Serbia

On 27 November, protests broke out against amendments to the Referendum Law – eliminating the need for a 50 percent turnout of adult citizens to ensure the validity of the referendum – as well as against the Expropriation Law – making it easier for the state to expropriate the private property of ordinary working class people. All this is being declared as “in the public interest” – by which, of course, are meant the interests of big business.

Weeks after declaring a landslide electoral victory, the regime of Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party is facing growing dissatisfaction and civil unrest. There are many legitimate reasons for the unrest. Most people are angry over the criminal mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis, and deeply concerned about the looming economic disaster. Up to 300,000 workers are expected to lose their jobs this autumn. However, the protests erupting all over the country are mostly amorphous, relatively small in size and without clear demands. This makes them easy pickings for right wing provocateurs and an unprecedented campaign of police brutality and state

...

Several organisations, including the Yugoslav IMT Marxist Organisation ‘Reds’, have mobilised together in a united front as the ‘Left Bloc’ for several weeks as part of mass protests in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Zrenjanin. The Bloc put forward social demands in the demonstrations, instead of the merely civil and democratic demands presented by the organisers from the opposition.

The break up of the former Yugoslav federation has been a disaster for all its peoples. There is nothing progressive about it whatsoever. In all the states that have been created from the break up, reactionary governments have come to power. Tudjman in Croatia and Milosevic in Serbia do not defend the interests of the Croat or the Serb workers. The same is true of Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia.

The press in the West have been highlighting the opposition movement that has been developing in Serbia. They have been announcing the imminent fall of Milosevic ever since the ending of NATO's bombing campaign. Thus on 4th August The Guardian published an article under the headline 'Campaign to oust Milosevic gathers pace'. The television reporting has been particularly insisting on this angle. But when one looks at the real situation on the ground one gets a completely different picture.