If not now...

54 days without electricity, cold weather, too much vinjak and a bit of too much positive (but false) attitude drove me to come up with the Nema Struja Jurca (No Power Protest Party). That Slavic attitude of partying when the house is on fire must of have been contagious, as I don't recognize myself in it. We needed protest t-shirts, a live band, good enough speakers, generators, some advertising and the only local pub around to allows us to organize it. Back home, I would get all of those with just a few phone calls but here, it took 2 weeks to gather everything.

My friends in Prishtina thought the idea was great and decided to join the party and bring some protest leaflets. Everything was coming together. A few radio stations (they were all running from a basement or a shed) invited us to talk about it so pretty soon it became the event of the year. It was easy, after all, you would be forgiven to think while passing it that the village was abandoned. 

Dejan, my partner knew how I felt about guns so he decided to guard the place and scan everyone with his 3G phone (nobody else had one in the village) telling them that it's a metal detector. When the local out of duty police man tried to get in, Dejan took a serious stand and told him he can't get in with a gun. The guy bought it and left only to come back later, hopefully without a gun. Dejan was laughing out loud feeling and behaving like a boss.

Krista, the US girl everyone loved to hate, came in with the leaflets and spread them on all the tables in the place. I remember one that jumped out: If not you, who? If not now, when? The adolescent Che we all have in us at some point, made me feel like I am doing the best thing in the world: I am driving a peaceful protest.

The party is about to start. Ohh, we forgot about the fuel for the generators. Dejan asks his brother, Goran, to take care of it and soon enough the rock band starts with the first song. The place is packed. I wonder how everyone manages to breath inside. The smoke is too thick.

I get out to catch some air. It's already night and as dark as it gets. You can easily spot the "rich" people of the village. The sound of the generators and the light of the old TVs through their windows give them away. Something doesn't seem right. The noise of the party can probably be heard from miles away. I wonder how those many families who are forced to leave in the dark, I wonder how they feel about this party. It's damn cold, I better turn back.

Dejan, a tall guy with a funny face you can't miss not even in the largest crowds, moves desperately trying to get my attention. He points towards the waitress and signals me to go to her. I never saw him that scared before so I take him serious and comply. I go to her and I see a small note in her hands as she makes her way towards the band. I ask her what is it and she says it's a message that Goran wants the band to read. I tell her that I'll take it to them.

I open it and my face changes instantly. I get out reading it over and over again. It was in Serbian but I could understand the most of it: "Brothers, let's go out, arm ourselves and storm the power plant. If not us, who? If not now, when?"