When the US-NATO forces started its war against Yugoslavia, the Communist Party of Sweden [KPML(r)] took initiatives to mobilise protest meetings, demonstrations and other activities.
In a number of cities, such as Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Gislaved, Helsingborg, Karishamn, there have been demonstrations. In some of these cities there are fairly large Yugoslav and Serbian communities (around 35,000 came to Sweden during the 60’s and 70’s as an imported work force and have been part of Swedish society since then).
In Gothenburg on April 16th, the largest demonstration so far took place with almost 1,000 participants, including around 300 Swedes of Serbian origin. A number of exile organisations supported the demonstration as well. The
also had a speaker, but very few members from that Party could be seen in the demonstration.
At the Rally at the end of the demonstration KPML(r) International Secretary, Teddy-John Frank, spoke. The following are extracts from his speech.
“We have gathered here today to protest against the war crimes committed by the US and NATO against Yugoslavia and its people because the US and NATO war is just that, and nothing else.
“For the first time in Europe, since the Nazi and fascist regimes attacked and started their wars for sovereign nations almost 60 years ago, this is being repeated. When Beograd, Novi Sad and other cities were bombed and their population murdered, their houses and homes were destroyed, it was the Hitler-Nazi airforce that committed these atrocities. Now it is being done by the US and NATO. …
“There is genocide taking place in Europe; in the Europe that the capitalist and imperialist power elites and supporters said would never again be stricken by war after the downfall of socialism in the eastern Europe; in the Europe, where the European Union was said to be the very guarantor of peace in Europe. And was not this the strongest argument from those in Sweden whose propaganda-mongering fooled a majority of the Swedish people to vote yes to membership of the EU?
This is the same EU whose foreign ministers unanimously now say yes to the war. Göran Persson, Sweden’s Prime Minister, votes yes. Ann Lindh, Sweden’s foreign minister, voted yes. Even though they are forced to admit that this war is against the UN charter and international laws. Shame on such a government….
“Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are bleating that we are doing this in the name of humanity, for humanitarian reasons.
“Tell that to the people of Yugoslavia, to the people who have for more than 3 weeks, day and night, been submitted to your killing!
“Tell that to the mothers at the Central Children’s Hospital in Beograd, who had to flee in the middle of the night when your missiles hit it!
“Tell that to the people of Beograd and other cities who every night – at the risk of their lives – go out to protect their bridges with their bodies or the passengers of that railway train you so cunningly attacked a few days ago!
“Tell that to the 10,000 Serb and Croat refugees who are living in refugee camps outside Beograd, since they were driven away from their homes in Bosnia and Krajina – this camp that was bombarded last night!
“Tell them that your bombers and attack aircraft, over 1,000 of them, who are committing between 100 and 300 raids every night, are doing this `in the name of humanitarian aid’ …
“The US and NATO aggression is not about peace in Kosovo. That has never been the case. The refugee tragedy that we see today is a direct result of the US-NATO war of aggression. The underlying conflict, that only two months ago could have been settled in a political and peaceful way, has been developed into a human tragedy because this war of aggression is part of the strategy of US imperialism for world hegemony.
“This is not about peace. It is about forcing, with weapons and power, another nation and another people to submit to the will and orders of US imperialism, be it in Iraq, Libya, Cuba or any other country that defends its right to self-determination and independence. Get rid of the UN; get rid of its charter; get rid of international laws – introduce the new world order of barbarism, US imperialism’s dictatorship! This is the gun-boat diplomacy of our time! This is the politics of US imperialism in all its splendour!
“60 years ago Hitler and his nazi hordes demanded `Lebensraum’ and control of Europe. Hitler made `protectorates’ of a number of sovereign nations, Bohemia, Moravia, Poland, etc., as part of his ambition of world domination. The US-NATO war of aggression is a preparation for establishing a US-NATO controlled `protectorate’ of Kosovo. Yet another part of the Balkans will be invaded and occupied by the military forces of imperialism and put under its political control. …
“Yugoslavia is today a turning point in history. This is not only deciding the issue of peace or war, freedom or death, for the people of Yugoslavia and that Balkans, but the US and NATO war of aggression is also a threat to all the nations and peoples of the world.
“The Swedish government says that the `world community’ accepts the US-NATO war and all the bourgeois mass media supports this vision. That is a lie. The truth is that the vast majority of the nations of the world condemn this US war. The truth is that the vast majority of the peoples of the world are not standing on the side of imperialism and suppression. Only their voices are not allowed to be heard in our `free’ and `objective’ press.
“It is therefore up to us and everyone that stands for independence, justice and freedom in this world to protest against this war and demand an immediate and unconditional stop to this killing. From the Swedish government we demand an immediate ending of its support for the war and US-NATO war crimes. Sweden must forcefully act in the UN so that the US and the NATO alliance are branded as war instigators and that the UN demand an immediate end to the war. Only then can respect for international laws and the UN charter be regained. Only then can the war mongers in Washington and the NATO headquarters in Brussels be stopped.”