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Serbian-Americans feel effects of Yugoslav war

protest
Protesters gather in front of the federal building in Los Angeles to rally against NATO bombing

RELATED VIDEO
Siobhan Darrow has the story of some Serbian-Americans who say they've become outcasts
Windows Media 28K 80K


 ALSO:
Russian, EU envoys to propose peace deal to Milosevic

Pentagon considers using second Army base as refugee center

 

June 1, 1999
Web posted at: 7:26 p.m. EDT (2326 GMT)


In this story:

Getting their message out

Children not spared backlash

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Southern California is home to 45,000 of the more than one million Serbs living in the United States.

Many of them are horrified as they watch televised reports of NATO bombing sorties that could be targeting their friends and relatives.

But their fears don't stop with bombs.

"I feel that I don't have a voice in this country," said one U.S. citizen from Serbia.

"I am scared that what happened to the Japanese during World War II can happen to me because I just happen to be of Serbian ancestry," said another.

Bill Dorich, a journalist for the Serbian-American press, said he is treated like a pariah.

"I have had two hate crimes (committed) against me. I have had 14 death threats," Dorich said.

Getting their message out

Serbian-Americans also say they feel betrayed as they watch their tax dollars buying bombs to drop on Yugoslavia.

association
Members of the Serbian-American Association for Peace (top) have been handing out pictures (bottom) of the bombing aftermath  

The Serbian-American Association for Peace has decided to try to raise awareness of the suffering caused by the war.

"Make them aware of the horror and terror that the nation of Yugoslavia is going through these days," said one member of the group, while handing out pictures of the bombing aftermath during a recent strategy session.

The group meets weekly to plan ways to get their message out. They rally supporters to bombard Washington with faxes, maintain Web sites and hold protest marches.

Radon Popovic said he felt guilty at first to be staying in the United States. But now he feels he is on the front lines of the information battle in America.

"I can do much more by being in the United States and spreading what I think is the truth," Popovic said.

Every day since the NATO bombing began, dozens -- sometimes hundreds -- of demonstrators have gathered in front of the federal building in Los Angeles to protest the war.

Children not spared backlash

Even the children are affected by the Kosovo crisis. Thirteen-year-old Milos said it is hard to be a Serb in a U.S. school.

boy
Milos says he is teased at school because he is Serbian  
"Kids say remarks like 'ethnic cleanser' and it's shocking the kids would think of me in that manner," Milos said.

Whatever backlash Serbs are feeling, their first priority is to halt the bombing in Yugoslavia.

As they hold demonstrations across the nation, Serbian-Americans vow they will keep up the pressure until their adopted country stops bombing their homeland.

Correspondent Siobhan Darrow contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
On Memorial Day, Clinton appeals for Kosovo support
May 31, 1999
Yugoslavia trying to reinforce its army
May 31, 1999
Yugoslavia reports more civilian casualties in NATO attacks
May 29, 1999
Russian envoy 'very satisfied' with Milosevic talks
May 28, 1999
U.S. offers evidence to back Yugoslav war crimes charges
May 28, 1999
Refugees dodge shellfire, snipers
May 28, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Resettlement Agencies Helping Kosovars in U.S.:
  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • Iowa Department of Human Services
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Immigration and Refugee Services of America
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • United States Catholic Conference

Relief:
  • World Relief
  • Doctors without borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International
  • UNHCR


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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