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Oxford Indymedia

PGA conference report Belgrade

richarddirecttv | 06.08.2004 11:45 | Oxford | World

Seven Oxford activists went to the 3rd European conference of Peoples' Global Action in Belgrade last week. I was one of them, and this is my highly personal, subjective and in all ways partial report.

(Pictures by Constanze Maly)

The PGA is highly relevant to indymedia readers, as its hallmarks ( http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/pga/hallm.htm) form the basis of indymedia's mission statement. Attending this 6-day conference, the third one in Europe, was an experience of such richness I wished I could have done it several times in order to take a different route each time through the action.

It was my first time in Eastern Europe since 1990, and since then “post-Yugoslavia” has suffered the consequences of brutal wars, US sanctions, a corrupt nationalist regime and NATO bombardment. Belgrade's smart boulevards contrast sharply with the wreckage of bombed-out buildings. IMF-demanded “structural adjustment” means that one million out of the Serbian population of 7 million is unemployed. This has led to the growth of fascist groups and parties. The largest party in the latest elections was the ultra-nationalist Radical Party, tipped to win the next ballot. On the other side, there are a range of progressive forces, including the electricity workers and the factory workers, fighting against the privatisation demanded by the IMF, the self-organization of the Roma and other oppressed groups, and the excellent DSM, the post-Yugoslavian anarchist group who convened this PGA conference.

Here are some brief notes reviewing the conference itself.


The process: direct democracy & horizontality

Having been involved in small affinity groups which successfully use consensus decision-making, I was interested to see if this process of participatory, non-hierarchical democracy could be extended to work with several hundred people. The final plenary of the PGA conference was a perfect vindication of this democratic process, using the “spokescouncil” method. The meeting was divided into affinity groups of 10-15 people, each with a spokesperson, who was the only one allowed to speak in the debate. This was not a retreat into representative democracy, however, because the the spokesperson had at all times to ask his/her affinity group for consensus on a proposal. The spokesperson could also be rotated during the meeting. The method combined maximum democracy and maximum efficiency, and completely refuted the Trotskyists' argument that consensus decision-making leads to paralysis. I remembered reading in “Socialist Worker” that “democratic centralism” was “necessary” because under consensus decision-making, any individual could block a proposal and paralyse the process. Well, one proposal in the PGA plenary was actually blocked, the call for a global day of action in support of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. This in fact led to a much improved re-drafted proposal, which was then passed. Comrades on the socialist left, please note: if it's centralist, it's not democratic, and if it's democratic, it's not centralist. Don't let your mysterious and all-powerful “central committee” tell you otherwise. In fact, why don't you try demanding that you all have an equal say? And see how your self-appointed “leadership” reacts...... The PGA horizontal democracy was a huge contrast to the ESF process currently going on in London, which is neither consensual nor representative, and decisions made by a small cabal prior to the meetings are simply foisted on the committees, alienating and disempowering people and driving them away.

Planning actions

The PGA has since its inception been based around actions, and at this conference there were significant discussions about, among others, "No Borders", what to do to oppose the G8 in the UK next year, how to engage with the London ESF in October, and how to support the Venezuelan social movements during the latest onslaught from the elite and the imperialist forces on their revolution.

Fascinating workshops

My experience was limited to those workshops taking place in the Undercurrents Cinema space. “Queer Serbia” showed three first-rate films on gay pride from across the former Yugoslavia. While the march in Ljubljana had the celebratory gaiety of that in any western European capital, Zagreb gay pride brought out screaming homophobic abuse. Moving further east, Belgrade was worse still, with sickening beatings meted out to participants by facist thugs.
An excellent screening of recent films from Palestine/Israel included an hilariously satirical film by Israeli Anarchists' against the Wall.
“Venezuela Bolivariana”, by conference participant Marcelo of Calle y Media Collective, is one of the best political films I have seen, arguing that the Bolivarian revolution, far from being a nationalist, populist, top-down affair led by a military comandante, is a rapidly radicalising process controlled by the mass movements, and as such needs international mobilization in support. Show this moving and inspiring film in your area!
Gut-wrenching images were seen in the workshop hosted by people from the Asian PGA. The film, “Behind the Open Door”, showed the daily struggle of the lowest rank of the Untouchables (Dalits) in India, who have to shovel shit from waterless latrines, and carry it on their heads. With excellent journalism, the authorities' denials were contrasted with the unbelievably degrading reality and the articulacy of the Dalits themselves.
“Yomango” is a way to sabotageing capitalism while having fun. Compulsive punsters, their name is a word-play on a Spanish department store and the slang for “I steal”. Property is theft, they argue, so this type of hedonistic, champagne-swiping shoplifting is merely taking back what rightfully belongs to us all. In Barcelona they stole (“took back”) a dress and presented it as an art-work in the local museum. Part of the point is the frivolity. They are not concerned with “basic needs”, which would have to be paternalistically defined. But it isn't only frivolous. In Germany, the “Gratis” movement acts for free public transport, and in economically-crippled Argentina they build on the already common practice of tapping electricity, and give it a political definition. They see the Yomango “brand” as a transitional path from civil disobedience, such as Genoa 2001, to everyday disobedience, bringing the anti-capitalist message onto the high street. To this end, instead of the hopelessly reformist Tobin tax, the Yomangistas want a “Robin tax” (Robin Hood, robbin' stuff), set at 100%! It made me laugh out loud, and how many campaigns can you say that of?

