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HVALA NA SLOBODI

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SO THAT THE YOUNGER GENERATION DOESN'T FORGET (REMEMBERING THE YEAR OF 1987) THANK YOU FOR THE FREEDOM God! God! When you are going to create a world again, keep your mind inside your head! - Gypsy proverb People! People of Vevčani! The Vevčani's Carnival has begun, the 1100th performance in a row. Let it serve us in many years to come! What was the goal of all of this that happened? The water was surly only a motive and not the goal. The reason for this must lie somewhere else. For how is it possible a village about which one is well known that during the time of the revolution not even one of its inhabitants belonged to any of the enemy's formations, a village where each house had given one or two or more combatants to the war, in the lines of the National Liberation War - the Yugoslav Front, for how is it possible a village of this kind to be suddenly declared anti-socialist, inhuman and religiously chauvinistic? It was dreadful, you could see young children falling one next to the other and you couldn't do anything, you couldn't help. There were five to six policemen for one woman or one child. My daughter also fell down, they hit her on the head, my son was burned here, on the leg. Never that many policemen or special police forces, we have never seen that many in front of our eyes except on television, and now we saw them with police dogs next to them, but these dogs were better than them, because they didn't want to jump on us, the women, to bite us. Only the policemen. There was more police than folks. More! And right there and then my wife falls as a victim. But who is that woman? She is the woman who's brother and father died in the battle of Sutjeska. That day my daughter was also heavily beaten. We need this water, because we live on the mountain, just under the border with Albania. If it is necessary we will even wake up Tito from his grave so that we only find our justice. I don't know what happened to us, what bad deeds have we done that while being just, with nothing wrong done, we were beaten up. They beat me up, they burned me, and I fell down, I didn't know where I was. There was no police to defend us. They are beating us, but there is no police to defend us. What was this that was happenig? The guilty was never found. But the guilty is not from down here. He is from up there, from the head. Fools exist and they have sent the police with electric shock batons. My sister fell on my hands, she almost died on my hands. My best friend fell down as well, then I fell down too and was taken to the hospital. In our house many soldiers and combatants had been coming in the past, I have heard stories about the battle and I have seen it on my own, but I have never seen this kind of battle even on television. Mostly I feel it is shameful, it is really shameful that fascists are hiding themselves under the red star, for this I felt real shame and therefore I was repeating these words: ''Take the red star off, take it off and put a fascist star, since you are doing this horrible crime.'' That's all. When I went near the van I found Ruža there, I was holding myself on the van door and she was inside completely breathless, she had no sign of life. And Sarafinka. And there was this other woman with her children. I don't know what happened to the children, but the woman was shouthing out loud screams and they (the police) kept pushing women by force in the vans. How could we not protest when these children were called for statements by the police? What could this little child tell? Still today he doesn't want to go to school because of the fear of the police. If a friend comes at home to ask him to go out, he doesn't go out, he says: ''The police will come to take me.'' How can this child be guilty and what does he know that he could tell? This one too was taken and burned by electric shock batons. Why should she be burned by electric shock batons? What harm she can do? What is her fault so that she should be burned by electric shock batons? She went out to see what was happening and then… No matter how long we are going to talk here, it is impossible to tell everything about our struggles. Being forced to go from here all the way to Belgrade, on foot… And our struggles still cannot be comletely told. What horrors have we seen… Children were screaming like chickens. I was blue all over my body. The nurses had taken me into care. The others told me more later when I regain consciousness again. Cheers for the beatings! But we can never get over what happened to us. We can get over it only when the guilty one will be finally found. My mother was sentenced at 1.30 after midnight. When they were taking her to the police quarters, she got a heart attack. And I said to the doctor: ''Is this woman my mother? Should she go to prison or she should stay in hospital?'' The doctor hid himself. He ran away. When that catastrophe at the hospital happened on the 26th and the 27th (of May), we gathered together precisely 23 women and went on our own costs. We paid ourselves the bus tickets and went to complain. In Belgrade. In Belgrade we didn't know the person that met us, he didn't present himself, neither by his name nor by his surname. We told him about everything that was laying heavy on us and that was put upon us by those others. And he said: ''I understand. It will not happen again.'' But when the other catastrophe came later, that one was the real one, everything