- Macedonian Patriotic Organization
Macedonian Patriotic Organization (MPO) is a political organization founded in
Fort Wayne, Indianain the United Statesin 1922 by immigrants from Macedonia. It was originally called the Macedonian Political Organization but changed its name in 1952. From 1926 it has published the newspaper " Macedonian Tribune". In the past it has promoted the idea of Macedonian Slavs being Bulgarians[ [http://books.google.com/books?id=ZmesOn_HhfEC&pg=PA87&dq=MPO++Bulgarian+Macedonian&sig=zrq2WyXkgDBYEXY8qZKh4bHCQhY The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Page 87 by Loring M. Danforth.] ] . The modern MPO supports the independent Macedonian nation and country and is involved in pro-Macedonian advocacy within the US and Canada. [http://www.macedonian.org/Media/advocacy.asp]
The Macedonian Patriotic Organization of the United States and Canada ("MPO") is the oldest organization of Americans and Canadians of Macedonian descent in North America.
Macedonian-Americanand Macedonian-Canadianimmigrants, including several who fought against the Ottoman Empireduring the Ilinden Uprisingof 1903, established the MPO in 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From its inception, the MPO has advocated for the establishment of a Balkan Federation or confederation, in which the whole of Macedonia will be an equal participant and that would guarantee the civil and human rights of all of its citizens. [Article 4 in the first chart of MPO.] The founders of the MPO, in keeping with the dream of a united and independent Macedonia, adopted the slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians", a proclamation of William Gladstone, who in 1897 expressed his views on the " Macedonian Question". The use of concepts of “Macedonians” and “Macedonian emigrants” in the first chart are equally valid for all ethnic groupsin Macedonia – Bulgarians, Romanians, Turks, Albanians, Greeks etc. [“Note” to Article 28 in the first chart of MPO.] The different phases that the Macedonian Question went through have put a pressure upon MPO to develop and enrich its ways and means to achieve its aims. Firmly based upon the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization's (IMRO) rich experience and traditions, MPO has further developed into one of the most interesting and original national-liberation organizations. [ [http://www.macedoniainfo.com/MacPatrOrg_6.htm The Macedonian Patriotic Organization in the United States, Canada and Australia, Ph.D. Trendafil Mitev] ] During 1970s the MPO was against the regime in Belgradeand opposes the Communistregime in Sofia. The "Macedonian Tribune" as its organ printed appeals by the old leader of the IMRO, Ivan Mihailov. His memoirs (written in Bulgarian) were advertised by the paper and were avidly read. [ [http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/en/gp2/gp_21.htm South Slavic Immigration in America. George J. Prpic, John Carroll University. Twayne Publishers. A division of G. K. Hall & Co., Boston, p. 249.] ] Although the Macedonian Patriotic Organisation claimed that Macedonians are Bulgarians, its activity was centered on Macedonia. Little was said about Bulgaria. Most of the Americans born of Macedonian Bulgarian descent have hardly any knowledge of Bulgaria and increasingly identify themselves simply as Macedonians. [http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/1474/skop3wm3.jpg] Since 1980s the purely Macedonian policies of the Macedonian Patriotic Organisation have increased indirectly the Macedonisation of older, Bulgarian-orientated immigrants and their descendants. [Macedonians in the USA, Politics. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, p. 692, edited by Stephan Thernstrom 1980, Belknap Press of Harvard University, Reproduced 2001 with permission of the publisher.] As a result over the last 15 years the Macedonian Patriotic Organization has changed its policy to pro-Macedonian. However the opinion of the President of the Central Committee George Lebamoffis that the MPO was pro-Bulgarian, but now the independent Republic of Macedonianeeds help and it is time to forget the past. According to him, only Macedonians who were educated under the old Yugoslavgovernment are anti-Bulgarian oriented. [ [http://www.promacedonia.org/en/gl/gl_6.html An American Macedonian by George Lebamoff with Janice Petterchak - 6. Macedonian Patriotic Organization, 2003] ] Unexpectedly later in an interview for the Macedonian magazine "Kapital" he sharply criticized the policy of Republic of Macedonia stating, by this way, hiding the truth about the Bulgarian roots and history of the Macedonian people, it has no future. [ [http://www.kapital.com.mk/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=0&EditionID=474&ArticleID=9931 Kапитал, број 300, 28.07.2005 - Ексклузивно: Џорџ Лебамов – МПО (Македонска патриотическа организација)Вака немате иднина!] ]
Over the past 86 years of its existence the MPO has evolved and today acts as a non-profit corporation that aims for preservation of the customs, history, and traditions of Macedonian-Americans and Macedonian-Canadians, and engages in charity work in the United States, Canada, and the Republic of Macedonia. Members have been vocal on matters relating to the
Republic of Macedoniaand ethnic Macedonians, and also in celebrating the achievements of Macedonian-Americans and Macedonian-Canadians and their contributions to the United States, Canada, and the Republic of Macedonia. [ [http://www.macedonian.org/About/history.asp MPO History] ] .
MPO "Luben Dimitroff" and the unauthorized "Macedonian Tribune"
In the last years a former chapter of MPO from
Torontocalled "Luben Dimitroff", [ [http://books.google.bg/books?id=dbUuX0mnvQMC&pg=PA292&lpg=PA292&dq=MPO+%22Luben+Dimitrov&source=web&ots=K6x4iIcZdG&sig=7rWxcO_jvwKMhQ0T4dvVnPZp-Mk&hl=bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples - Paul R. Magocsi, Multicultural History, p. 292, University of Toronto Press, 1999, ISBN 0802029388.] ] which rejects the contemporary policy of MPO, splintered from the Canadian MPO and started publishing a "Macedonian Tribune" in the pre-World War II Bulgarian orthography, espousing pro-Bulgarian views of Macedonia and the Macedonians. This publication has been dismissed as false and unauthorized by the Macedonian Patriotic Organization. The MPO Board of Directors stated that it "disavows any statements made in this electronic publication and condemns the statements and sentiments expressed therein. Furthermore, the MPO Board of Directors states that there is no such entity as "MPO Luben Dimitroff" and that any individuals claiming to constitute such organization are not members of the MPO notwithstanding any claims to the contrary." [http://www.macedonian.org/Media/falsetribune.asp]
1922 MPO founded, Ft. Wayne
1925 Macedonian Press Bureau founded, New York City
1927 "Macedonian Tribune" first published on February 10, Indianapolis
1927 National MPO Ladies' Section founded
1940 Almanac Macedonia published 1946 National YMPO founded
1983 "Macedonian Tribune" moved to Ft. Wayne
1986 Freedom Monument dedicated, Ft. Wayne
1990 Indiana Historic Marker dedicated at site of first "Macedonian Tribune" office, Indianapolis
1994 MPO purchases Macedonian Tribune Building, Ft. Wayne
1995 Macedonian Veterans Association founded
1995 Macedonian Professional Association founded
1995 Wreath Laid at Tomb of Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery
1996 MPO establishes Homepage on the World Wide Web at www.macedonian.org
MPO local chapters
The Macedonian Patriotic Organization has local chapters in most large cities in the United States, Canada and Brazil, wherever there is a larger number of Macedonian immigrants. The current MPO chapters ares:
- Chicago, Illinois, MPO "Independence"
- Cincinnati, Ohio, MPO "Bistritsa"
- Cleveland, Ohio, MPO " Vardar "
- Columbus, Ohio, MPO "Freedom"
- Detroit, Michigan, MPO "Fatherland"
- Fort Wayne, Indiana, MPO "Kostur"
- Indianapolis, Indiana, MPO "Damian Grueff"
- New Jersey Region, MPO "Strumishkata Petorka"
- Northwest Indiana Region, MPO "Rodina"
- Phoenix, Arizona, MPO "United"
- Southern California Region, MPO "Brothers Miladinovi"
- Springfield, Ohio, MPO "Solun"
- Washington, D.C., MPO "Liberty"
- Youngstown, Ohio, MPO "Todor Alexandroff"
- Toronto, Ontario, MPO "Victory"
- Toronto, Ontario, MPO " Switzerland of the Balkans"
- Sao Paulo, Brazil, MPO "Strumishkata Petorka"
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization
*Sojourners and Settlers: The Macedonian Community in Toronto to 1940 [http://books.google.com/books?id=7BDcb0uvR7EC&pg=PA149&dq=MPO++Bulgarian+Macedonian&sig=4HC2dwCwj44MWuf5_t6421TMfEw] By Lillian Petroff
*Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples [http://books.google.com/books?id=dbUuX0mnvQMC&pg=PA292&dq=MPO++Bulgarian+Macedonian&sig=aQ-DJ9_MvrI9CqN_heRHlt06uMc] By
Paul R. Magocsi
* [http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Bulgarian-Americans.html The Bulgarian-Americans - Page 71 by Nikolay G. Altankov]
* [http://www.promacedonia.org/en/gl/index.html An American Macedonian , George Lebamoff]
* [http://www.macedonian.org/ Official website]
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