By John Catalinotto
New York: Published Mar 6, 2008 9:22 PM
A march more than five blocks long went from Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, near the United Nations, through Times Square and past Madison Square Garden to protest the U.S. theft of Serbia’s Kosovo. Many New Yorkers and tourists watched with interest as the marchers went on their way to the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church on 25th Street near Broadway.
The province of Kosovo and Metohija, ruled by the same people now who took over the province under cover of a NATO war and occupation in 1999, declared its “independence” from Serbia on Feb. 17. The new entity, however, is administered by European Union officials and policed by U.S.-NATO troops. The Pentagon maintains a major military base, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo, with 7,000 U.S. troops. Speakers at the rally preceding the march ridiculed the idea that this ministate could be called “independent.”
The demonstrators carried a huge Serbian flag along with the flags of the 170 countries that had not recognized the new Kosovo entity. The many flags fluttering in the wind gave an international feeling to the protesters, who also carried many posters with the major slogans of the march: “U.S. hands off Serbia; Kosovo is Serbia” and “No to the U.S. colony.”
At a rally starting at 2 p.m. in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, speakers represented organizations in the local Serb and Yugoslav community and the Greek community as well as many others. Among the speakers were Father Djokan Majstorovic from St. Sava, who led an opening prayer; human rights leader Ramsey Clark, who visited Yugoslavia in solidarity as the U.S. was bombing that country in 1999; and former Serbian Information Minister Radmila Milentijevic, a professor emeritus at the City University of New York.
Russian composer Lara Kritskaya, Serb-American author Nadja Tesich, Puerto Rican activist Arturo Perez-Saad, Serb-American composer Milos Raickovich and professor Barry Lituchy were among the other speakers and working-class organizations. The action was called jointly by the STOP Coalition and the International Action Center. The rally was chaired by IAC co-director Sara Flounders and John Bosnitch from STOP.
Every reference to anyone having to do with either the Bill Clinton administration or the George W. Bush administration was soundly booed by the audience. Every statement that “Kosovo is Serbia” was repeated and chanted by the people there.
The march was accompanied by the voices of the St. Sava children’s choir.
Catalinotto ?who co-edited “Hidden Agenda? the U.S.-NATO takeover of Yugoslavia,” spoke at the rally as an editor of Workers World newspaper.
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