Today I took part in a protest in London with people from the Albanian community (that’s why I am late with my daily post). We joined thousands of protesters in Albania, Paris, Milan, New York objecting to the proposal to destroy Syrian chemical weapons in Albania. The proposal came from the USA and sparked anger and disappointment from Albanian people, who saw in the USA one of their strongest partners and supporters so far.
‘USA, too much love kills’ said one protester’s poster meaning, Albanians love America and America loves us, but to this point of asking us to get rid of some deadly chemical weapons in our country is too much for us.
There had been declarations from the the American Secretary of State that our Prime Minister had said yes to the proposal and they were finalising the details. Following these declarations Albanians took to the streets, seriously and continuously. And they did it themselves, organised by grass root groups and social media. Facebook saw an explosion of ‘Albania and saying no to chemical weapons’ activity in the last week. Youngsters, students, older citizens, children, they all opposed the proposal and were showing disappointment with the recently elected prime minister (from June this year).
Today was the critical day when then Prime Minister was announcing his decision. It took him 30 min of attacking several opponents and then he finally spoke. He said NO! To the proposal of destroying Syrian chemical weapons in Albania, on the grounds that
Albania doesn’t have the capacity. This cwas the main fear everyone had and also insecurity from a past full of deadly mistakes related to eliminating ammunition. A deadly accident from 2006, in a decommissioning site in Gerdec killed 26 people, including children and is still fresh in many Albanians’ memory.
So Albania will remain clean from sarin and mustard gas and it will become stronger. Its citizens are definitely becoming more involved and for the first time in their modern history demonstrated that they care about their country for future generations. It makes everyone very proud, all these boys and girls, all these men and women not divided by party politics but united for their country.
It was a great day.