Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Demonstration planned for Washington, DC


Please be informed that all Albanians and supporters of human rights are invited to join the Albanian-American Diaspora at the White House and Embassy of Montenegro on MONDAY SEPTEMBER 10 in WASHINGTON DC USA as we protest the continuing criminal enterprise known as the Montenegrin Judicial and Law Enforcement System -- i.e., Government!

The demonstration will start at approximately 8:00 a.m. in front of the White House and thereafter proceed to the new Embassy of Montenegro where attention will be drawn to the Albanian political prisoners being held on bogus charges of "terrorism."

The demonstration calls upon all Albanian-Americans to gather and protest against the illegal arrests of innocent Albanians that have been jailed since September 9, 2006 and held in solitary confinement in Spuz. For nearly a year, the prisoners have been denied due process, equal protection, and basic human rights where they continue to be prey to acts of physical and mental torture, including callous acts that have led to forced confessions.
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The date of this demonstration coincides with the anniversary of the detentions and is being held on the eve of the commencement of the trial, where the Chief Judge has purposely scheduled to fall on September 11 to symbolize terrorism and its applicability to the desired outcome of the case.
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More information will follow in local and regional media.
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The irony of the picture above shows an actual rubber bullet wound on the abdomen of Viktor Dreshaj just days after he was arrested, beaten, and detained in Spuz.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

To the organizers:
You need to announce it in both churches, New York and Detroit, as well as Mosques.
Also notify and call on all Oragnozations that operate in the Diaspora, Tv, news papares "Illyria" "Bota Sot" etc. We need to have at least several hundred people that day.If only 100-200 show up..I think it will be a failure.
Good Luck.

Mark said...

The flyers will be developed by the end of this week, they will be distributed to all institutions mentioned above.

Also, all elected representatives need to be contacted, vis email or otherwise. Soem names that need to be there:

Carl & Sander Levin
Eliot Engell
Tom Lantos

We also need advocates of Albanian rights like Joe Diogardi and his wife.

AND all members associated with any Albanian political, social (NGO) organization needs to be present, it is only fitting they be there and put their differences and egos aside for at least one day. Why else do you all exist than for the universal purpose of advocating for greater rights/freedomd of Albanians abroad?!?

Anonymous said...

Let's not let Sept. 11 also be remembered as when Albanians were sentenced as terrorists in Montenegro.

Someone will pay a heavy price for this -- and it will be Slavs!

Anonymous said...

It is a disgraceful move on the part of Montenegro's judicial system to set the date for Sept. 11.

The United States Consulate in Podgorica should weigh-in on this because 9/11 should not be used as a means for achieving a desired outcome as this article claims.

Why else would teh trial start on a Tuesday, why not Monday, Sept. 10th?

This is a clear stregedy by the Judge to strongarm these proceedings and heighten the trial as terrorism in teh realm of teh USA attacks.

MONTENEGRO DESERVES CONDEMNATION FOR THIS MOVE!

Anonymous said...

I believe it would be constructive, while in DC, to schedule a meeting with the State Department.

Not with a Desk Officer, but someone higher up.

Anton Ivezaj said...

There will be additional meetings in Detroit and New York to better coordinate the demonstration and work towards making it a success.

In this case, success is measured in numbers, so if you see yourself -- your identity -- affected in any way by the abusive autocratic mechanics of the Montenegrin regime, please make yourself heard and place yourself on the picket-line and SCREAM to be heard!!

SCREAM for greater rights for minorities in Montenegro!

SCREAM for equal rights and opportunities for those that are not Slavs!

SCREAM for our mother's and father's property to stop being seized and turned over to foreign refugees!

SCREAM for access to public institutions and employment!

SCREAM for equal access and admissions to universities and programs of higher learning!

SCREAM for the preserverance and utilization of our mother tongue in state and academic instituions and the right to study under our own linguistic characteristics!

SCREAM for the freedom of expression where Albanians can voice their distrust and disgust of government without being arrested, tortured and detained!