was like butchered. All of us, we were beaten with electric shock batons. About 8.30 I went down to the centre of the village and all the people had already been gathered there. Soon after the police arrived, armed, the special police forces, and they started to push people. They were hitting with the batons, they had some small objects in the hands as well. Since it was summer the people were waring light summer clothes. They made me completely blue on my hands and on my legs. Everywhere bruises. They weren't listening what we were saying to them, they just kept beating us. I said: ''Take me now and kill me here, can you not see how blue my hands are? I am this blue all over my body.'' Afterwards they took me with them. They took me to the police magistrate somewhere, I don't know exactly to tell where it was, and I was condemned to 10 days in prison. I asked: ''Why am I being condemned?'' ''You have offended the police.'' ''What offence'', I replied, ''I was begging the police and I was repeating: - Don't do this please! How does it feel to beat mothers and sisters and their children while the men are not being able to help them.'' I also saw my mother being beaten by several policemen. I ran to her to defend her, but one of the policemen hit me with an electric shock baton. I saw how they were dragging one woman with her two sons and the tired little one was watching as they were dragging her and as they put her inside the van. I ran towards them and was shouting to them to let go of her and the children, but then I was also hit by an electric shock baton and I ran trying to find my mother. We went there and saw how the policemen were beating the women. In my hands I took the photo of Tito and we were singing songs about him. At that moment one of the policemen came to me. He hit me, took the photo of Tito from my hands and broke it into pieces. Ten days following the attacks the Chief of Police found me and took me to the police. He was interrogating me whether I knew some of the women that he displayed on the camera. I kept replying that I didn't know them and that I have nothing to tell him. Then he took out an electric shock baton and started hitting me on my back. They pushed me, hit me and I had lost conscious. I was taken to the clinic, since it was not that far away. When I regained consciousness I found my daughter crying over my head. ''Oh mother they could have killed you, you could have died. We were going to stay without you. Soon we might loose our father, but we could have lost you too.'' Soon we might loose our father, but we could have lost you too.'' What kind of time is this, a battle send upon us by someone. I have a son in the army to defend this country while at the same time this country sends to his mother special police forces to beat her up. This did not really happen because of the water. This was the most horrible thing that has ever happened to this village. It was for sure the most horrible thing. The most horrible thing. I went out as usual, since my house is down the village and what do I see! The most horrifying scene, oh dear God, as seeing the battle of Kozara. The people were gathered, the children were gathered, and them with the helmets, armed, with batons. Women were wondering: ''What is this thing, why are they holding umbrellas in their hands, the weather is sunny and clear and they have umbrellas with them.'' I was asking the police: ''What is dear people, what are these strange things you are doing here?'' I went a bit up the road and there was a woman holding her three months old baby in her arms. She was watching from aside as well. And then a policeman went to her and hit the baby with the electric shock baton. I was devastated, completely devastated. I went a bit further up the road thinking I can stop them here, there, anywhere… We were all crying. When I went again further up the road, I saw that girl there just as she was hit twice with the umbrella on the head and she fell down unconscious. When the girl fell unconscious, I went to the policeman saying: ''What is this people, what is this horrible thing that you dear brothers are doing to us? You have destroyed us. You have destroyed these young children.'' I cannot say a word. I see the picture in front of me… On this same day, 7th of August, I saw and felt for the first time these infamous electric shock batons. I obtained a hit on my head and was in a coma for two hours. In the evening the same day I learned that the Youth Organisation of Vevčani started a hunger strike. We were economic immigrants under occupied Yugoslavia. Some under Bulgarian, some under German and some under Italian occupation. A woman doesn't go along. And now when we got our Macedonia, now… Here is the thing comrades! Our women were beaten up in Macedonia. If the guilty is not found, I deny myself as Macedonian! People! People of Vevčani! It was Friday, 7 of August 1987. A black Friday. A black Friday when Vevčani was crying. From now on the silent protest continues, which every Friday from 7pm to 8pm will be held on, until the truth comes to light. Eternal thankfulness to the fallen soldiers in the National Liberation War 1941-1945 God! God! When you are going to create a world again, keep your mind inside your head! - Gypsy proverb

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 16 seconds
Country: Macedonia
Language: English
Views: 66
Posted by: bluzivs on Apr 14, 2014

A short documentary about the Vevčani Emergency in 1987.

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