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Workers of Yugoslavia!
Organize and fight against U.S./NATO occupation!
For strikes and workers' actions to drive back the imperialists!
For workers' power and a Balkan Socialist Federation!

Brothers and sisters of Yugoslavia!

The so-called "peace plan" imposed by U.S./NATO imperialism on the workers of Yugoslavia - with the acceptance of the Milosevic government - is a recipe for military domination and economic colonization of the Balkans.

For 78 days, the imperialists bombed factories, schools, buses, trains, refugee convoys, bridges, hospitals, houses and churches. They killed thousands of innocent Yugoslav citizens and arrogantly declared "tough luck."

They cut you off from edible food and drinkable water, they choked you by bombing oil refineries, and they rained radioactive shells of "depleted uranium" on you like they did to your brothers and sisters in Iraq.

They called you "strategic targets" and "collateral damage."

Now they want to force you on your knees to kiss the hands of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder.

We salute the courage and tenacity of the Yugoslav working class, and their ability to stand up against U.S./NATO imperialism in the face of "smart bombs" and "stealth fighters."

We now call on you, our class brothers and sisters, to organize and fight against the imperialist occupation of Yugoslavia.

A conscious and calculated betrayal

The decision of the Milosevic government and the parliament to accept "in principle" the demands of the G-8 countries (the seven leading imperialist countries and their lackeys in Russia) is clearly a betrayal of the interests of the Yugoslav working class.

But why did the Belgrade government accept such harsh demands? Why, after two and a half months, did they capitulate to the imperialists?

Did they "feel your pain" - to use the words of Bill Clinton?

No. The Belgrade government, battered though it was, remains intact. And they prefer to keep it that way.

The price to maintain their control is the subjugation of workers under the boot of U.S./NATO imperialism.

It has been obvious from the beginning that the Milosevic regime - and its allies, Draskovic and Seselj - were more concerned about who was going to control the ministries than whether or not you had a job or a home.

In spite of the "Socialist" garb he wears, Milosevic is a conscious servant of international capitalism.

He is no more concerned about the interests of the working class than his "Socialist" counterparts running the governments in Bonn, Paris and London.

He, along with his counterparts in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Skopje and all the other capitals of the former Yugoslavia, were willing participants in the imperialists' plan to dismember your multiethnic workers' state.

It is with your blood that the gains of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were won.

And it is over the corpses of your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters, that imperialism is marching ... with Milosevic's approval.

International working class solidarity

Since the imperialist bombs began to fall on March 24, hundreds of thousands of workers around the world have mobilized to defend you.

When the Zastava auto plant was destroyed, and tens of thousands of our fellow workers lost their jobs (not to mention those that lost their lives), working people from Rome to Rio de Janeiro collected money to help rebuild.

Many of us saw the struggle of the Yugoslav workers to defend their factories and plants as also being our struggle.

While the bombs fell on Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pristina and the countless other cities in Yugoslavia, workers around the world also felt the blasts - at the hands of the capitalists and their armed protectors, the police.

International working class solidarity is a key to building a better world.

For workers around the world, the battle cry is "An injury to one is an injury to all!"

That is why we appeal to you, our brothers and sisters in Yugoslavia, to come together in a united struggle with your class allies around the world, against the imperialist occupation and the government that has opened the door to this aggression.

For multinational class unity!

Brothers and sisters of Yugoslavia! Your enemy is not the Albanian working class - whether they are in Kosovo or Albania!

Your enemy is imperialism and their puppets in Tirana ... and now Belgrade.

Many Albanian workers opposed the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

And they have suffered much the same fate as Yugoslav workers have at the hands of the imperialists and the so-called "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA).

The imperialist occupation of Yugoslavia will bring misery to all workers of the region - Serb and Albanian.

The expulsion of imperialism by the working class would be a victory for all workers, not only in Yugoslavia but also around the world.

We appeal to you, the workers of Yugoslavia, to unite with your class brothers and sisters, regardless of nationality, to fight against the occupation of the U.S./NATO imperialists and their willing agents in Belgrade and Pristina.

We also call on our class brothers and sisters in Yugoslavia to join with workers in other countries to expose the anti-worker program of, and fascist domination in, the so-called KLA.

Since the KLA forces will likely become the new police in Kosovo, with the support of imperialism, it is necessary to not only mobilize against them, but also to educate your brothers and sisters on their sinister character.

This misnamed "liberation army" is in fact a fascist dominated mob.

Many of their leaders and most dedicated troops identify with those groups that fought alongside the Nazis against Tito and the Partisans.

The fascists within the KLA are for destroying your trade unions and your ability to fight back.

Their alliance with U.S./NATO imperialism is meant to allow them to put this plan into action.

For workers' action to drive out the imperialists!

Today, the main enemy is U.S./NATO imperialism and their proxy force, the KLA.

What the Milosevic government has tried to do through a thousand cuts, the imperialists can do with one swift blow.

Turning your cities and factories into rubble is only the beginning for the imperialists.

They wish to destroy whatever is left of your living standards, your rights and your power.

Imperialism's unstated goal is to eliminate the power of the workers in the Balkans.

They want to make sure that you do not resist their moves to economically colonize Yugoslavia.

Only the power of the working class, organized into action, can put a stop to imperialism's plans.