SCREAM for a Constitution that includes the democratic rights of minorities as protected by the UN Charter, Council of Europe, European Union, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights!

SCREAM for Malesia to stand up and TAKE what's theirs, TAKE their territory back; TAKE their rights back; TAKE their dignity back; TAKE their FREEDOM back!

SCREAM for the release of our innocent fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and nephews that are beaten every day like dogs and called shameful names in the name of Albania, while being reminded that Albanians have no place in Montenegro!

SCREAM Damn-it, SCREAM!!!!

Get out on September 10th and SCREAM for ALBANIA and what we once were, what we desire to be, and the future we want for our children!

SCREAM!

Anonymous said...

Attention: Demonstrations needed in Malesia not in USA!!! Get all of those so-called Albanian political leaders to organize a peaceful demonstration.

Starts with political leaders and yearly summer tourist can organize a demonstration this August.

Hopefully, Dinosha and Co. will not discourage the local people and tourists from exercise their right under Montenegro Constitution.


--Vllazina

Anonymous said...

That would be nice, to have a demonstration in Tuz!

But Americans that travel to Malesia go there for fun in the sun, spending their money in Budva and Ulcin, and not to worry about politics. Trust me, they told me this when I was there last summer.

The problem with Albanians in Montenegro is that they are not discriminated againt to the point where they all collectively assemble and protest.

In fact, they don't want to hear about politics because they fear their meager pensions will suffer, even thought its an average of $100/month.

Albanian tourists spend all their money at night clubs and prostitution in and around Podgorica, why do you think the Economist magazine called Montenegro a haven for Tycoons. All that money goes right into the pockets of Montenegrins, thus inflating their pockets at the expense of those suffering in our villages. No investment or spending like that is seen in Malesia.

Although I may realize that this is enough reason alone to protest, 90% of Malesors do not and will not.

The tourist season is upon us, ask anyone who comes back from a trip to Montenegro, and they will wow you with stories about Budva, Herzig Novi, Petrovac, Kotor, Tivat, Ulcin, and no one will say I partied like a rock-star in Tuz.

Sorry to say but true.

Nik said...

That alone would be reason enough for me to stand in a picket-line.

What does it take to get Albanians in Malesia to protest for their rights?

Anonymous said...

fyi, dioguardi wasn't interested in participating in the demonstration...just as he wasnt for the previous one's.

Tina Kalaj said...

If that's the case, then Joe and his friends should abstain from all Albanian functions/events, and especially Kosova.

This demosntration is for the rights of Albanians that are being trampled on, and it affects each and every one of us, just the same way Kosova touched all of our hearts and spurred us to attend the rally's and demosntrations in 1999.

Regardless where we came from -- Albania, Macedonia, Preseva, Mali Zi, we all came together as one country during those times, and we still should!

Anonymous said...

Ditto that!

Albin said...

Whomever the organizers are I would suggest carefully asking the right people to say a few words at the rally and not just give the microphone to who ever wants to hear themselves speak.

There were embarrasing episodes at the last demonstration in DC where some Albanians said things that had absolutely nothing to do with the mission they were there to advocate.

You don't want to send mixed-messages to Montenegrin media because they are masters at spinning everything that comes out of your mouth.

Be prepared to clealry state why you are there. List the objectives in a short and coherent manner, highlighting facts, and hopefully figures, that are worth international (American and European) attention. Remember, you are appealling to the USA and who ever else will listen (and the msg. will get to Montenegro), so your audience is broad in scope, and your msg. should coincide with that, thus the right people need to speak to convey this msg. And if you are fortunate enough to schedule a meeting with American institutions, ie., Congress and/or State Dept., then you really must be prepared with outright demands because they don't want to be lectured to, they want to know what it is that you are requesting from them. Again, the right people need to be here.

I agree with the post above that success will be measured in numbers. Whatever you organizers do between now and Sept. 10 you must involve a strategy to get as many people as possible to attend. It has been very disappointing that New York has retardedly refused to participate in "proportional numbers" bacause they are representive of Albanian-Montenegrins as well. You might consider providing bussing as you did last time.

