Protests at the Greek consulate in Gjirokaster: Southern Albania, from Preveza to Yoannina

Protests at the Greek consulate in Gjirokaster: Southern Albania, from Preveza to Yoannina

Young Patriots Club and “Southern Boys” Association, organizations backed by the Tcham community party, hold a protest at the Greek consulate in Gjirokaster, at the place where 100 years ago, the uprising of “Vorio Epirus” was announced in a congress that proclaimed the “autonomy” of Toskeri

Gjirokaster, March 3, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Young Patriots Club and “Southern Boys”, organizations which are backed by the Party for Justice, Integration and Unity (PDIU), which defends the rights of the Tcham community, held on Sunday a protest at the center of the city of Gjirokaster. The protest was held at “Çerçiz Topulli” square and the “Glory to Albania” memorial located at the entry of the Greek consulate on this square.

The aim of the rally was to protest against those which this organization considers as “Greek threats which will visit Albania in the framework of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of ‘Vorio Epirus’ by Greek chauvinist circles in 1914”. During the protest (photo), demonstrators launched chants for “Southern Albania from Preveza to Yoannina”.

Participants also protested against the covering of “Glory to Albania” memorial by several trees next to the consulate in this square. They said that this is an ugly act and launched an ultimatum: “If the municipality of Gjirokaster doesn’t take measures to remove these trees in a week, then these measures will be taken by Albanian youth”.

“This memorial has been covered on purpose by decorative trees planted without permission and local administration doesn’t do anything in order to reveal this memorial”, said on behalf of the Young Patriots Club the activist Albano Idrizi.

“This memorial has been covered in order for the Greek flag of the consulate which has invaded this memorial, to dominate”, said Idrizi.

“Gjirokaster belongs to Albania and we will never allow for this ugly act of covering the Albanian symbol of this square, to continue. If the municipality doesn’t take measures to remove these trees, which have intentionally covered the memorial and to make the memorial appear again and dominate over every consular flag, then it’s us, the Albanian youth who will do this”, warned Idrizi.

Idrizi added that the symbol of this protest relates to the fact that Epirus is Albania. “The Club of Young Patriots along with Southern Boys Association  is here on the square which has taken the name of the great patriot, Çerçiz Topulli to declare that Epirus is Albania. Our nation will never forget that Greek armies, along with chauvinist groups from Crete, 100 years ago entered in this city and committed massacres against Albanians in the south of Londonese Albania. All of this after they had killed and massacred in the South of Albania, which lies from Preveza in Yoannina. With our protest, we call upon all Albanians to work for our national ideal which is the unification of Albanians from Preveza in ‘Molla e Kuqe’ and the finalization of national causes such as the Tcham issue, because Epirus exists, but Epirus is entirely Albanian, like it has always been”, said Idrizi.

Donaldo Jaupaj, representative of Southern Boys Association used harsh rhetoric when he said that: “Today 100 years ago, the ‘Vorio Epirus’ uprising was announced by Greek chauvinist circles in a congress held in Gjirokaster with the arrival of Greek chauvinists. They proclaimed ‘the autonomy’ of Toskeri on behalf of the locals who in the months to come were slaughtered and were burned by the fire of Greek chauvinism”. Southern Boys united forums address to the grandchildren of the Greek chauvinists of 1914 who scream in the squares of Greece that they will do to us what they did to our ancestors and that they will fight to take over southern Albania, but you will get nothing. We warn you to lower the tones of your ridiculous rhetoric”.

The Greek consulate has not reacted about this protest which was accompanied by strong nationalist tones. Even authorities in Tirana didn’t comment on this protest. These organizations are backed by PDIU, an opposition political force, which has recently issued signals that it may join the left wing majority.

This is the first time in the past few years that protests accompanies by nationalist tones as strong as these and where slogans relating to territorial claims take place. /ibna/