If you tolerate this your children will be next

Letter from a Belgrade communist.

When you find out that you got a cancer the first few days you're shocked, you lose all your optimism and life energy. But as the time passes by you simply learn how to live with it. It's the same down here, the first few days I was running to the shelter every 5 minutes.

The sirens are heard while I'm composing this letter (in my neighborhood sirens are heard so loud that they break your ears--this is specially stressful for the little kids -many of them have panic attacks and stopped eating), but I'm not in a hurry.

It's not that the situation is getting any better, on the contrary --they (NATO) hit a target downtown which was just 20 meters away from the maternity hospital. Yesterday they hit a bridge at 20:00 PM. while people and cars were still crossing it. Plus there are proofs that NATO is using "cassete bombs"--forbidden by the Geneva convention. So much about the legacy of "moral" and "humanism" in the "democratic" western societies.

Some people spend up to 12 hours underground. My shelter looks like a big empty warehouse. People stick together in groups (families, school kids, teenagers, WW2 veterans). School kids usually play, teenagers stick to their WalkMans, older people play cards and talk about the "good old days." The pre-school kids are the ones most deeply hit by these horrible attacks, this will lave permanent scars on their mental health.

Older people handle this situation pretty well. They carried the revolution, threw the Nazis out of our country and experienced many situations much harder than this one during the WW2 occupation. These people are hard-core survivalists. My grandmother (former partisan fighter) for example sleeps with a pistol under her pillow and has a bomb within handreach! When I asked her why is she doing that, because you can't shoot no B-52 with a pistol, she was like: "I have to be prepared if these fascists decide to come down and start to fight like men."

When important news breaks people who have radio receivers turn up the volume and everyone in the shelter gathers round to hear what's going on. The sense of unity and cooperation is stronger then ever: neighbors whose relations were not so good are talking to each other again and I catch myself exchanging my emotions with the people who I barely even know.

We don't lack basic groceries, except for cigarettes. Radio is killing us with tons of patriotic songs, and TV is showing movies which reveal the crookedness of Washington's oligarchy : JFK, Wag the Dog, documentaries about the war in VietNam. . . . .

As I said before the attacks are getting "dirtier" every day. It looks like the imperialist beast has lost its temper, the number of civilian targets being destroyed is increasing: schools, buildings, hospitals, they even damaged the medieval monastery.

People (especially the youth) are on the main square every day where they raise their voice against the aggression. All the citizens wear little symbolic targets attached to their clothes and many are willingly protecting the bridge which connects old and new part of Belgrade with their own bodies as the "human shield." Many workers practice the same tactic, defending their factories. I saw a great poster today, it says: "The Only Thing Which Is Invisible Are Your Brains" (alluding on the "invisible" F-117 Stealth plane).

Anger is slowly becoming the dominant emotion in young peoples' hearts. Unfortunately there is no healthy (read--not revisionist) left-oriented force to channel this anger in the right direction, instead these people become blinded with nationalism and hate. Today at the demonstrations the leaflets from the Monarchist movement were handled out. These reactionaries are cunningly taking advantage of these hectic times and spreading their propaganda among our youth,

You see why it's essential to have and patiently nurse a strong and united workers movement in every country? If such thing existed here we could use this crucial moment and start a fight against the imperialist invader and the domestic oppressor and win our ultimate freedom. Once again working people from all around the world can see the ugly face of Washington's imperialism.

There is no such thing as morality in the face of profit. People who read this must realize that the thing like this can happen anyplace at anytime wherever there are "American interests." It's more then obvious how weak and pathetic the United Nations have become.

That's why I must send a desperate "wake up" call for all the working people to stand up and oppose this vicious attack on my country. Help that we get from the people who live in the "belly of the beast" is essential, remember how the people of VietNam had your support? Get some of that sixties spirit back and fight.

This is the dawn of the NEW WORLD ORDER in practice. Just as the working people stood united against fascism, nowadays we have to fight this money-hungry imperialist beast wrapped up in the disguise paper of "consumer society," "free market" and freedom.


Over and out

Warm revolutionary greetings from Belgrade,


(Reprinted from Seeing Red magazine)