On a side note, I also heard that Fran Lulduraj was appointed Montenegrin Ambassador to the UN; if so, then what are the chances directing the same appeals to his person where a direct assault of his position and the reasoning why he accepted should be brought to light. This man is often critized for accepting lucrative political positions offerred to him by Montenegro, BUT he continues to be accepted and respected in Malesia and eslsewhere (in our very own communities in the Diaspora), but when it comes time to rally and demonstrate he is the scapegoat. Let's not be hypocritical people, either attack him or leave him alone -- that goes for all Albanians that are sympathetic to abusive Montenegrin policies towards it minorities, ie., YOU AND I.

Also, the Albanians of Malesia need to carefully observe who says what during these next few weeks leading to the demonstration. There will be those that dissent with the rally and will not want it to take place, and it should be noted who they are and what organizations they belong to.

For example, NAAC has been very distant with the objectives of Albanians from Malesia (Montenegro) and their past activities, especially from those in Detroit, which make up the majority of immigrants from Montenegro. I think we should not be fooled by their recent attempts to establish ties with Malesia by opening up offices in Podgorica to "mediate" ties between the majority and minority. This attempt is clearly self-serving to a degree where they are faced with the final closure of Kosova in the coming months and Montenegro is a new frontier.

There are Albanian activists that have been resisting the assimilation in Malesia for decades and have been restless in their efforts to bring attention to the issues; these same people and organizations MUST be included because they are the ones that have the Albanians in Montenegro on their side. When you introduce new faces and objectives from new organizations to Malesia, Ulqin, Plave, etc., you will be received with suspicion, and without the base, ie., DETROIT behind you, you can come with all the incentives on earth, it will not matter!

Cao!

Nik said...

Albin, although I agree with everything you posted, I however, digress!

Why is this demonstration not taking place where it needs to take place -- MALESIA?!?!?!

Are they not affected by the arrests? Perhaps more so than us over here.

The answer is simple -- THEY ARE AFRAID!

And second, besides the families, Albanians in Malesia don't care about the prisoners, most have gone on record to say that the prisoners should be found guilty and locked up because they are threatening the peace in Montenegro. Now everyone is afraid to do anything.

Why are there no more demonstartions like we saw last year????

If there was ever a time to gather and rally in Malesia it is now, to protest the injustices that are being brought down against Albanians in all fronts, from econmoic suppression, to political oppression, it is happening there every day and they are sufferring as a result.

But I take that back, they are NOT sufferring because if they were they would stand up for their damn rights and do something about it.

But they look at us 5K miles away as their Messiah, and America, who by the way does not give two cents for them over there, so anyone planning to meet with State Dept. officials -- do not waste your time.

Some may think I am a pessimist, but there is no Albanian out there who wantes better lives for my relatives in Malesia than me. I am a realist, and the only real solution is for the people IN MALESIA to stand up and take their rights back!

Altin said...

Nik -- this is the phenomenon we face in Malesia and throughout the historic lands of our fathers.

The diaspora has taken the initiative to shape the political in that region because of exactly what you mention in your post. This, however, should not to a surprise to you.

The war in Kosova was funded and fueled by the German/Swiss/American diaspora, where intellectuals and soldiers were recruited relentlessly as the only defendents of life and freedom at a time where the largest campaign of genocide was unraveling before our eyes. The politics of Ibrahim Rugova and other pacifict leaders were such that the status quo would have prevailed to this day unless Thaci, Haradinaj, and Rama did not interject.

But we need to look at other places where the Diaspora played significant roles in their homelands, and if it were not for these emigrants, their countries would be in different political hands -- The Jewish Diapora is the strongest in the world where it has the financial backing of the world's hegemon in the USA; then of course there are the Basques, Chileans in the UK, Arab (Chaldeans in Dearborn, Michigan); Cubans in Miami; Mexicans and Armenians in California; French Canadians in the USA; the Roma throughout Eastern Europe; Tibetan in Switzerland, and so on.

