Our section in France received this statement from the anarcho-syndicalist CNT-AIT in Toulouse. We entirely agree with these comrades that this is an attempt by the state to intimidate militants and the working class in general. The contrast between the severity of the punishment called for and the complicit silence over war criminals like Karadic and Maladic ever since the war in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the state's accusations of ‘terrorism' are completely hypocritical. We want to convey our full solidarity to the imprisoned militants and their families, and we encourage our readers to distribute the CNT-AIT's declaration as widely as possible.
Message from CNT-AIT Toulouse
You will certainly be aware that Serbian anarcho-syndicalist militants, including the current secretary of the AIT (International Workers Association), are being held in prison in Belgrade. The charge against them is ‘terrorism'. At the moment we do not know how far they will take this. The accusation is based on allegations about very minor material damage carried out by an anarchist group against the Greek embassy in Belgrade in solidarity with a Greek comrade who is still in prison. The accused deny these facts but are facing 3 to 15 years in prison. This disproportion between the alleged facts and the potential sentence makes us think that the Serbian power wants to muzzle our comrades whose militant activity visibly embarrasses them.
We ask you to distribute as widely as possible the communiqué by the ASI (the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative in Serbia).
Statement of Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative on Arrests of their Members
On September, 4th 2009 District Court in Belgrade decided that arrested members of ASI will be held for thirty days in detention. Our comrades are accused of an act of international terrorism.
Union Confederation "Anarcho-syndicalist Initiative" found out about the attack on Greek embassy, and of the organisation that took the responsibility for this act, through media.
We use this opportunity to remind the public once again that these methods of individual political struggle are not methods of anarcho-syndicalism, quite the contrary - we proclaim our political positions publicly and through our work we seek to bring masses to the syndicalist movement and all the libertarian and progressive organisations.
Wanting to brutally suppress its fierce critics the state, through its mechanism of repression, acts with banal logic and maps as suspects those who explicitly stated their libertarian beliefs, and by their imprisonment ends the case and gives a false picture of its efficiency to the public.
Unscrupulous actions of regime's organs can be observed from the first moments of arrest, unlawful searches of their apartments, intimidations of their families to extreme charges of international terrorism.
Given the fact that we do not support the acts of now famous anarchist group "Crni Ilija" (Black Iliya) we still cannot characterise what happened as "international terrorism", because terrorism, by definition, entails threats to the lives of civilians, whereas in this case no one was even hurt and only symbolic material damage was done.
It is clear that this state produced farce is just one way of intimidating anyone who decides to point out the injustice and hopelessness of contemporary society.
In times of general social numbness individuals reach for the most unbelievable, sometimes even self-destructive, actions in order to break through the media blockade and to put their case in the centre of attention - let us remember the workers who cut off and eat their own fingers, or, for example, the unlucky, distressed man who threatened to activate a hand grenade in the building of the Presidency of Serbia - that is, trying to shed some light on their problems in a broader social space.
Lets not allow them to persuade us that one symbolic act of solidarity, even if expressed in a certainly ill manner, together with any other act of rebellion of those who are left with no rights should be treated as an antisocial act and an act of terrorism.
We express solidarity with the arrested comrades and their families and demand the truth about this case!
FREEDOM FOR ANARCHO-SYNDICALISTS!
Sept. 5, 2009