22nd May: The Serbian Spring – eye-witness report

meeting with Anja Ilic, socialist from Belgrade

7pm in Die LINKE offices Neukölln, Wipperstraße 6 (S-,U-Bahn Neukölln)

Something exciting is happening in Serbia. On April 8, 80,000 people demonstrated in cities throughout the country. These are the biggest protests in Serbia since those that toppled president Slobodan Milosovic in 2000.

What started as a movement against electoral fraud is generalising its demands. As well as demanding free and fair elections, protesters are also calling for freedom of the media, an end to privatisation, and fully publicly funded education and health. An important demand is a change to the austerity measures imposed by the IMF.

A young and inexperienced movement is learning through experience how to coordinate activists in different cities with a diverse range of political opinions. They have already fought back against far right attempts to hijack the protests and are now trying to formulate a common programme of action.

What is happening in Serbia and why is it happening now? How are the Serbian protests for democracy and against austerity connected to similar movements in the West? How can we best unite in our common fight? We will be discussing these questions and others with Anja Ilic, a socialist from Belgrade who has been active in the protests.

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