And of course the most dangerous and most destabilizing diaspora movement in world history was the Slavic and Turkish invasion in Eastern Europe between AD 500 and 900, which is a direct result of the conflicts we are witnessing today and the reason behind your demonstation on Sept. 10.

Our cause is most discerning: We represent one of teh largest displaced peoples in the world

As you know, there are only 3.5 million Albanians living in Albania today, but estimates as high as 17 MILLION ETHNIC ALBANIANS LIVE WORLDWIDE. The largest concentration of Albanians outside the country is in Kosova. Other historic Albanian regions are in Bulgaria (4%), coastal Croatia(3%), Greece(6%), Macedonia (28%), Montenegro (8%), Romania (3%), Turkey (5 million), Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Albanians of southern Italy, especially in regions of Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania and Sicily, have lived there for over eight centuries since the time of Scenderbeg.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, repeated large waves of Albanian emigration took place as millions of Albanians moved to Northern and Western Europe (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.), the former Soviet Union, North America, especially in the U.S. and Canada, Australia and across Asia.

The diaspora is everwhere, and it is only fitting that the diaspora stage the campaigns to win the freedoms of those chained by the forces of Slavic oppression.

Anonymous said...

WOW! 17 MILLION?

Nik said...

Yes, I agree whole-heartedly with you Altin. But do you not also agree that Malesia/Ulqin/Plave/Ana e Malit, etc. also need to voice their short-comings and step up for themsleves?

The demonstrations for Kosova in the USA where 10,000 people showed up in Washington DC was impressive indeed, but that didn't incite the movement for change in Kosova, it was from within...

Therefore do you actually think 200-300 people in DC from Malesia is going to make a difference?

Altin said...

Of course I agree, but without a spark they remain dormant.

I am very skeptical that Malesia has used up all its "intellectuals". I say this because there is no organized body representing elitist minds to "check" the state and its institutions, like an NGO for example. That lame UNITAS organization is just that -- LAME, accomplishing absolutely nothing, so no one better talk about them.

Inicativa has fallen apart since their representative took office in Podgorica, which now is a political party so they don't qualify as an organization.

Where are the teachers, the administrators, the college graduates ... WHERE IS THE FUTURE OF MALESIA!!!!!

This is what we are faced with in Malesia. So the spark must come from abroad.

I love Malesia, do not fault me for that. Fault me, however, for not being as involved as I am qualified to be.

Skender said...

It is amazing how you all just talk about Malesia, Malesia, Malesia. What about Ulqin, Plave/Gusije?

Yes, I know you Malesor have been disappointed that we aren't as aggressive in our politics as you are, but we are in need of this sort of "(r)evolution" too.

The problem is simple, we are all divided and don't really care to approach our problems together. You've heard it thousands of times, "...ahhh, those Ulqinaks, those Maloks, those Musliman...", and on and on ...

We forgot all about Kosova and what brought all Albanains together in 1999. For the first time in history, all Albanians joined for one cause -- Kosova's independence! Not because we would personally gain anything out of it (non-Kosovars that is) but because we were Albanian -- we share the same history, the same language, traditions, myths, symbols, etc. That brought us together and as a result we put aside our differences (primarily religion) and walked hand-in-hand to demonstrations all accross the world.

But alas, this is lost. We Albanians in Montenegro are too small (6.57%), but worse than this is the fact that we are divided, so that percentage is significantly smaller.

I mean lets get real people, even in Malesia you have divisions right down the religious middle. Catholics vs. Muslims?!? On a recent drive through Tuz, I stopped for some coffee and was amazed at the hatred between the two ideological ends.

No doubt that you have this in Shkoder and other places too, but when we are talking about an approx. 12,000 Albanains, you guys need all the numbers you can muster.

In my home town of Ulqin, we are just as lackluster. I mean look at who represents us. Bardhi is not qualified to park cars in front of Parliament, let alone vote there. But who do we convince to run so we can cast our hard earned votes to legitimacy and not infancy? 88% of Ulqin is what we call Albanians -- lest no police chief and no Albanians in the judiciary.

Plave/Gusije? Total assimilation. We would be lucky to run into people who still consider Albanain as their own. If you say to them, "Yo, Shqiptare, me shku ne demonstrat!" Response: "Jau chisha ..."

OK, that's all I wanted to say. You may disagree or you may agree, but this is what I've seen/heard and what people always seem to give as a reason not to show up September 10.

G'night

Anonymous said...

My question is this: Where are you gentlemen to be found (Altin, Nik, Mark, Anton, Albin, Tina, and Skender)?

You seem to have dissected the situation in Malesia and the diaspora better than most I've heard lately. It is refreshing to hear someone new discuss the issues.

Just tell me this -- where do you all live; are you students; and would you be willing to join an organization, i.e., Atdheu na Bashkon, etc. to contribute your thoughts and inputs?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Fault me, however, for not being as involved as I am qualified to be.

Why is that?

Jeff said...

"Albanian tourists spend all their money at night clubs and prostitution in and around Podgorica"

Damn I'm going to Podgorica that sounds like fun

Nik said...

As a pre-med major at Wayne State I have limited time to spend on politics, but I do follow the developments/events as they unfold.

Most of the views I express are a result of practical along with theorteical literature I run accross from time to time, and then apply it to the events in Montenegro and here in the diaspora.

Fret not, however, I might just attend the rally on Sept. 10, classes don't resume until the week after for me.

Nik said...

We talk about Malesia Malesia Malesia because it is only Malesia that has attempted to step up to the "batter's box" and demand their inherent human/minority rights -- and I don't mean the developments re the prisoners.

I'm sorry to say, but Ulqin is mute, the social conditions in your coastal town are such that its citizens are receptive to the politics/economic status quo as long as they can make a buck here and there.

I was disheartended to see Albanian youth tooting their horns and waving Montenegrin flags on May 21, 2006, while just under an hour's drive away ther bretheren were bing socially, politically and economically brutalized in such a fashion that every year they are leaving Malesia for the diaspora -- for better lives, in sum, to be treated like human beings elsewhere.

This is why, I at least, waste these type-written words on Malesia, they have a stronger base here in the diaspora and are more patriotic then any other region in Montenegro -- this is a fact!

Anonymous said...

You're not wasting them, keep writing, I'm actually learning something here.

Mark said...

Were they celebrating because they are proud to be Albanian-Montenegrins in a new sovereign state OR were they celebrating because they seperated from Serbia?

Anonymous said...

Probably both.

Shame on them!

To be waving the Montenegrin flag along the Red & Black ...that is a disgrace to Skenderbeg's flag and legacy, as he is probably rolling in his grave knowing that Albanians are sympathetic to Slavs while under their Slavic oppression, which is as severe as the Turks, yet Albanians continue to be collaboraters today much the same way they were with the Ottomans.

I guess we were meant to suffer 'til eternity.

Altin said...

Fault me -- like Nik -- for being too pre-occupied with my studies, that is.

Anonymous said...

I received a flyer re the demonstration today. It has two pictures of one Berishaj who seems to have been struck on his forehead by the police (I've seen this picture before).

But the question I have is this:

What is this demonstration going to accomplish?

Instead of praying for 300-400 people to show up (which I think is pathetic if they can't get at least 1,500), why not allocate their resources in petitioning an IGO in Europe and demand they look into these abuses and every other concern they are faced with?

Better yet, why doesn't a group of Albanians in Montenego do this, esp. those that are affected the most.

I read an earlier post about UNITAS, a supposed student graduate organization around Tuzi, who spend more time shooting the breeze in cafes than perform any constructive activity.

There are many institutions to direct your grief, and if they don't respond, you continue submitting appeals, because sooner or later they will have to respond. The situation between Albanians and Montenegrins is very calm compared to elsewhere in the Balkans, so this region will be lastly looked upon when thinking of seperating any ethnic cleavages.

