The 4 March 1981, Kosovo Albanian students organize a protest to improve conditions in the canteen. The protest sparked the first sparks for the 11 protest in March 1981, which led to police brutality and the detention of many students.
As a result of the student protest, "workers' protests" followed, demanding that students be released from prison. And yet, the state authorities brutally oppressed the meetings and the Yugoslav Army made its first appearance.
The events - remembered by Bruno Maran in the book [amazon link = "B01C3O4Z0G" /] - they take the central government of Belgrade unawares, which it tries to minimize, especially with the foreign press, then goes on the counterattack, shouting at the "counter-revolution fomented by internal and external enemies".
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The repression starts with deaths, injuries and dozens of arrests. Official figures speak of nine deaths among protesters and a policeman, injured 75 and 55 arrested while Kosovo Albanians declare 160 dead and 250 injured.
After two months, in the "Socialist Province of Kosovo" a state of emergency is declared, followed later by a curfew. The chain of events continues until the beginning of the war in Kosovo.
The popular uprising of March and April of that year marked the irreversible turning point for the separation of the Albanians from the former Yugoslavia.
For the first time in these protests, the protesters called for the status of the Republic for Kosovo within Yugoslavia.
Heavy sentences were imposed on the leaders of the protest movement. The territorial defense of Kosovo is abolished.
- One storm has passed but others are gathering in Yugoslavia (New York Times, 19 April 1981)
Enver Hoxha: Do not play with the fire that you will burn!
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