(led by Mark Lošonc)
Mark Lošonc: Which Serbian and Balkan leftist legacy consider important? At the same time I think the theory and
ASI : Not enough is known to be the first Serbian socialist organizations (Serbian Socialist Party), formed in 1872 by
Serbian students in Switzerland, created under a strong influence of Bakunin, who was also present at its founding
congress. Bakunin close associates of then were Serbs Manuel Hrvaćanin and others. Program Serbian Socialist
Party clearly proclaims fight against the state, the capitalist order, family, marriage, illegitimate authority …
As the beginning of the socialist operation in us (deliberately) forgotten, the same goes for many other segments of
the revolutionary heritage which preceded the Second World War. Very important role for us was a coffin Cicvarić,
who in 1905 started the first Serbian anarcho-syndicalist newspaper – “bread and freedom”. Cicvarić, its publications
and operation influenced not only the creation of anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement in Serbia, but,
according to the testimony of the Young Bosnia accused of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and
achieved a key ideological influence on them, even though I had to leave the anarchist position after the 1912th
In Belgrade in 1910 is starting to emerge list “commune” whose initiators and collaborators largely been excluded
members of the Serbian Social Democratic party dissatisfied centralism and bureaucracy parties, as well as some
of the “direct man” – an advocate of direct action by the parties out of Dimitrije Tucović 1904 . years. Nedeljko
Cabrinovic with Gavrilo Princip initiator of the assassination in Sarajevo, worked as a typesetter “Commune”, which
is, as well as its relation to anarchism, relationships with Cross Cicvarić etc., testified at the trial after the
assassination. This testimony, as well as some serious scientific work (such as “Sarajevo 1914” Vladimir Dedijer)
show that, not only mladobosanci were mere executors in the hands of the Greater conspirators, already
implemented the revolutionary, if you like the anarchist politics, which is possible, coincided with specific goals and
Apis “mano negra”. That speaks not only publishing some of them, the library “Liberation”, which is at the dawn of
World War I in Sarajevo printed Kropotkin, Ramie and other anarchist classics, but also the fact that after the
assassination revealed their plans for the liquidation of prominent Serbian boss from Bosnia, including the then
As has been the case many times throughout history, and not only with us, the anarchist movement is physically
destroyed during the Balkan wars and the First World War; it is the movement that is later reborn remained
unfinished work of collecting information and creating an overall picture of our history. In the period between the
wars most anarchist activity on the territory of Yugoslavia takes place outside the territory of Serbia, and anarchist
practice in Serbia is limited to individual publishing projects and generally individual operation. However, this in no
way means that during this period there was no movement or group on whose experience and experiments,
recognizing their mistakes and failures, abuts our current struggle – from the Red Justice, over some elements of the
operation of the Yugoslav Communist Party, to Belgrade surrealists with whom dividing the eternal struggle, without
measures to impossible. It is known that a number of workers from Serbia participated in the Spanish Civil War on
the side of anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist units, but information about these people, as a result of repression after
World War II, very limited and mostly come by our Spanish friend and companions. In connection with the Spanish
civil war should mention that Abraham Giljen, veteran of that war, and one of the first theorists of guerrilla warfare,
later ideologue Tupamaros, the collection of texts “Philosophy urban guerilla” notes that some Yugoslav fighters
were fascinated by self-organization of the territory and industry under the control of an anarchist in Spain, and that
this experience later used in the Yugoslav self-management experiment.
When we talk about theoretical influences, often forgotten, and among anarchists, that Bakunin was the first
translator of the Communist Manifesto to the Russian language, as well as to accept the translation of capital on the
same. In this sense, we see a large part of the Marxist conceptual heritage as something inseparable from our view
of the world.
There is no doubt an important element of leftist heritage, to which we rely in our current work, is the experience of
the WW II National Liberation struggle – mass response to the occupation and fascist repression, which involved a
multitude of libertarians (of the members of the revolutionary trade union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW),
which were due to that returned to the country of emigration, to activists of the Federation of anarchist Communists
of Bulgaria). NOB (National Liberation Struggle) is not only inspiration, but also points to the direction that the struggle with the
strength and quality they manage to overcome nationalist and other obstacles reactionary anti-capitalist struggle in Yugoslavia
and the Balkans.
Also, an inexhaustible source of ideas and inspiration are the Bulgarian experience anarhokomunističkog and
anarcho-syndicalist movement, physically marginalized by the Tsarist, Stalinist and fascist reactionaries and
experience Greek libertarians. Before World War II, Bulgaria was known as the “other Spain”, because most of the
workers’ movement was explicitly anarchist-oriented.
When talking about the period after the war and the ruling Titois ideology (in which we include the “dissident”
Praxis) there is no doubt that some elements of libertarian thought – especially the original anarchist ideas of self-
government – were integrated into the ruling paradigm. This fact – despite the liberalism and the market orientation of
the Yugoslav project (especially after 1948) – provides that in that period, locate a specific ideological heritage that is
interesting to us.
ML : What is your attitude towards Yugoslavia and to Titoism?
ASI : As an anarchist organization, by definition, have a negative attitude toward all states and authoritarian
systems, including Titoism. But this does not mean that we believe that all countries of the same, or that all systems
When it comes to Yugoslavia, it is undeniable that the life or civilization level it was much higher than that in which
we live today. Drastic drop in material living standards, as well as nekontrolisatni return of nationalism, clericalism,
patriarchy and other antiradničkih ideas on the political scene, which followed the collapse of the former state, very
clearly shows the difference between the current and previous system. Therefore, it can be considered that the
period of Titoism, historically, to this day was the best for the population of our region.
On the other hand, setting the idea of self-government in the national context and its logical degeneration in these
conditions, the existence of markets, the dictatorship of the Statist Communists and the existence of “red” bourgeoisie arose
from it, negative selection as a necessary companion to any hierarchical organization, fostering a personality cult
and repression of dissent who are not all necessarily, in the Yugoslav context, were reactionaries (for example,
criminal means Naked island), cooperation with the imperialist powers (the US and USSR), refusal to resolving the
Albanians in Kosovo, etc., show the structural basis for the creation of today’s banana country born out of a bloody
war . War, which was essentially a conflict led by the bureaucracy Republican Party in the struggle for the
preservation of power and gaining the best possible position in the upcoming privatization theft, of course, supported
by the imperialists in pursuit of their own interests.
ML : How would you describe today’s left-wing scene in Serbia?
ASI : Due to the confusion of ideas which burdens our region for decades, it should be noted that as a leftist see
only those organizations, groups and movements that actively oppose a society based on the domination of private
property, and it opposed a society based on collective ownership. The fact that we talk about left-wing “scene”, and
not the left-wing movement shows great problem left in Serbia today, but at the same time shows the change from
the period when, before almost 10 years, our organization was created.
In fact, what we consider one of the greatest contributions to our organization anti-capitalist struggle in Yugoslavia is
precisely the fact that our actions, and the fact that we have not broken the brutal state repression that does not stop
since our inception, enable you to do about political space left, and to understand the differences in relation to liberal
and nationalist political views. At a time when we are at the beginning of the millennium began with organized
activities, this idea did not exist. The few “leftist” group that existed were completely integrated or in nationalist
projects that Milosevic seen as the last barrier to imperialism and the destruction of Yugoslavia and, on the other
hand, were part of the essential proimperialist anti-war movement under the hegemony of anational,
The fact that it is now possible to talk about the growing number of leftist organizations, their activities and left-wing
positions on political issues shows the great progress that has been made since then, and that is our consistent
insistence on anti-capitalist and internationalist positions, in that sense, it was worth. When we speak of the left, of
course, talking about organizations, groups and movements, realizing that the Left does the working class for itself –
organized – not free thinkers who self-defines as supporters of leftist ideas. In this sense, we can isolate the
operation of anarchist and anarhosyndicalist, Maoist, Trotskyist and a Titoist and left-Breznyevist organizations
and groups in Serbia, as well as various of front organizations and movements that have engaged and activists of
these organizations. Most of the activists of these organizations and groups, despite different positions on a variety
of issues, due to the fact that we are a movement in stage of incubation, the second movement prehistoric times if you
want to, very often shares a common practice and Front access to participation in larger social movements,
such as the mass student protests and FIG. The ideological differences are manifested in practice, and in this sense
are our activists those who advocate mass movements, and generally manage to maintain the hegemony of ideas
interprofessional solidarity, direct action, direct democracy and anti-parlamentarism.
ML : In recent years (especially in 2006, 2007 and 2011) is in Serbia very important role played student movement,
protests and blockades are significantly contributed to the experience of young people left. Form of its action is often
a direct democracy, a form that is determinative importance for ASI. What was your role in the movement? How do
you see its future?
ASI : ASI members are active in all the student protests, starting from the first social protest of students in 2006,
initiated and organized by the Trade Union of Education and ASI Front organizations Social Front in
whose work also involved our activists. Then the students blocked the Faculty of Philosophy, seeking a reduction of
tuition fees and better studying conditions. From then until the last riots in autumn 2011. ASI members are
performing at student unions, always represented the hardest line movement, compromise is advocating that all
decisions and actions must be in accordance with the principles of direct democracy and direct action.
We believe that the future of the student movement in organizing combat student union organization that will bring
together students, teachers and non-teaching staff (because we are aware that there is a fundamental difference in
the interests of these groups), especially because the previous year happened to be fighting potential melted due to
the lack of any structure that after the protest kept fighting students together. Also, the formation of trade union
organizations at colleges would be set based on more solid organization and popularization of student and labor
movement. Therefore, the members of the Union of Education ASI, along with other combat students launched an
initiative for the formation of student unions, who see it as a first step in that direction. Such a union, based on the
principles of direct democracy, will be directly pitted against the operation of the student parliament and departments
of the Faculty and also will give continuity to the student struggle.
ML : To join the ASI does not need any ideological qualifications, but at the same time emphasize the need for
scientific critique of capitalism. What do you think about the role of theory?
ASI : It is true that for membership in the ASI is not necessary ideological qualification, but a member of ASI can not
become a person who acts contrary to our basic principles, and whose material position contrary to the interests of
our membership. This means that the owners, members of the repressive state apparatus (professional army,
police, prison and judicial system …), as well as members of political parties can not be members of ASI.
Also, it is often forgotten, and the anarchist movement, to the anarchists, and the first person who used the term to
describe their political positions – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – were the ones who insisted on the creation of scientific
socialism. As supporters of the “philosophy of praxis” it is clear that we do not see the theory as something separate
from practice, and that the practical unity of theory and practice we see a dialectical overcoming these divisions. In
this regard, we look at the intellectual effort on the revolutionary left, indicating that we are acceptable only “organic
intellectuals,” those of its theoretical settings based on the experience of direct participation in the class struggle,
and the knowledge gained in these conflicts, not limited to, such traditional intellectuals to describe, but articulating
the aspirations, attitudes and aspirations of the masses. We do not want to deal with the theory that we are lost in
abstractions or dreamed of the ideal free society – a theory which we accept is one that enhances our practice and
strengthen the revolutionary movement.
ML : ASI is anarcho-union of workers which functions as a confederation. In which cities you are present and what is the
relationship between the individual federations?
ASI : ASI has local groups in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Niš, Novi Sad and šabac (and isolated members in many other
cities). Relationship between the Federation to carry out “organic”, through the secretariat of the organization whose
primary role is the coordination of work between local federations, unions and groups. Of course, there are also
regular “horizontal” links between members of different local groups, as well as the cooperation that takes place
through various joint projects – such as, for example, the editorial board of our weekly “Direct Action”.
ML : Direct action is for you a central concept. What were your major direct actions in recent years?
ASI : Direct action is our main method of struggle. This term represents a rejection of any intermediaries such as
representatives, parties, parliament, union bureaucrats, authoritarian established key institutions, etc., and direct
action to fight for their rights. It is acting against the system and the country and represents the most efficient and
fastest method that puts pressure on the bosses and the state. Methods of direct action, strikes, sabotage,
blockades workplace and colleges, okupucije state institutions, etc..
Examples of direct action in which the members of ASI took part in the blockade of the Faculty 2006/07. and in 2011,
then to organize more protests to defend the Great Park in Kragujevac (when the family tennis player Novak
Djokovic wanted to build in the area business and sports center). The most recent example is also in Kragujevac,
where the local inhabitants of a village fighting for the defense of green areas, where a group of capitalists wants to
build a business center. On many occasions we are in the service sector successfully pressured bosses to pay back
wages to employees. In addition, our members organized participate in various initiatives, such as the currently
available action against the company BusPlus – attempts to privatize public transportation in Belgrade.
ML : Do you cooperate with other anarchist groups at the international level?
ASI : ASI is since 2004 part of the International Workers Association (IWA) – International revolutionary trade union
founded in Berlin in 1922. The specificity of our International, despite the fact that only workers’ revolutionary
International that survived World War II and which is active to this day, is the fact that one of its sections – Spanish
National Confederation of Labour (CNT) launched a revolution that is for a short period ( 1936/7) managed to
achieve the highest achievements in freedom of mankind in recorded history. Secretariat of the IWA in 2006, was in
Belgrade until 2009, when it mounted the case, among others, was arrested and charged with international terrorism
and Ratibor Trivunac who served as Secretary-General Internaconale. This is the first time in the long history of our
International to the International Secretariat located outside Western Europe. ASI is also in contact with
Internacional Anarchist Federation, on whose Congresses repeatedly attended as observers. Most of the
international activities of ASI takes place through the organic structures of our International, but, of course, they do
not end here.