The capacity to think on our feet

The constant threat from fascist groups was contained by the actions of our excellent security to some defacing of the “queer space” and “gender day” posters. The security was renamed the “Emma team”, to make it less macho and more effective.

Food and Drink

Vegan and vegetarian food was provided by the local Rad collective, a cooperative kitchen which needed this work in order to survive and resist privatisation. Mixed with our own “autonomous kitchen”, this meant we had a near-perfect combination of local solidarity and self-sufficiency. And Serbian beer is excellent.

Holding the conference in Eastern Europe

And hopefully the next one will be in the East too.

Outreach to local struggles

The DSM in Serbia had proposed hosting the conference in the following terms: “We think that it is about time to leave "samba activism" and summithopping behind us , that it is about time to relate networking and local struggles. There is hardly a better place to do this than in Eastern Europe- and PostYugoslavia in particular.”
The week of the PGA conference saw much successful linking-up with locals. Workers from 7 local factories met on the PGA site with fellow workers from Greece and elsewhere. People attended the striking electricity workers' protest. The samba band and the Roma combined to play music. We visited a group of 200 Kosovan Serb refugees, forgotten and ignored by the UNHCR and unvisited for two years. We listened to their concerns (they are living in an appalling disused mental asylum, but are worried they will lose even that), and their high degree of consciousness and articulacy presented us with a challenge. Was this visit just tokenistic, or will we make good on our promises to take action on their behalf?
Every night at the “big school” the local kids came down to party. The final “visibility” night in downtown Belgrade was spectacular. 100s of Belgraders were attracted to the opulent Student Cultural Centre by the promise of the Serbian premiere of Michael Moore's “Fahrenheit 9/11”. Capitalism intervened in the form of the local distributors, who threatened to sue the Centre if the film was shown. This led to a discussion on “copyright/copyleft”, and meant we didn't have to show a Hollywood film after all. Rumours that it will soon be shown “spontaneously” on a Belgrade street are, I hope, true. Towards the end of the evening, the samba band spilled onto the street (a very symbolic street in Belgrade, where protests traditionally take place) and everyone danced in the middle of the road.


The lack of people from ethnic minorities. The socialists have a much better representation of black activists. Belgrade is a hard place to reach for people from the South, but people from the black disapora in Europe were seriously under-represented. N.B. This is recognised by the PGA as a fault which needs to be addressed by effective outreach.


A small group from London whose method of argument was to enter late into a coordination meeting and wipe their arse on a document they didn't agree with (literally!). The disagreement seemed trivial to me, an objection to an anodyne paragraph on gender issues in the “PGA reader”. Note: aggressive men always seem to get most wound up about gender politics. Why is that, I wonder?

Anonymous Zionist leaflets posted everywhere after the Israel / Palestine screening, accusing the PGA of anti-semitism. This was the usual Zionist conflation of opposition to the policies of the Israeli government with anti-semitism, even trying to align us with Hamas! The argument was refuted by the screening itself, which showed the Israeli Anarchists Against the Walls' brilliant video. Instead of proposing a workshop on this subject, the accusers put up anonymous notices and secretly slashed the pictures of an ISM photo exhibition.

The denunciation of one of the conference participants in the conference newsletter, including the printing her photo, forcing her departure. This was a personal/political vendetta dating back 15 years, and was a totally unacceptable way of dealing with it. Some “truth and reconciliation” would have been better.

