The Idavox Report: An Interview With Serbian Antifascist Tanja Vasic

The Idavox Report: An Interview With Serbian Antifascist Tanja Vasic

Welcome to the #Idavox Report!

Hello, and welcome, everyone, to the Idavox Report on the Revolution Radio Network! We are coming back at you after a week of break from our productions. We hope that you in the audience had a nice week. Before we bring on our guest tonight, Daryle takes a moment to reflect on the trial of Derek Chauvin. Daryle is optimistic, commenting that he has never before seen a police chief testify against one of his own officers, and this testimony will surely have a lot of weight. That fact gives him some hope that Chauvin may be convicted of serious charges. 

We here at Revolution Radio as well as several audience members will be furious if Derek Chauvin is convicted of anything less than murder. However, we have yet to hear what the defense has to argue. Even if this murderous fiend is brought to justice, we must ask ourselves: at what cost? Millions of people stormed the streets for months in direct response to this incident. Must we continue storming the streets to try to prevent another such incident from occurring? Daryle says yes.

Problems With Police

There is a problem with the way police are trained. For example, law enforcement trainer Dave Grossman invented the term Killology and created a training based on it. This word and related teachings concern the psychology of taking a life, specifically, removing oneself from the psychological effects of murder. The officer who killed Philando Castile has partaken in this training. Fortunately, backlash after George Floyd’s murder resulted in Dave Grossman’s books being banned from police training. His rhetoric is also discouraged among police forces.

Additionally, there is a problem with how society views police violence. A plethora of things could be said about this, but Daryle focuses tonight on cop shows. If you watch cop shows today, they all seem to have an episode where the main character shoots an unarmed civilian because they thought they were armed. Typically, there is an exaggerated response from an uppity Black pastor character who is essentially a racist trope. Pro-cop and anti-minority propaganda is deeply entrenched in society.

Antifa Unite

Daryle reminds us that since fascists are organizing globally, antifascists must also organize globally. North America is desperately in need of such an alliance. The first step is to network with antifascists around the globe. The last time we had the show, Daryle discussed several global antifascist seminars that he attended.

The Idavox Report Welcomes Tanja Vasic

Our guest tonight is someone that Daryle met in one of the seminars. Her name is Tanja Vasic, she lives in Serbia, and she represents the Minority Initiative. She has an M.A. in Psychology and she is concerned with how the Roma people are being treated in her country. The Roma are an Indo-Aryan people, traditionally nomadic and living mostly in Europe. They have existed in Serbia for 500-600 years.

Tanja is a member of the Minority Initiative. The organization aims to become a political party in Serbia that represents minorities. There are many minorities living in Serbia but one of the most targeted are the Roma people, also called Romani or gypsies.

Racism against Roma is also called anti-gypsyism. The Roma people face it every day. Racism against Roma is very prevalent and is increasing all the time. If you watch the news in Serbia, you will see that attacks and violence are frequent. 

Did you miss us while we were gone? Help make sure we stay around! We don’t take corporate money, so your contributions are the backbone of this network.

[April 6, 2021 #Idavox Report with Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Brian Powers, and Tanja Vasic]

Serbian Government

For the past 12 years, there have been no Roma representatives in Serbia’s government. In recent years, the Roma people have become politically distanced. They are not receiving opportunities to speak on what they stand for and what they need. Roma generally live in poverty, being the poorest ethnic group in Serbia. They are blackmailed by threats to revoke jobs, scholarships, and social benefits. 

There exist minority anti-discrimination laws in Serbia, however, they are not enforced. For just one example among many, in October, a Roma couple was attacked on public transport before a witness. The police were called and indeed responded, however, there was no passing of information to any type of prosecuting body. The Minority Initiative has proposed a system to deter discrimination against Roma, however, parliament has not acknowledged it yet.

The Minority Initiative knows that this has gone on for far too long. One of their main goals is to create political policy to protect Roma. They want to bring the discussion of racism against Roma to national parliament. Tanja shares that the Minority Initiative aims to accomplish this within a year.

In Serbia, there are many parties coming from both the right and the left that come together to make up parliament. There is a national party that claims to be moderate/centrist but is actually operating on right-wing principles. There is not much opposition at this time. Serbian minorities such as Roma, Hungarians, Muslims, and Albanians have little, if any, representation: for the past 12 years, there has been no Roma representation whatsoever in parliament. The Serbian parliament is nationalist-oriented.

Roma People In Crisis

Roma people have lost heart. They feel abandoned, both by their government and by their fellow people. There is a lack of solidarity among minorities in Serbia. The movement to protect Roma people in Serbia is virtually non-existent besides the Minority Initiative. The Serbian census is poorly conducted. There are about 600,000 Roma people in Serbia, but only about 150,000 are currently documented in the census. In Serbia, the Roma are seen as a burden on the economy, which is already fragile. 

Due to the emerging Syrian migrant crisis in Europe, Roma seeking asylum are turned away from certain other European countries as well. They’ve little choice but to continue living in a place where they are routinely oppressed. When something happens to the Roma people, the media tends not to report on it. People do not understand how deeply rooted anti-gypsyism is.

Leviathans

There is a dangerous group in Serbia called the Leviathans. Like the federal government, they pretend to be centrist, but it is a weak facade. The Leviathans act in accordance with right wing ideas and motivations. They have strong rhetoric; for example, they claim that one of their main goals as a group is to protect animals. 

Recently, the Leviathans raided a Roma village in western Serbia. They confiscated a young boy’s horse, falsely claiming that the boy was abusing it. There have been no consequences for the heinous actions of this group. If you read between the lines, it is evident that this group is supported by the government on some level. It would seem very likely that they are a paramilitary group.

What Now?

The situation with the Roma people being mistreated in Serbia has reached the level of being a human rights crisis.  Since the government will not step up to counter these groups, people have to band together at the grassroots to fight hate. Daryle likens that phenomenon to the looming danger of fascists in America.

As previously mentioned, there is a sort of media blockade regarding the deeply rooted anti-gypsyism in Serbia. That is why Tanja is so passionate about spreading her message: if she doesn’t do it, no one will. Tanja calls for a fellowship and collaboration with antifa members across the globe.

Plugs

The Minority Initiative is willing to host people as volunteers in Serbia. They have a Facebook group and you can also get in touch by emailing ManjinskaInicijativa@gmail.com. (Manjinska Inicijativa means Minority Initiative in Serbian.)

This Thursday, April 8, at 7PM, Daryle will be hosting a video webinar called The Far Right, Fascism and Insurrection. Come check it out! Daryle hopes to see you there.

Idavox is the newsline for One People’s Project and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, or their website. One People’s Project can also be found on Facebook and Twitter or their website. Daryle himself is on Facebook and Twitter. The One People’s Project accepts donations through Daryle’s Cash App account, $NotoriousDLJ.

Until next time, everyone, stay safe and stay informed.

-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network

#NJRR Live: Madelyn Hoffman, Our 2020 Chance at a Socialist in the Senate
Sports Walkouts: What do athletes have to do with revolution?
#NJRR​ Live: Paterson Pastor Corey Lewis Teague

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *