The relentless advance of coronavirus terror has been broken. Recalcitrant Serbs rebelled against their President when he ordered them back under house arrest. After two days of street battles with dozens of policemen hospitalised, the sturdy protesters won; the authorities surrendered and gave up their plans to lock Belgrade down. Shops, pubs and restaurants in Belgrade will have an early evening curfew; but this is much better than the full lockdown they intended. Prime Minister Ms Brnabic complained that she could not understand why her people were protesting. She must be uncommonly dense, this lady, if after two days of protests she could not understand that people do not want lockdowns. This is a rare reversal by the authorities, said the BBC correspondent in Belgrade. This is an understatement in the best English manner. I think it is a precedent.
Until now, there were countries that avoided lockdown altogether (Japan, Sweden, Belarus), but there wasn’t a country where people demanded and then obtained their freedom. Serbia is the first one. This small (pop. 7 million) country in the Balkans has a long history of resistance – they fought the Turks for centuries; they resisted Nazi Germany longer than France; they had the strongest guerrilla movement outside of Belarus, and yes, they fought mighty NATO for quite a long time. The Germans bombed Belgrade in April 1941, followed not long afterwards by America (aided by the British of course). In 1944, on Easter Day, six hundred American bombers carpet-bombed Belgrade, destroying its palaces, theatres, railway stations, and hospitals. That was America’s Easter Bunny gift to the Serbs.
In 1999 Bill Clinton bombed Belgrade again, for three months, killing a lot of Serbs and causing immense destruction. The Serbian president was seized and murdered in the court cells underneath The Hague. My American friends, if you are in the mood to apologise, you can “take a knee” for the Serbs, for the crimes more recent and more tangible than the 18th century horrors of your ancestors. The US chose to lob bombs at the Serbs for good reason: Serbs do not surrender easily. These strong-willed giants have guts, more than the rest of the Balkans put together. No doubt today many of the evil geniuses at Coronavirus HQ are regretting that Serbia wasn’t completely erased from the face of the earth, so that it would not have become such a troublesome example to a rather pliable and docile global populace.
But it’s too late; we have absorbed the lesson. The only way to avoid a renewed lockdown is a popular uprising, for nothing less will convince our authorities to refrain from locking us up. Like a boy who finds the candy jar, they just can’t help themselves. Lockdown makes life too easy for our rulers: the subjects stay indoors; they fearfully venture out only for shopping; they are obedient; they are on the dole and so they are dependent on the good will of the state. Unemployment rises steadily with every week of lockdown. Small companies go down. Only the digital giants will survive the deluge. People are disposable, a burden on the economy. Even their labour is no longer needed. Soon, independent, hard-working folk will be replaced by a new species dependent on government subsidy and demanding only more entertainment; a modern version of the panem et circenses (bread and circuses) mob the proud Romans were reduced to, as Juvenal wrote circa 100AD.
A Russian virologist correctly said: if we were to test healthy people for any flu virus, we would get enormous numbers of ‘infected’ results. Everyone carries some virus, this or that. But we never check healthy people because we never, until now, had the need to create the illusion of a pandemic.
What Serbs can do, we all can aspire to. There is an urgent need for rebellion against Covid dictatorship, the need to revolt until we are free.
And to covid-believers I’ll say, do not despair! This is not the last disaster we shall witness. There are still locusts, asteroids, Carrington events, and newer and better diseases. There are still chances for mankind to follow the dinosaurs to oblivion. Don’t be in such a hurry!Popular Uprising against Covid Lockdown. Belgrade Liberated! The Government Surrenders