Since it’s forming in April 2016, DSC Belgrade has established a few priorities alongside a couple of questions that we discuss at our meetings, which take place weekly. We started as a small collective but now have 8 steady members and many more coming and going. We all met at DiEM25’s Forum, and we were (and still are) very aware of necessity of keeping the Manifesto ideas in mind and being specially careful not to slip into a populist local politics.
During our first days as a DiEM25 collective, we decided to support the Ne da(vi)mo Beograd protests which was followed by official DiEM25 support. Despite our wish to contribute more to the movement, at the same time we were not sure how far could we go without consultations. Besides that, not having a lot of members or a stable structure, we did not have much space to act.
Along with these themes, we have also discussed the place of Serbia in DiEM25. As a non-EU country, within an European movement and one of the first challenges for our DSC were members of local political parties and our stand towards them participating in DiEM25 volunteering collective(s). Along with all that, we’ve made our priority to translate DiEM25 Manifesto and other official documents in order to make them more accessible to a broader audience in Serbia. Almost naturally came an initiative to connect with the Croatian DSC (as well as with other countries from the ex YU using very similar languages) and to start a collaboration through exchange of translations.
Members of DSC Belgrade had a pleasure to have Srećko Horvat as a guest at one of our regular meetings, having had the opportunity to meet him through his project of Philosophical Theatre, held both in Zagreb and in Belgrade.. This was an occasion to present Srećko with some of dilemmas and ideas that have been on our minds since the (not so distant) beginning.
As mentioned above, one of the subjects that we’ve discussed was the position of DiEM25 in Serbia, as a non EU country, within the movement. Our attempt to awaken the movement in other non EU European countries; Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey, in order to have a mutual ground on entering EU was encouraged by Srećko, along with the initiative to connect with DiEM25 in Croatia. At that time, some of the DSC Belgrade members were planning to come to Zagreb, to attend Philosophical Theatre with Yanis Varoufakis as a guest, so we agreed to use the occasion to meet with members from Zagreb.
Another important subject for us was the possibility of connecting to our movement to the Transparency campaign. Our suggestion is that we have a “sub campaign” which would ask for transparency of the documents, agreements, contracts etc. signed by our government during the process of integrations. One of the good examples of unfavorable deals and shady contracts, signed by our government, using public good for the sake of gaining the profit for few, is a construction of Beograd na vodi – Belgrade Waterfront Project. Other sad examples are factories sold to the “investors” where, along with the “new jobs”, workers recieved wages lower even than in China as well as unlimited shifts and no rights to form unions… Supporting the humiliated working class, forced to give up dignity in order to earn barely enough to pay for the rent and food for the month, is another of our priorities.
We were encouraged by Srećko to connect with other leftwing movements in Serbia and to try(even if it seems like a utopian dream)to overcome the ideological differences among existing movements. We aim to find a mutual goal, catch the wave of citizen movement forming around the Ne da(vi)mo Beograd protests, and to meet the members of Ne da(vi)mo Beograd initiative, considering the possibilities of further support and collaboration.
Also, members of DSC Belgrade wrote a draft document regarding presence of NATO forces in EU, aiming at necessity of demilitarization in order to have a free and democratic Europe.
One of the aims, to connect and meet with members from Zagreb, was fulfilled on December 4th, when five of DiEM25 members from Belgrade came to Zagreb, for the Philosophical Theatre with Yanis Varoufakis and Srećko Horvat, held in crowded Croatian National Theatre. Being among 1.000 people at that theatre venue that night, who came to hear Varoufakis speak, either already firm supporters or just out of curiosity, gave hope that another Europe is possible.
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