysed the bombing and came down to what I, again clumsily wrote.
 Maybe you remember that some of my first postings to Syndicate came during the bombing. I had heard many stories around Belgrade. I thought that if so many people said that "We" were slaughtering the Shquiptars, then it was probably true... I presumed it was far better that I spread some info that I was not quite sure of, than that nobody writes anything about the entire subject, so people again have to listen to lying media like CNN. 
If something I post is completely untrue, I often get a mail saying so, and I learn where I was wrong. This is very straining for me, especially emotionally, but why does no one else mail about some of these things?
Why has the public debate about Soros activities been mostly limited to propagandists of regimes like Milosevic's and to those who or whose projects are economically dependent on Soros? Why does a kid like me have to start the discussion about control of activism through funding, when it is a bloody burning issue for so many people and for understanding what is happening in Eastern Europe? I am hardly the most informed person here in some issues I had been posting about, but why are the informed ones silent? Having no better answer from anybody yet, I say this is because funding often means heavy control and it often forces people to self-censorship. What totally pisses me off is that some people accept this self-censorship as normal in private communication, sometimes even with friends.
This is a thing that I would like to see discussed.
  I know I choked many people, but would you really had prefered the discussion about Soros and control of media/activism to had been upheld by just Andrej Tisma and people with similar views? Would you had prefered that I didn't post those infos during the bombing, because most of them were not verified by reliable sources? 
I was as subtle as a rhino in a porcelan shop, and am ashame of that, but I am glad if I made someone there think if the "independent media" are really what they try to present themselves like, if "opposition" is truly better than the government and if it is truly against the government, or is it all just a game of untouchable powermongers, aimed to direct people's thinking away from the true problems...
The true problem in the Balkans is not just Milosevic. It is the way of thinking that treats hypocricy as something normal, that allows people to be silent, while others are dying, that makes people conform...
It's time now for Andrea's message:

On Sep.20 you wrote to Syndicate list:
"That was not long before the C3 in Budapest finally got free of Soros funding and almost immediately removed their director, who was also a Soros employee."
I don't want to get involved with your postings on the Syndicate list. But I must react to this statement of  yours personally to you. I don't know what you base this statement on, but it is simply not true. C3 is still part of the Hungarian Soros Foundation, just in the process of being registered as an independent public charity foundation, but also Soros Foundation will be one of the founders of our new institution, with  annually dicreasing funding for C3. The removal of the former director has nothing to do with anything like you would like to hint at. You completely misunderstood something you've heard somewhere.I am not writing this in order to defend any Soros project, just to call your attention to the fact that you should be careful that what you write  should be based on real, verifiable knowledge. If all your statements are based on misinterpretations or "mis-hearings" like this, don't be surprised about the reactions you get to your postings.
Andrea Szekeres
C3 program director

  My reply to him are a private appology that I already sent and this email.
  Ok, I have published a lot of misinformation on this list. I hope there wasn't more than what I already know about. Now, I am trying to get straight what of it was true, make some sence...
  Can somebody fwd me that ATTACK group reaction? I lost it and I think it deserves a serious translation. Anyway, the ATTACK didn't oppose what I said concerning them and they said that they would like to hear more opinions on the subject (does funding make activism controlled, where are does control start, etc.) 
  I also need all info you have about the recent mass arrests in Montreal and the highschool student actions there. I just heard some unconnected things on Organise.
  If anybody is interested in information about the Wednesday demo in Belgrade that faced massive police violence, I have an article from the Glas Javnosti newspaper and a personal story from an anarchist who was there. I can translate both to English. 
  I also have a very long story (an interview from Danas) about a man who was heavily beaten by Belgrade policemen, for participating in a pensioneers protest. I already translated that one. (buying myself out for the disinformation, I guess...)

Mihajlo Acimovic

Angelfire for your free web-based e-mail.
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