1st of May in Belgrade

1st of May in Belgrade

by Elisa Stowe

On 1 May, we assembled in the streets in cities around the globe, remembering the struggles that have contributed so much to the well-being of workers and the humanity of our societies.
But while many groups claim to inherit this legacy, some betray it. Here in Belgrade, we decided not to join Trade Union protests, given their alignment with the crooked establishment interest.
Instead we gathered on the banks of the Sava River in Novi Beograd, the part of town that was constructed after WW II in Socialist Yugoslavia. For someone like me, from the Bavarian alpine region, Novi Beograd is a spectacle — and I wonder how people find their way home in this concrete conglomerate of symmetric lights and streets.
While we are floating on a raft on Sava River, Ivana told us that just a few hundred metres away, the ruling class, past and present, has been constructing houses in a river bed. Their decadence has contributed not only to the pollution of the river, but also points to a larger danger that the water level may rise due and flood through New Belgrade. Their decadence is our precarity.
But we have a better story to tell. We spent the day collectively formulating our vision for the Europe of tomorrow, discussing the ways that our thoughts and words will translate into action. We received pictures from our DiEM friends from all over the Europe, out on the streets, and they made us smile.
It was a great day for DiEM. We spent the day speaking face-to-face with each other, giving differences a common ground, returning to what has brought us together in the first place. A celebration, then, and one that ended – of course – with Rakija.
Elisa is a member and volunteer of the DSC Munich.
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