Beograd, Serbia

Since we arrived here in Beograd (Belgrade), it has been non-stop work.

Walking tour of Beograd, "scavenger hunt" of places (plus monuments and foods!) around the city (Day 1).

CANVAS training/workshop - the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action & Strategy (formerly OTPOR!, "Rebel!").  This was a 2-day workshop, led by my favorite of CANVAS trainers (who must remain anonymous).  Students were trained in strategic planning, developing their "visions of tomorrow", analyzing power in society (easy-peasy for these mostly Political Science majors!), propaganda and communication techniques, "dilemma actions" (ask me and I'll explain!), and generally - how to manage a non-violent campaign to change/revolt/overturn established corrupt orders ...

The next day was a "lighter" day - one (great) meeting with a Serbian Orthodox Bishop, Jovan Culibrk, who spoke at length about Kosovo (over which he is responsible, in terms of Church administration), the joys of living in the former Yugoslavia, and the +'s and -'s of US and EU interventions in the former Yugoslavia.

And today began with a wonderful visit to the Serbian Parliament.  We toured the building, including the main assembly hall for the Parliament (pictured below), the Library, and the "club" for the Progressive Party members of Parliament - where we met with some of these members, and had a great conversation with Mr. Zoran Babic, chair of the administrative committee of Parliament.  Mr. Babic spoke at length about how the Progressive Party (the dominant party in Serbia, even though it is more of a 'radical conservative' party in US terms than 'progressive') is "bullish" on EU accession, foreign investments in Serbia, military industrial expansion, and tackling the blight of corruption throughout Serbian politics and society.

Later today, we meet with Dr. Dusan Batakovic, former Serbian ambassador to France, and Dr. Ivan Vujavic, former ambassador to the US.  (Fitting, because tomorrow we go to the US Embassy, plus the Tito Museum).

Stay tuned!


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