This small number of negative incidents was hugely outweighed by the positives, as I recall the lasting image of the joy of the samba dancers on the streets of Belgrade.

- e-mail: richarddirecttv@yahoo.co.uk


Hide the following 15 comments


06.08.2004 16:26

thanks a lot richard for this very interesting report! the conference was indeed amazing...

it's nice to read how other people lived this wonderful conference, as there was so much to do that probably everyone comes back with a completely different experience... hopefully i'll write something about my own experience at the PGA conference in Belgrade soon! :-))



07.08.2004 21:56

I'd like to correct the impression that a mysterious 15 year old vendetta might have happened in Belgrade. Actually I'd really like to know where this impression came from. As I was involved in this story I'd like to explain what I know about it.

The person in question is a former member of the national executive committee of a German political party, the PDS. PDS is the former East German government party. It is now completely marginal in Western Germany, but very strong in Eastern Germany. In some federal states it is the strongest party, in two it is co-government party. PDS presents itself as 'the socialist alternative' which is somewhat successful in the West within anti-authoritarian groups. In the East it is responsible for social cuts, deportations, anything governments take responsibility for in those states PDS forms the government (just like everywhere). The person mentioned in the PGA conference newsletter was responsible for party policy for years. It was her job to report to the party about social movements. She lost some of her importance in the party ranks, but is still an active party functionary. This information was disputed in Belgrade - please see e.g. this email.

In Belgrade she introduced herself *not* as a party functionary but instead as an active member of different social movements. When I heard she was there I was astonished since it was my impression that PGA made it quite clear that it has a very critical position towards political parties. It was my first direct participation in PGA structures and so it was rather unclear to me whether this would be an acceptable thing at a conference. Personally I thought that if people who consider themselves to be sympathizing with another political group and would want to participate in e.g. a conference they'd be openly introduced as a guest of such and such other political group or party.

I talked to other Germans as well as people from other countries to see what they thought. Mostly people thought that 'simple party members' would probably be ok, but leading party functionaries 'under cover' would be a different issue and rather scandalous. Nothing resulted from that as it probably didn't seem very important in comparison with all the other things that happened at the conference. I talked to people whom I suspected to know more about why the person was there (I'm not writing her name as this apparently already is perceived as outrageous). These people who have been active in the context of PGA for a long time as far as I know kind of shrugged their shoulders. They said that she wasn't so important within the ranks of the party anymore. That she was also active within social movements. That she was ok. That she was probably doing research.

I was surprised. Of course her presence didn't directly harm anyone like e.g. a massive invasion of Trotskyist might who plan to take over the whole PGA. But still political parties who are very openly interested in gathering knowledge about social movements and who use this knowlegde to present themselves on a favorable way to potential voters, who are extremely interested in actively influencing e.g. the Social Forums also by giving money to some and not to others... would be a problem to grassroots organisations in my view.

In the last newsletter of the conference a so-called 'DIY-Interview' appeared. It contained some information, the said photo and some questions people were asked to directly ask the person in question. She left the same day. The newsletter was distributed in the evening. I was told that she had planned to leave that day anyway.

I have no clue to what vendetta the report by richarddirecttv refers to. 15 years old? Of course I don't know what motivated the authors of the newsletter, but during the many talks at the conference I didn't hear once about a 15 year conflict. 15 years ago the person in question was still living in socialist Eastern Germany unlike almost anyone else at the conference.

I do know that that french people were accused to have written the article who to my knowlegde didn't write it and I heard talk about there being conflicts between them and a German PGA activist which I think were settled during a meeting in Belgrade. Did you refer to that? I was also addressed in a rather aggressive way whether I had written the article. The authors were accused of inciting violence, of denunciation, of 'psychological violence'. Many people seemed to have liked the article, but many others were very focused on the form of this 'outing' and found it inacceptable. They didn't comment much on the fact that a high party functionary's presence might constitute an problem as such for PGA. It seemed to me that the way how some people chose to spontaneously address the whole problem (they didn't pie her, after all! But I had heard people talk about that idea, also) was a much greater problem to them than her presence. "We shouldn't deal with each other like that between ourselves". But then who is 'us' and where does it end? It was just some information plus asking people to ask her things like who paid for her trip, what would she tell the party etc.