ASI, together with their comrades in Slovenia, Croatian, Greece and Bulgaria started in 2003 Balkan Anarchist Book
Fair, which will next year in Ljubljana to mark the tenth anniversary of its existence. Also, intensive contacts with
movements in the region have contributed to the creation of anarcho-syndicalist organizations in Bulgaria
(Autonomous Workers’ Union), Turkey (ASI – Turkey), Romania (ASI – Romania), Croatia (Network of anarcho-
syndicalists), as well as a multitude of joint activities Freedom Movement in the region – solidarity actions, camps for
immigrant rights against the limits etc.
In addition, ASI has organized a number of public forums and presentations of anarchist and revolutionary
movements of the world with guests from the international labor movement, but also served as a point of reference
companions who traveled through the region, especially in the first half of the 2000s when we were practically the
only organization with the resources to something like.
ML : You have a very intensive publishing activity. What books do you publish?
ASI : Our research and publishing Center for Libertarian Studies (CLS) is an institution which has been issued as a
revolutionary theory, and other publications that we believe contribute to the revolutionary struggle on the
educational and cultural front – the struggle which we see as inseparable from the class struggle at all other levels.
First editions CLSA, in a series of “Hook and pick” were photocopied brochure as its predominant objective was
theoretically empowering our members and supporters, however, faced with strong demand we realized the need to
expand our publishing which has become one of the primary activities CLS. So far, the CLS issued twenty-nine
publications in eight editions – that stretch from revolutionary classics like “Anarchy” Peter Kropotkin or “Communist
Manifesto”, to alternative guide through documentaries “And do you know that we are poor Department of occult
charge” Bojana claws or surrealist bravura Ivana Tobico in his book “I’m built lights when the pots”, but also comics
like “the revolution in restaurants.” CLS also organized two competitions for socially engaged works and published a
collection of socially engaged works “Choked in Transition”, thus wanting to, as far as we can, oppose
commercialization of culture and contribute to the formation of the new generation of social engaged creators.
In addition to publishing CLS maintains the largest library libertarian books and magazines in the region, and its
archives stored materials revolutionary movement from around the world – with a particular focus on the movement
in the Balkans and former Yugoslavia, but also in other areas that revolutionaries can be useful for the study – of
documents related to the operation of the reformist trade union movement and the bourgeois parties, through
publications and other materials of modern and historical fascist groups and institutions.
ML : Members of ASI have been direct victims of state violence for many years. What were the most difficult moments?
ASI : The most difficult moment so far is certainly the case, “the Belgrade six.” Then he arrested six Belgrade
anarchists, of which four members of ASI. They are rigged trial were accused of international terrorism. Our
organization has been exposed to heavy media lynch. The bourgeois media are coming out police ordered articles
that brutal attack our organization and the very idea of anarchism, while the legal proceedings attempted to argue
that the “terrorist” attack was the product of operation of our organization – in other words, the state is our entire
organization tried to appear as terrorist. In addition, constant lasted pressure on our police members who were on
the “freedom”. They were at that time called in for questioning, detained for “obstruction of justice” during the
campaign for the release of Bg6, constantly threatened us with new arrests and criminal charges and the like.
Under pressure from domestic and international public of our comrades are freed and the lack of any evidence
against our comrades led to the complete release of all the accused. Repression, however, continues, but at
reduced capacity, it is not as brutal and open as at the time of the Belgrade six, but it is there all the time. We are
currently conducting a large number of criminal cases against members of ASI. Case Bg6 again in court, but by a
lesser indictment, while in the meantime indicted two members of ASI for obstructing officials and disturbing public
peace and order during the protests against the NATO conference in Belgrade last year. During the process against
three students, one of whom is a member of the Union of Education ASI, for organizing the blockade of Philosophy
and the Faculty of Philology of last year, and it intended to criminalize the student movement, students and
intimidated before the fall, when you are expecting a new student uprising .
ML : What do you do now?
ASI : For some time again we issue our newsletter “Direct Action”, which has now taken the form of a weekly
magazine. It managed to regularly comment on and present the revolutionary views on current issues, a distribution
network that covers eleven cities enables us their ideas reach far more people than is now the case.
We are preparing for a hot autumn student when planning new protests of students. In addition, we are engaged in
preparations for future action, which should be followed after the summer holidays. The past few months we have
organized an independent demonstration on the occasion of May Day; rally in support of the Turkish student activist
Basak was closed in Croatia; we organized and revolutionary block the demonstrations against the rehabilitation of
National traitors and war criminal, the Chetnik commander Dragoljub Mihailovic.
CLS is currently preparing a book Danijela Gerena “Anarchism”, as well as Alexander Berkman book
“Fundamentals of anarchist communism”, and as the end of October this year marks 10 years since the formation of
our organization, preparations are under way to adequately mark the date.