So please, get some "minds" together, support them, and use their talents and academic abilities to get some real work done and stop the yelling and screaming that is not getting you results.

Tina Kalaj said...

Anton,

I enjoyed reading your "Screams," they are really good. Why don't you go the DC and take a bull-horn and keep screaming that out loud, it all makes sense and that is the message we need to get accross.

You seem to know what the problems are -- I only hope someone is listening, especially to the part for Malesia to take back what's theirs.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if buses will be provided from New York? My friends and I would love to attend but neither of us have driver's licenses. We're not 16 yet.

Please post if anyone knows.

Lekocaj said...

The matter of fact is this: New Yorkers have been very disappointing when it comes to representing ...

At the previous demonstrations there were no more than 15-20 people from NY, where 95% were from Detroit.

We had a bussing program the previous two demonstrations that left St. Paul's Church in Rochester Hills, MI, where round-trip was provided.

As for NY, you would probably have to ask an Albanian Organization there about the prospects -- try calling:

Fondi Humanitar "MALËSIA"

261 East Gun Hill Road
Bronx, NY 10467
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Tel: 1-718-519-1100
Fax: 1-718-881-1829
e-mail: FHMalesia@fondihumanitar.org

Malesor nga Gruda said...

The cancer that is plaguing Malesia can be rooted in our political leaders representing our "supposed" interests in Podgorica.

Nothing, and I stress "nothing" can progress with Albanians in Montenegro until Dinosha, Bardhi & Co. leave, are voted out, or be forced out!

This is ridiculous, as long as these cartoon characters play lip-service to DPS interests our interests will never surface.

How hard was it to give a full commune to a region that has the required population/center and capacity to proliferate? I am baffled at this, and so are these intelligent individuals posting these messages on this site.

Albanians are being used by both major parties in Montenegro as tools to achieve an end, and the end only benefits Slavs and has nothing in the bank for Albanians.

For those Albanians supporting these political parties (ie., Trieshan, etc.), open your infected eyes and witness what's unraveling in your "villages"; don't be fooled that their alternatives are in your best interests, they are not!

No Albanian in history has ever benefitted from Slavic policies geared towards minorities -- esp. Albanians. For God's sake, has Kosova taught you anything?!?!

I will not be surprised if an attack takes place somewhere in Montenegro; an attack from the suppressed minority against the autocratic majority. This would be a natural phenomenon because the Balkans emit an atmosphere of hatred where the only means of neatly creating a ledger of order is War.

Unfortunately this is true, and you all are blinded by utopian fantasies if you do not believe in this.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know how anyone can argue with that last statement.

Although many will criticize this demonstration, at least it is keeping the crisis alive, because no one else is doing anything to press the illegal acts of the Montenegrin government.

I'm apolitical, but I feel sadenned to what happened to those prisoners and what they endured to this point. We can't let them rot in prison. I will support any organization that seeks to find ways to help them.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "at least its keeping the crisis alive."

You mean at least its demanding attention?

You're right, seems as though attention has been diverted. But that is no one's fault but the Albanian organizations in the USA, those that have the capacity to do something but stand idle.

Katrina Dedvukaj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peshkatari said...

I will make a post on my own blog about this demonstration. Probably won't be able to come, due to $$ and time constraints.

I'm really glad to see a blog like this out there. Far too many people in the Albanian community (mostly in the disapora) have fallen into a spirit that is a combination of hubris, apathy, and naivete; a fact that I see as having the potential to do real damage to the community down the road. No matter what we (Albanians and friends/supporters) believe in our hearts, we should take NOTHING for granted.

Hope some of you good folks will check out my blog-my small but earnest attempt to help counter the rising tide of Anti-Albanian propaganda, both on the 'net and off. Rrini me shendet!

http://albanianrealitycheck.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Pershendetje Peshkatar, I just looked up your site, really nice, especially the videos.

Best of luck!