I think making up new rumors by sparking off people's curiousity and more talk about 'did you know? do you know what it is about? could it be this story? or that person?' doesn't help anyone but instead is divisive. It might even start new conflicts or deepen old ones without anybody actually knowing what are the facts underneath the scarce hints in the article. That is why you now got my side of the story.


Not the Beautifil Peoples Global Action

08.08.2004 17:19

Well, it wasn't a suprise to read such a self-congratulatory report of the conference.

We were involved in the preparatory process proceeding the conference and we discovered a the process riddled with institutional racism, sexism and the unquestioned supremacy of Western European culture.

As far as we can make out there were more people from one building in London than from the whole Confederation of Independent States (Former Soviet Union excepting Baltic states). This is of course in direct contradiction to the organising principles. All our efforts to remedy this were treated with ignorance by most of the people involved in the process (and don't we love those notable exceptions!!!).

One example which really illustrates this is what happened with the cultural programme. The original plan was to have the conference at Resnik. However for various reasons some people decided to change this. When the Resnik people complained they were stopped from using the PGA office and removed from the e-mail list. They tried to continue with their activities, but were shut down as they did not have any insurance. None of the money sent to support the conference was made available to them!!! (In fact, they were so poor the only toilet paper available was the PGA calls.) So suddenly when we turn up at the new venue, Jajinci, we discover that the a bunch of jokers from a famous university town in England had evolved into the brave new cultural programme. When we enquired as to when the projector might be available for use at Resnik, we were told that they had already scheduled the whole week! When we asked to see this wonderful schedule, we were told that they had brought the whole back catalogue of their prodigious collective, but would drop items if people came to the collective meetings which they had set up. It turned out that the exact timing of these meetings was subject to variation.

So much for "democracy" . . .

Anyway glad someone had a wizard time there, eh what!

F & A, West Essex Zapatista

West Essex Zapatista
mail e-mail: paki.tv@cyber-rights.net
- Homepage: http://www.paki.tv

vendetta / party exclusion

08.08.2004 22:03

In general I don't think it behooves grassroots movements to be overly hostile to political parties. The notion of excluding party officers in mere attendance seems counterproductive: practically speaking it's a political party, once elected, that will be the ones creating government policy. They may not always execute the will of the people faithfully, but if they're cut out of the dialogue they won't ever act on any of it. When party members show up to take notes, that's when you know you're being taken seriously.

Of course it's bad for a movement to have a political party hijack its proceedings, and use it as a stump to campaign for votes or to introduce extraneous issues. Shutting them out of the debate is perhaps a necessary prerogative. But to not let another party even hear what grassroots collectives are saying is a sure way to marginalize thier own issues.

Healthy skepticism and mistrust is good, but a gut, anti-political reaction is souring.



09.08.2004 10:42


Thanks for your clarification on the denouncing of the PDS person. I'm sorry if I gave the rumour mill which is any conference another turn. What I'd heard was that the article in the newsletter was a direct response from someone to repression they had suffered in "socialist" East Germany, which to my mind is more understandable than doing it out of more abstract principle. I agree, though, that the presence of leaders of vertical organisations in the PGA is a difficult question. In my view, quiet presence, such as the person from the PDS, is OK, and anyway beyond our control without a witch-hunt. "Representation" of a vertical organisation or presence as a "celebrity politician" is clearly not OK. But it's a debate.......


What a conference!

09.08.2004 17:58

Amazing conference! It was really worthy coming all the way from Germany because of this. The best Pga conference so far ( at least in Europe, I have been to two of them, not global ones..). Perhaps now with Samba Climatico to Nepal!


quick reply to WEZ

09.08.2004 21:09

First of all I want to admit that from what I saw there is at least a grain of truth in each of your criticisms. But you run together what were, to me, separate problems and make it sound as if the same group of people were responsible for all of them.

The only one of these gripes which I have any involvement/knowledge of is the stuff about the 'Undercurrents' cinema cafe space - ie the 'bunch of jokers...etc'. I actually agree with many of your criticisms, but I actually believe you had a good chance to make them at the time.

Unless you have constructive suggestions, moaning after the event doesn't solve anything. If the next such event is going to be any better, then that's what we need - constructive suggestions.

And I'd genuinely be interested in hearing more about your problems with the preparatory process, because I didn't personally get involved until the conference itself.


Don't blame Nato for Serbia !

10.08.2004 00:03

I seem to remember that the political parties in Serbia were not very lovable before the intervention of NATO either.