We appeal to you, brother and sister workers of Yugoslavia, to mobilize and fight imperialist occupation.

Use the tools of mass struggle to stop the U.S. and NATO butchers!

Just as we call on the workers in the NATO countries to strike against "our own" imperialists, we appeal to you to organize strikes and mass workers' actions to stop the imperialists in their place.

Every time the imperialist troops try to enter a town in Yugoslavia, you should "greet" them and demand that they leave.

Tell them that your Albanian brothers and sisters are welcome, but they are not.

Confront them on the roads, stop their vehicles, and demand that they turn around and head out of the country.

And, if they do not follow your directions, show them why no imperialist army has been able to occupy Yugoslavia without sustaining heavy losses!

Unity of workers and rank-and-file soldiers

The ordinary soldiers of the FRY Army are also expected to serve as both scapegoats for imperialist occupation and armed protectors of "law and order."

You must build links with the rank and file of the Army - not the officers - to break the back of the imperialists and their allies.

Soldiers in the Army of the FRY are your brothers and sisters, your sons and daughters. They too will be made to submit before the forces of imperialism.

The rank and file of the Army must understand that the Belgrade government will not protect them from the ravages of imperialism.

If the U.S./NATO generals want the soldiers to be disarmed or sacrificed, the FRY Army generals will oblige them.

You must win their loyalty away from the Belgrade government and appeal to them to join with you in rebuilding the country to meet the needs of working people.

Work with them to form soldiers' committees that will directly elect officers and serve as the general staff.

The rank and file soldiers must not only be allies in the struggle for a better future, they must also serve as teachers and leaders in any defensive struggle.

The rank-and-file soldiers can open the doors to the armories and make the universal arming of Yugoslav workers possible.

The soldiers should oversee training in the use of weapons and equipment.

Finally, you brother and sister workers of Yugoslavia must stand alongside the rank-and-file soldiers in military action, economic action and political action.

The soldiers face the same bleak future as you - few jobs, no pay, little hope.

This is why you must draw them into your struggle to free the region of imperialist occupation and economic colonization.

For workers' political organization and action!

We, along with class-conscious workers around the world, understand that this kind of action demands a political leadership that best understands the tasks facing Yugoslav workers.

Milosevic has consciously betrayed you to imperialism!

And he will betray you again, if it means that he and his close supporters are able to maintain their power.

Draskovic will not save you! He is already working to be the Yeltsin of the Balkans.

He may mouth opposition to the bombing and sympathy for your suffering, but he has already made it clear that he seeks an alliance with the European Union and NATO.

Seselj is no answer! In spite of all of his "radical" rhetoric, he also seeks to turn you into slaves.

The only difference is that he wants the slavemasters to sit in Belgrade, not Washington.

That is why we call on you brothers and sisters in Yugoslavia to organize yourselves and build a mass working-class party, based on the method and program of Bolshevik-Leninism.

Bolshevik-Leninism, the Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and capitalist decay, is the political program of the liberation of all workers in the Balkans.

It is the program of K. Marx and F. Engels, V.I. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party before the rise of J.V. Stalin.

It is the program of L.D. Trotsky and his international co-thinkers, many of whom gave their lives in the struggle against Stalin's betrayals.

It is only a party of this type, and with this program, that can organize your brothers and sisters into an all-sided fight to drive the imperialist armies out of the Balkans ... and more.

For workers' power and a Balkan Socialist Federation!

Driving out the imperialist armies is only the first step. You still have to contend with the treacherous Milosevic government in Belgrade.

Your actions to defeat imperialism and drive it out of the country will be the first powerful step toward winning lasting liberation.

Multinational, armed workers' militias should be set up to not only defend against the imperialists and their KLA allies, but also against anyone wishing to attack your Albanian brothers and sisters as scapegoats.

In every city, town and village, elected workers' committees, independent of the imperialists and Belgrade, should be established to organize and mobilize the population to rebuild and oversee the needs of the citizens.

In those areas not occupied by the imperialists, factory and workplace committees should be formed to rebuild and control the plants.

Any enterprises previously owned by foreign capitalists should be immediately nationalized and placed under the control of the workers.

The rebuilding of homes, hospitals and public services should be done under the control of the workers and organized through elected workers' committees.

After these services have been rebuilt, they should be nationalized and placed under the control of the elected workers' committees.

It is obvious that Milosevic and his allies will not accept your organizing and control of these tasks.

They clearly present the question of who will rule in Yugoslavia: the workers or the capitalists?

That is why it will be necessary to extend the organization of armed workers' militias throughout Yugoslavia.

Finally, an all-Yugoslav congress of workers' committees must be called to coordinate and administer the work of rebuilding the country and organizing its future.

Brothers and sisters of Yugoslavia! Your moves toward liberation and the defeat of U.S./NATO imperialism would serve as inspiration to workers around the world.

It would be the first steps toward building a socialist federation of workers' republics throughout the Balkans.

It would also hasten the day when your class brothers and sisters in other countries rid the world of capitalism and imperialism and join with you in building a voluntary world union of socialist republics.

Today, more than ever before, our battle cry must be "Workers of the world, unite!"

12 June 1999.

Marxist Workers' Group (USA)
P.O. Box 19221
Detroit, MI 48219-0221
Phone: (313) 301-4428

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