Letnik 12


The Historical Circumstances in Which »The Rally of Truth« in Ljubljana Was Prevented
Božo Repe

To show the political and inter-nation circumstances in which »the rally of truth« in Ljubljana was prevented; the article is based on research on the break-up of Yugoslavia conducted by the author.

The historiographical methodology was used, which is based on the research of primary sources (the mentioned archives), newspaper sources, interviews, and literature.

At the end of the 1980s, Yugoslavia turned into an anarchic state. The federal authorities were powerless and lacked authority, the Yugoslavia National Army started to threaten with coups d'état. In Serbia, Slobodan Milošević came to power, and initially tried to subject Yugoslavia to his rule by means of a re-centralization. By means of “street democracy”, i.e. organized rallies in Yugoslavian cities, to which Serbs from Kosovo and Serbia came, he replaced the regional and republican administrations (in Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro), and thus strengthened his power. Due to the Slovenian leadership resisting the centralization directed by Milosević, his supporters tried to organize a rally also in Ljubljana, on 1 December 1989 (the day of the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918). Slovenian authorities – the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, led by Tomaž Ertl, the Slovenian police, the State Security Service, and other services – resisted this by means of an excellently organized operation. Operation »Sever« [i.e. Operation North], prevented this attempt to replace the Slovenian administration with incited masses from other republics. The Slovenian police force proved that in Slovenia order was based on the law, and that democratisation was taking place in an organized and responsible manner, by gradually changing the legislation and showing respect for it and for the legal institutions. At the same time, Operation »Sever« showed that Slovenia was also able to protect its then still republican sovereignty and the level of the democracy achieved. Regretfully, this message could be comprehended by neither the Yugoslav authorities, the Serbian authorities, nor even by the leaders of the Yugoslavia National Army, which is why a year and half later, the armed intervention by the YNA also occurred, which was successfully resisted by the Slovenian armed forces (the territorial defence and police forces).

Practical implications:
A synthesized presentation of a historical research study on the circumstances in Slovenia and Yugoslavia in which »the rally of truth« was prevented.

A clearly-written study, intended for the expert and broader public.

UDK: 351.74/76:323.233(497.4)”1989”
Key words: Yugoslavia, crisis, nationalisms, rallies, Slovenian police, Operation »Sever«

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