By Michael D. Kennedy and Linda Gusia
On November 28, Albanian Independence Day in Albania and the ‘Day of the Albanian Flag’ in Kosova, Albin Kurti, the spiritual leader of the major opposition movement called Vetëvendosje, addressed the public on Mother Theresa Street in the centre of Prishtina. He declared that Kosovar citizens should continue to struggle against a controversial piece of legislation over Serbian municipal organization in the north of Kosova. He, and nearly 100 others of his supporters, were arrested by new special police forces; Kurti is slated to be imprisoned for 30 days.
On November 30, shortly before a session of the Parliamentary Assembly dedicated to ratifying this legislation, the embassies of France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States declared that “demonstrations have passed peacefully and we would like to praise everyone, especially the Kosovo Police, involved.”
In other parts of the world, embassies do not normally evaluate the qualities of protest and police behaviour, but in Kosova, the “International Community” assumes a kind of tutelage over the political process. This was already evident in the realization of the international agreement, the object of protest, itself.