Situation in Albania

March 23rd, 1997
Hello from "Alpha", Greece.

Some anarchists have contacts with albanian people who live and work in Greece. There are no albanian anarchists, as far as I know. We don't have information directly from Albania right now, but one of us will be going there in the next couple of days.

The media prefer to focus on the activities of criminal gangs, in order to support their chaos theory and the necessity of an international military intervention in order to "save" the country. However, it is true that organised crime is powerful in Albania and has taken advantage of the situation. They aren't leading the rebellion or control the revolted areas; this is an absolute lie.

They are the organisers of the wave of immigration to Italy, though. They have taken over some boats and demand money in order to get people to Italy. They are also involved in armed robberies. For example, in the first days of the rebellion some of them took over a border check point, in the greek border, with the intention to rob albanian workers coming back from Greece (many albanians work in Greece and come back with their hard-earned money from time to time). They even killed someone who refused. When the rebels learnt this, they sent guards to the border to prevent any more such attacks.

As far as self organisation of the rebels is concerned, they do have city councils and social life is organised. It isn't an anarchist way of organising, though. They do make decisions democratically, no political parties involved, but they have maintained some state institutions, like the police, wich is now rebel-controlled in the revolted areas. It's been also mentioned that a former army colonel is in command of the rebel forces, but the moves of the rebels are decided democratically. It would only be fair to point out that there is no history of revolutionary or radical movements in Albania because of the 40 year long extremely suppresive Hodja regime, so the rebels are just now learning from experience.

I translated and sent to the a-infos list a recent "Alpha" article on the situation in Albania, written by someone who knows more than me. I believe it describes quite well what's going on there. I 'm sending it to you, just in case you haven't got it.

Anarchist greetings

Anarchist Weekly
P.O. BOX 31809
100 35 ATHENS
e - mail: