Alexander T. Patterson (
Fri, 03 Oct 1997 17:56:46 -0700

Firstly, whilst there is no doubt that the undisputed
democratic right of the citizens of Serbia is to be allowed
for peaceful protests, these too, however, are against the
laws of most western democracies - unless they are
properly registered.
In the US, for instance, to have your protest registered,
in most cases, you would have to fill in an application at
least 7-10 days prior to the intended day for the protest.
The Council would then usually choose the most appropriate
time and place, so that the traffic flow, to give a banal
example, would not be sacrified. If the protest is
'spontaneous,' meaning not registered, the law enforcement
officers (ie. the police) will be deployed and the
protestors will be politely asked and/or forced to leave.
In effect, therefore, you can protest as long as you are
not disturbing the public order. You can not have a
protest in the downtown Chickago unless you have a
permission to do so.
Secondly, from the information I have been able to gather,
Mr Djindjic, together with the director of the Studio B,
have been dismissed by the democratically elected Belgrade
City Council, in accordance with the statutes.

Thirdly, it should not be seen as unusual that only three
political parties have survived in Serbia after the
elections. This also is the case of most western
democracies, say in England or France. These too make
their secret compromises and deals - there is nothing
mistique about politics. I think that Serbia has finally
reached the stage where a normal democratic political
process can start. The problem, of course remains the
province of Kosovo, which should be given an autonomy
similar to that which Quebec has in Canada. If they later
want to secede, then be it so. It cannot be stopped - it is
natural. There may be the roots of the 'Serbian being,'
however there are also 2 Million Albanians living there.
As a comparison - Kiev, in Ukraine, is where the Great
Russian Empire emerged - it is the heart of the 'Mother
Russia,' and yet, today, it is the capital of Ukraine and
the Russians must use their passports to travel to their
'Mecca.' In the UK, Scotland has recently got their own
parliament, so I see it as a question of time when the
Scots will vote for their seccession from the UK. Similar
debate is raging over in Ireland, and in Australia, which
also is the 'Crown's Land.' The young Australians are
growing up 20000 Km away from England, and so less and less
they see themselves as Her Majesty's subjects.
In sum, I hope that the current changes in Serbia will
result in the establishment of a parliamentary regime akin
to those in western democracies, as well as that the people
there will understand that Serbs are indeed a small nation
which has to fight vigorously for their place in the modern
world, not with weapons, but work.