After the traumatic serial murders which shook Serbia at the beginning of May, three mass demonstrations against violence have taken place so far, with the fourth scheduled for Saturday, May 27. Though these expressions of popular discontent and revulsion were restrained and completely peaceful, the regime correctly gauged their deeper significance. With close to 200,000 people marching in Belgrade the message was clear that the population is intensely unhappy. The slightest spark could cause the peaceful mood to change, with unforeseeable consequences.
Incapable of introducing systemic changes that would be required to deal effectively with the unstable situation in Serbia and afraid of letting its opponents seize the initiative, the regime has chosen the dangerous and confrontational option of organizing a “counter-rally” in Belgrade on Friday, May 26, in an effort to demonstrate that it still enjoys popular support. The gathering is being billed as the “largest rally ever held in Serbia.” In the polarized atmosphere that prevails in Serbia today, organizing such a high-risk event is the height of lunacy and social irresponsibility.
But the regime evidently believes that the risks of social conflict and even mayhem are “worth it,” presumably in the same sense that Madeleine Albright meant it when she stated that another demented and lethal adventure was “worth it.”
Everyone who values their personal safety and respects the dignity of the Serbian people will make sure to stay as far away as possible from this dangerous and fraudulent affair that will take place on Parliament Square in Belgrade on Friday, May 26.
In addition to presenting an imminent threat to public safety, the pro-regime gathering is a total fraud. There is no sentiment in Serbia in support of the criminal and traitorous regime. The entire country is falling apart, it is oppressed by tyranny, impoverished and mired in corruption. The sentiment common to all sections of Serbian society is hopelessness.
It is in such an atmosphere that the criminal regime is cynically contriving a hollow demonstration of non-existent popular support, further humiliating and reducing to the level of idiots an already tormented, disenfranchised and depressed nation.
To ensure the presence of human bodies on the square at the appointed time in the afternoon of May 26, unprecedented measures have been undertaken by the authorities. Quotas have been prescribed and coercive tactics worked out for the party that otherwise no one would voluntarily attend to appear a success. Workers in state owned and state dependent enterprises have been told in no uncertain terms that their jobs depend on being in Belgrade for the rally. Retired people are being threatened with loss or reduction of their miserable pensions unless they sign up to attend. Members of the ruling party, most of whom do not take seriously its “ideology” or even support its ruinous policies, and who entered its ranks not from conviction but in return for sinecures and benefits, are also being relentlessly pressed to show enthusiastic support by attending.
The sheep going to the rally to look for their ram
In order to make the pathetic gathering on May 26 not just possible but also a “massive success,” the regime is requisitioning 2200 busses from public transport companies to ferry to Belgrade unwilling and coerced participants from every corner of the country. For the fraudulent support rally in Belgrade to take place, on Friday there will be a complete, deliberately engineered breakdown in public transport, inconveniencing and further enraging millions of people.
All that will be for nothing. It is difficult to predict how many wretched citizens of Serbia will be marooned like cattle to stand in the square and unwillingly shout slogans in support of the loathsome tyrant who will stupidly be standing on a platform and acknowledging their coerced and insincere accolades. At the end of the day everyone will know that they participated in or watched on television a meaningless, sham event.
If the bussed in bodies simply disperse and return home, though the mendacious spectacle will forever be recorded as shameful exploitation of the vulnerability and misery of a segment of Serbia’s population, that will actually be the best case scenario.
There are indications that the foreign intelligence services that recruited and installed the tyrant to do their dirty work are getting fed up with him and are preparing to replace him with the fresh faces of another set of Quislings. They may bring in their agent provocateurs to disrupt the rally and cause a confrontation between the stage extras unwillingly assembled by the regime and the security forces. That is the Ceausescu scenario, Bucharest 1989. But even if things do not go that far, the regime rally will be politically confrontational and deeply divisive. In practical terms it may turn into a step leading to civil war, providing NATO forces in occupied Kosovo a pretext to invade and “restore order.”
The potential consequences that may result from the faltering regime’s attempt to portray itself as strong and still in charge are numerous and they all put Serbia and its people in great danger.