Long memory

A joker replies

10.08.2004 11:54

As one of the "jokers" who facilitated the cinema space, I thought I would respond to the (anonymous) critic above. We, who certainly deserve mockery for having the misfortune to live in a town with two universities, spent our time organising the space for screenings and workshops for five days in a row from 10am until midnight, plus running two video training workshops, and planning, setting-up and running the video screenings for the final visibility day in central Belgrade. As well as this I personally contributed to the coordination and day-to-day running of the site, and went on two occasions to film the Kosovan refugees.
The cinema space could never be a complete free-for-all because of the value of the equipment involved. As everyone who's ever done this knows, that's how things get nicked and trashed. For this reason, we needed an affinity group of people who trusted each other. The day-to-day reality was we were always short of the necessary equipment, and it was a huge effort just to make sure the cinema kept running. I wouldn't think of carping about this, because everyone at the conference was doing their best and working incredibly hard.
Despite the slender resources, the cinema stayed open to all comers. The vast majority of the material screened was brought in by conference participants and shown in often-packed autonomously-organised workshops. The huge majority of the material shown in the cinema-affinity-group-organised evenings was also stuff brought in during the conference. I don't think anyone who wanted to show films was turned away, and I think only one film screening was cancelled during the entire week.

So that's what I was joking around with at the PGA conference. What were you doing, serious (and nameless) one?


Some facts

10.08.2004 19:04

just to let people know the humourous boys who wiped their arses at the meeting are in fact f & a (above) from west essex zapastita. They are known in london as a couple of comedians, i wouldn't take them seriously, nobody else seems to.

london wtachers, e1

f & a's comments not the whole truth

11.08.2004 17:57

A couple of things.

Nobody denied anyone the use of the projector. I spent a whole night carrying the beamer while waiting for Fabian and Asim to take it to Resnik, and without any keys to lock it anywhere. Afterwards we found that the cops had closed down the Resnik events, so no hard feelings. The whole Resnik thing is quite emotional for me, as they are my friends, and I hate to see myself in the middle of that. There was certainly an element of "the show must go on" in that we didnt stop everything to see what was happening inside DSM, but this was just the path of least resistance to make the conference happen. This is not the same as to side up with Stani Pani against the Resnik crew!! Please don't use our friends battles to justify your mischief.

About Eastern participation. The reason why some events have massive participation from the East is because they fundraise for that. We didnt have much money for this conference and we certainly need a better strategy for the next time. However, you keep pointing at some elite conspiracy for what is just the opossite: a lack of clear direction on how to get people involved. The conference reflected the existing realities, you can complain about that, but don't blame the conference for not changing things as fast as we all want. If we find a lot of money for East travelling next time, you would probably be complaining about where the money came from, or which particular groups are benefiting...

Something that demands self-criticism is the organisation of the programme. At the opening of the conference we had a document with scheduled workshops, etc. By day two, it was completely messed up. Basically, nobody was taking responsibility for the coherence of the schedule, the infopoint were getting piecemeal info, and everyone was changing the time and location of their shops as they pleased. Part of the blame falls on the rain, which constricted our activities to the indoors, but I'd like to know what happened to the people who started the programme and then disappeared.

The newspaper was another interesting element. We had a free media during the conference. Despite f&a criticisms of elite bla bla, the internal communications of the conference were totally independent from the original organisers. For example, the bareback affair was discussed for hours in a meeting, a strategy to deal with it was agreed to avoid rumours and chaos, etc.. so much for all that, as the paper people just published a tabloid front page with their own understanding. When I saw it late at night before going to press, I felt like, oh no! but who am I to intervene? I just made a couple of factual corrections, stated that my contribution didnt amount to an endorsement, and went to bed. The PDS officer "outing" was similarly surprise breaking news for most people. All this brings interesting questions about the role of a conference paper. Should it be just about "official" discussions? have a special gossip section? should there be more than one, so there are several views?



11.08.2004 20:40

As I have stated couple of times in private conversations, in time of the conference and in the time of the incident, I find this witchunt way of dealing with political oponents to be inimical to the spirit of pga. There are other ways for people to express their concerns. Criticism should be something which opens up the space, something which has empowering effects. On a related note, I am sending a letter writen by companer@s from the US talking about the problem of activist communication.

We are saddened of late by how some in the global justice movement are
treating others in the movement, on activist lists, through internet
postings, and in spokescouncils. We are all the more disturbed that most of
those who have been attacked, for apparently political reasons, are women.

