The following international statement has been initiated by Green Left Weekly. If you agree, please return your endorsement (include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and your organisation or position for identification purposes) to Green Left Weekly, PO Box 394, Broadway, NSW, 2007. Phone (02) 9690 1210, fax (02) 9690 1381, or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
We oppose both the US-led NATO war against Serbia/Yugoslavia and the Serbian authorities' genocidal campaign of terror against the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosova (the region termed "Kosovo" by the Serbian regime). We support the right of the Kosovar people to self-determination, which includes their right to independence from Serbia.
The NATO powers' war against Serbia/Yugoslavia has nothing to do with defending the Kosovar people against Serbian persecution, which began a decade ago and which these powers did nothing against.
The real purpose of the US/NATO war is two-fold: first, to win greater public acceptance for the right of the US government to use its war machine anywhere in the world; second, to block the Kosovar people's struggle for independence from Serbia. The NATO powers have consistently opposed this struggle, denouncing the Kosova Liberation Army as "terrorists" and insisting that Kosova remain part of Serbia, regardless of what the Kosovar people want.
The NATO powers only began to express opposition to the Serbian government's repression in Kosova when the Kosova Albanians began an armed resistance to this repression. NATO began to insist that Serbia allow NATO troops to occupy Kosova and disarm the KLA because the NATO powers had lost confidence in the Serbian authorities' ability to crush the Kosovar armed resistance movement.
The NATO war against Serbia/Yugoslavia will do nothing to bring about a just settlement of the Serbian/Kosovar conflict, which can only be based upon recognition of the Kosova Albanians' right to decide their own affairs free of both Serbian and NATO interference.
For these reasons, we believe it is necessary to oppose US/NATO military intervention in the Balkans, and to demand an immediate halt to the NATO military campaign against Serbia, the immediate withdrawal of all Serbian military forces from Kosova and removal of all restrictions imposed on the ability of the Kosova Albanians to defend themselves (including the UN-NATO arms embargo).
Initial endorsers (organisations and positions for identification purposes only unless indicated otherwise): Lisa Macdonald, editor, Green Left Weekly; John Pilger, journalist, author and film-maker; Dhyta Caturani, international department, People's Democratic Party (Indonesia); Dr Syd Husin Ali, president, Malaysian People's Party; John Percy, national secretary, Democratic Socialist Party (Australia); Sonny Melencio, Socialist Party of Labour (Philippines); Wardah Hafidz, Urban Poor Consortium (Indonesia); T. Rajamoorthy, Regional Council on Human Rights in Asia; José Alvarez Icaza, president, National Center for Social Communication (Mexico); Agnes Khoo, women's and workers' rights activist (Singapore); Patrick Bond, lecturer, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa); Anna Weekes, on behalf of the South African Municipal Workers Union; Brian Ashley, coordinator, Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), South Africa; Koshin Fukushima, AIDC; Duncan Chapple, Socialist Democracy (Britain); Pete Brown, Independent Labour Network (Britain); Mark Hudson, Solidarity (USA); Allen Myers, editor, Links; Michael Karadjis, delegate Australian Services Union; Sid Shniad, research director, Telecommunications Workers Union (Canada); Max Lane, national coordinator, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET); Dodong Valencia, KASAPI HELLAS (Greece); Sean Healy, national coordinator, Resistance; Dr Helen Jarvis, Asia Pacific Institute for Democratisation and Development; Neville Spencer, editor, Venceremos; Pip Hinman, Asia Pacific Women's Solidarity Network; Dr Dede Oetomo, lecturer, Universitas Airlangga Surabaya (Indonesia); Becky Ellis, New Socialist Group (Canada); University of Queensland Union; Kate Carr, education officer, Griffith University SRC; Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament (Brisbane); Jabiluka Action Group (Brisbane); Jabiluka Action Group (Sydney); Dave Holmes, Resistance Books; Stephen O'Brien, Committees in Solidarity with Central America and the Caribbean (CISLAC); Dr Kamala Emanuel, medical practitioner; Bob Hendricks, Queensland secretary, CEPU Electrical Division; Peter Boyle, New Course Publications; Dr Tuntuni Bhattacharyya, medical practitioner; Jill Hickson, film-maker; Aaron Benedek, education officer, Sydney University Students Representative Council; Tim Gooden, secretary, ACT government section, Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU); Philippa Stanford, section councillor, Centrelink section, CPSU; Mark Cronin, section councillor, Centrelink section, CPSU; Dr Jeremy Smith, lecturer, University of Ballarat, National Tertiary Education Industry Union national councillor; Melanie Sjoberg, organiser, Public Service Association (SA); Maurice Sibelle, coordinator, Victorian TAFE Students and Apprentices Network (VTSAN); Sarah Lantz, student research officer, VTSAN; Dr Margaret Perrot, medical practitioner; Chris Latham, coordinator, Australia-Indonesia Student Solidarity Brigade; Allen Jennings, CISLAC Victoria; Ertugral Titiz, Kurdish activist; Mark Abberton, education officer, RMIT TAFE Students Association; Natasha Izatt, women's officer, RMIT TAFE Students Association; Vanessa Hearman, ASIET Victoria; Trisha Reimers, women's officer, University of WA Student Guild; Amanda Lawrence, women's officer, University of Canberra Students Association; Angela Luvera, National Union of Students NSW Women's Committee; Peter Robson, NUS Queensland Education Committee; Craig Gebauer (USA); Blanche Grosswald, School of Social Welfare, University of California; Nils P. Lie-Gjeseth, Red Alliance (Norway); Lekkie Hopkins, Edith Cowan University; Canberra Rape Crisis Centre; Natalie Gourgard, postgraduate vice-president, University of Queensland Union; Roland Pfefferkorn, Marc-Bloch University (France); Ichiyo Muto, co-president, People's Plan Study Group (Japan); James E. Vann (USA).