The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) celebrates the 118th anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising and the founding of the Krusevo Republic – the first democratic republic in Southeast Europe – and the 77th anniversary of the founding of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People’s Liberation of Macedonia, ASNOM.
Ilinden and ASNOM symbolize the Macedonian people’s unequivocal determination for independence, which dream came true on September 8, 1991, when they declared a free, independent, and sovereign Republic of Macedonia – 30 years ago. UMD remembers those who died to make this dream a reality.
The long legacy of Macedonians who endured mistreatment and those who fought bravely for a Macedonia free of foreign control must be continued to this day and passed on to generations to come. Today, Macedonia’s neighbors, notably Bulgaria and Greece, are actively revising history, furthering an anti-Macedonian narrative in all corners of influence, and denying the basic human rights and religious freedom of their indigenous Macedonian minorities.
UMD continues to remind numerous governments and the public that Macedonia was forced to acquiesce to Greece’s demands by changing our rightful name without the approval of the Macedonian people. This, in turn, has only emboldened Bulgaria to further its own demands and territorial aspirations, and it will not be tolerated. Macedonia is now a member of NATO and rightly deserves European Union membership.
UMD stands with Macedonians around the world who continue to strive for a Macedonia that is unhindered by the xenophobia of neighbors who can’t seem to accept the obvious: Macedonians are entitled to their independent place among the nations.
UMD will not falter in our ongoing activities to spotlight and remove all traces of discrimination against Macedonians.