We fear what this could do to our movement if it continues unchecked.

Historically this sort of behavior has been damaging to movements, if not
fatal. Whether our current behavior comes more innocently from one another,
or from covert activity by the government, we do not know. For now, the most
important thing is to deal with this as a movement and treat one another
with openness and respect.

We are asking for all of us to look at our actions and behaviors and examine
the effects.

Do our actions open up more space, for example, rather than shut it down?
When we have a criticism or disagreement, do we raise it in such a way that
it can be empowering? Are we creating spaces from which we can all learn and
grow? When we enter a spokescouncil, are we thinking of how we will show
care and humanity in seeking consensus with one another? When we think about
how to spend our energy, are we thinking of strategies, tactics, and
structures that make the world we want possible? Are we thinking about ways
to inspire more people to take action?

Many of us in the movement believe that what we do now and how we relate one
another is the world we want to create, believing the future is created in
the present.

We ask for us to reflect upon these things more as we relate to one another.

We invite others to please step up and not allow space to be closed down.

We hope that this brief note will help spark conversation in our various
spaces and communities.

Amanda Hickman, Amelia Frank-Vitale, Asaf Shtull-Trauring, Chris Keeley,
Eric Laursen, Francesca Fiorentini, Heidi Reijm, Lenore Palladino, Leslie
Wood, Lisa Anne Ross, Marina Sitrin, Mark Read, Matt Feinstein, Max
Uhlenbeck, Mike McGuire, Ora Wise, Petra Hanzlik, Rami Elamine, RJ Maccani,
Roy SanFillippo, Timothy Doody, Trip McCrossin, Yvonne Liu

-A. from DSM!

Programme a response

12.08.2004 14:11

in response to javier and the programme

I was coordinating the programme and the way I saw it was that there were several major problems for the Programme.

1. Neither of the two people who said that they would coordinate the programme (at the prep meeting) turned up to the conference. Those who did were volunteers that arrived the day before the conference.

2. The system of registering programme items was heavily disrupted due to computer failures and a fascist attack on the central office in Belgrade. (I was not involved before I came to the conference so I can't tell you anything else about this.) The result was that many of the programme items could not be put in the printed programme and also many groups registered events and then didn't turn up... thus things were cancelled. Also that the whole programme had to be cobbled together by people who had just arrived and volunteered on the day.

3. The system for the programme was thus a series of boards at the info point for each day that showed what was timetabled and where/when there were free spaces. People could simply add their workshops like on Indymedia in the free spaces.
During the week people were repeatedly told to check these boards and most people did.

The problem came when it rained (completely unexpectedly since it was hotter than hell the first three days) the result was to halve the workshop spaces (especially the big ones) and destroy some of the boards. The system became a lot more adhoc then but I checked the boards and attempted to rearrange any clashing items (I was also on the end of a mobile phone - the number of which was written large in the info point- and publicly announced that people should talk to me about problems on numberous occaisions.)

any suggestions for constructive alternative systems, I'd appreciate them.

My Main two are actually have an accountable and planned system of programming and make sure people who volunteer turn up - i.e. just because we are anti-authoritarian doesn't mean we should be chaotic and shit. Maybe a website where people can post items and everyone can read them in advance (with some system for stopping porn and fascists)

**** Have an anouncement space in the morning (a short announcement plenary at breakfast whith everyone present - no discussions -just announcements and hellos so people know what is going on!) ****


Comment from Alter-EE list

12.08.2004 22:01

I didn’t yet had time to concretize impressions from Beograd in coherent article,so for now just few loose impressions:

As I noticed already in Leiden,european structure of PGA ,however sympathetic can seem ,is useless.It is basically perfect pool to swim for all these hyped on “networking” and “exchange”,just for sake of it.Main positive force of it is to provide every couple of years space to meet for some people,that I could hardly meet other way.As after Leiden,now also I hope these new contacts will flourish and bear political fruits.Yet,all this happens on margins of PGA or is connected with it only through spatial proximity.Yet,increasingly I observe,that this however naïve and harmless structure,starts to emanete stench of formalized authoritarianism.This what I supposed to be just tool for better “connecting” antiauthoritarian collectives from this part of world,becames goal itself-it creates somehow new field of “work” for all this dobrodusni(with good soul)activists,that wants “to be PGA”.Next abstract debates on “proccess”,wanking over successful”spokepersons councils”,boring “hallmarks” beatifications…The thing is that it could happen anywhere,it could be easily France or Germany.This usual western-european sweety leftist market of ideas,where you have half an hour of Venezuela,thick sirup of “media activism”,heated self-centred discussions,all backgrounded by hippiepunk esthetics,somehow slightly rebelious but still widely smiling to enemies.Ahh,sorry ,but there’s no enemies,just we “have to understand situation”…Fascist is a fascist is a fascist.I don’t have problem with confronting,if I must,guys which are asking me aggressively if I’m muslim or Croat,as it happened one tense,rainy evening in Jajinci camp,yet I feel simply in wrong place,when some co-campers treating these thugs with beer as deescalation measure.I don’t like when several harrasments of sexist character,nationalist frenzy or simple stealing stuff,when repitetively reported is answered as “paranoia”,and after some idiot calls the police twice,PGA-men declares by megaphone,that”Nothing happened at all.Police was here and they didn’t see nothing”.On political meaning of such a statement is worthless to comment at all.I hate to experience,that visit to refugee camp in which I wanted to take part,will take only an hour and in the evening.Racist arrogance of activists ,which can spare only this time from their precious debates to visit people which situation so oft to seem be one of their political subjects,or rather objects.It is dark,children are going to sleep,etc.you didn’t had to be ever before in refugee camp to have a bit of simple human sensibility to understand how humilitating can be visit of weirdly looking,good-hearted westerners,coming like to ZOO and trying to enterntain with juggling for an hour.I decided not to participate,but some friends went there and had beed disgusted by character of this event.But maybe only because they’re Macedonians,so wanting or not,they simply can identify with situation of these refugees a bit better.In general,I don’t know how some western activist see it,but I think if somebody would follow just events in Jajinci camp,will not get a clue what is going on in Serbia or in region at all.But this is also fault of participants,it was definitely many western lifestyle activists,which left camp only on the last party night,just because they love only own,secure sauce.It is at least hypocritical from Andrej to speak about succesfull visibility of PGA,as only external,street presence happened completelly independently of it and was even attempted to sabotage by some Jajinci-figures.Visibility of PGA wasn’t simply indended,as farthest they can such a activist reach seem to be student center.

I don’t like after having nice chat with somebody,to be encountered by disappointed and hostile”AHH,you are one of THOSE…”after she saw me hanging poster informing on strike and workshops at “Atheneum”.She didn’t knew a fuck,she was austrian,just “heard around”,that ASI and “Resnik gang” are “horrible people”.I didn’t intended to sabotage,disrupt or annihilate PGA,at least not yet.Even if politically I’m closer to ASI,I’m simply not interested in internal fights of different serbian groups,because I don’t live there.I proposed some workshops and generally supported idea of classwar anarchists meeting at time of PGA ,as I don’t want to be under frame of PGA,so to be it in Atheneum.I don’t have problems with growing circle of enemies,but prefer that this enimity is builded on real facts and arguments and not stupid gossip and assumptions-it was bunch of seriously unruly freaks around Atheneum and at the strikes,but definitely no sign of “stalinists and trotzkists”.Shady politically characters have anyway better environment at pluralistic PGA playground as Disobedienti(being basically youth arm of Rifondazione Communisti party and being famous for eg.help to criminalize and deligitimate Black Block in Genova)in Leiden or some ML-sects like greek “Protovoulia Agona”(Struggle Initiative),which on Balcan meeting at PGA ,proposed to organized next Balcan meeting in Thessaloniki,which me and many others totally opposed ,also because such a meeting place will be unreachable for most of people from Balcan countries(strict greek borders).On this meeting I had to correct and deny shallow leninist analises of racism in Greece,as “only one of products of capitalism” made by these guys.If such a meeting will finally happen in Thessaloniki,it will be boycotted by anarchists definitely or destroyed,if neccessery,even for its elitist character.

I don’t deny that many valuable people attended PGA,that some interesting issues been disscussed and maybe some projects will follow.Yet if PGA itself will grow,that only in form of empty bubble.If it can transform from wishy-washy festival of goodhearted into next tool in fight against capitalism,sexism,racism,maybe is sense to keep it alive.Yet you cannot use balloon,where you need a hammer.

In generally I believe we should strenghten our efforts to keep vital cooperation between radical anarchists on international,EE and balcan level through diverse projects,in that same time yet focuss on our local activities,because this where the life,so revolt starts and not in abstract clouds of pgaism


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