The Donkey on Fri, 1 Oct 1999 19:28:53 -0400


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Syndicate: Independence, plums and drums.


Ok, Honor, you are right about the rest, but this

>that is patently ridiculous.  B92 were one of the most >outspoken critics of NATO policy during the war ... 

Hardly. They were free to criticise whenever that would change nothing in the overall situation. They had to write it like they are assuming US/EU governments had good intentions in the whole story. 
Their right to criticise in such fashion was policy as well as was their right to publish everything about the NATO strikes which was already common knowledge and therefore not endangering. 
Newspapers like Glas Javnosti or Blic were allowed to insult NATO and it's leaders all they wanted, if they wanted, and still get funding. They were not allowed to give real information. Nobody published what Uranium depleated weapons were, though eveyone published they were used. Nobody published the UN commision "forgot" to test for Alpha radiation, when they declared the radiation levels in Belgrade bearable. Nobody published a lot of things. 
The "opposition parties" in Serbia exist to prevent an actual change in power and to restrain a possible revolution, 
The "independent media" give people some information and deny them the linx that would allow understanding. "The independent media" are there so that people would rely upon them and are silent when told to be, by their funders. In that sense, their function is paradoxically, to prevent actual communication. 
I can hardly blame it on them, but they are aware of their function and they collaborate in this system.
The "NGO scene" is made up mostly of corrupt slimeballs who claim to care about others and simulate activity.
Hence the "antiwar demonstrations" announced a day before and journalists told not to publish even then, so that only 50 people would show up, so they would be the only ones in the photos and get more money. 
Those who want money can work with one of these three structure types. Those who want change can be poor and faced with people who trust structures like "independent media", which seem to offer a good social alternative supported from the "boss of the world". 
They are made to think that the boss of the world can be persuaded not to want these wars and that the Dow Jones doesn't have some of it's biggest stock value rises, when the bombings of Yugoslavia or Iraq start... 
Simply, local leaders are shown as having pre-meditated bad intentions, unless they are with the world boss, and so untouchable for criticism. The world boss has good or undefined intentions. Therefore, when the Zajedno coalition plunders the municipalities that it got to run, thanks to yours truly spending a winter in the streets, with somewhat different motives (real social change), then there are a few headlines in the Blic about people thrown out of their Belgrade appartments by armed Zajedno goons and there is no discussion about it. That's all. 
"The US bombed Iraq today". End of story. No comment.
Repression against sqatters and political opposition in western countries is just not mentioned. There is no police beating the shit out of RTS street parties. 
Question: Did B92/B2-92 report at least about the J18 in London this year? I wasn't in Belgrade then.
I didn't say it would be better if "independent media" were not there, but, for heaven's sake, spare me from the word "independent". 
When I have absolutely no better infosource, I will read Der Standard/The Guardian and I will consider it much better than the Kronen Zeitung/The Sun, but I will not call it independent or a good newspaper. I will call it the best that I was allowed to have.

Now, some people have asked me before what could be positive solutions that would keep Yugoslavia more or less peaceful in the next few years. I can tell you only that while Alliance For Change is called opposition and B2-92 independent, nothing will change for the better. I am afraid that real positive change can come now in Belgrade, only from unexpected events.
If US/EU governments cut off funding for groups like the UCK or the Democratic Party, if they limit the possible funding given to one NGO, then the number of profiteurs would go down and it could become possible to work, for those who have the determination to continue inspite of THEIR OWN poverty and government repression. Then, there could be real possibility for a non-profit social alternative. 
Now, the "alternatives" are ways for personal salvation of a very limited number of individuals, from the hopelessness around them. Young intellectuals are bought off with jobs like B92, communication possibilities, travels and visas, while others are simply left to live off 50 DEM a month without the travels and conferences. Those who get jobs like B92 are expected to be quiet when told so, so they are prevented from influencing the history in key moments.
If these people didn't have B92, they would had been much more primitive, much less informed and much more active in changing the society. Does instinct make up for knowledge? Does determination make up for resources? I don't know. They need something better than B92, but it is the best thing for now (with Index). At least it allows partial salvation for some.

One news to cheer you up: Zoran Djindjic tried to go to Kaleniceva Pijaca, a market in Belgrade, a few days ago, to show himself as a man of the people. Journalists were informed in advance, just as they were informed in advance about the one time in this decade, when he drove for 40 minutes in a public transport bus.
(line 27 A) 
So, Zoran Djindjic went to Kaleniceva Pijaca and some peasants threw plums at him. :)))), which Blic forgot to publish, btw. 
Finally :)). His credit with the people has run out a while ago. The only thing keeping him strong is western money and support.

After being beaten on Wednesday, demonstrators were again beaten on Thursday in Belgrade. I have a personal story from an anarchist lad, from Wednesday.
All I know about yesterday is that it was at Brankov Most (Branko's bridge), but I should have more by tommorow. I also have info about the strike at "St. Sava gimnasium" (highschool in Belgrade) last week, from first hand. Class boycott, protest walks and blocking traffic has become traditional for many highschool students in Belgrade. 
Seems the school board of St. Sava tried to force students into paying for their schooling, like they were in a private highschool. (state education is officially free). It didn't work :))) Nobody could afford that, 'cept the children of the new burgeoisie.
I wonder what happens next.

Mihajlo


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