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Students take to Otpor

Belgrade, Tuesday -- Students in a number of faculties of Belgrade University today rallied behind Otpor as the student movement, whose name means resistance, continued its series of rolling meetings to mobilise students in a popular protest.

Several hundred students earlier today burst into the School of Electrical Engineering after private security hired by the faculty prohibited today's Otpor meeting in the faculty. The students have called on academic staff dismissed in a purge of the faculty to join them. As the meeting began, the private security service detained two of the students on the instruction of a staff member. The students then went on a march around the city centre, and briefly blocked traffic in Revolution Boulevard. They passed the law school to invite their fellow students for a walk, but no-one there responded, since it is a regime school, Vice President of the Democratic Party Slobodan Ignjatov told SRNA agency today. He also said students from the School of Fine Arts had been on strike since yesterday and that they did not leave their building, and as far as he knew, students of Philosophy and Philology were on strike as well,

The Dean of the School of Architecture has refused to acknowledge a boycott of lectures by students, saying that the faculty is not the place for politics. Some students from the School of Architecture, who have proclaimed a full strike, plan to stay inside the faculty until Friday.

On Wednesday, there will be a protest at the Law School during a lecture by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj, who is a professor at the school. Seselj demanded on Monday that one of the professors there, Stevan Lilic, be thrown out because of "plagiarism". Lilic is a vice president of the Democratic Centre, and a member of DAN coalition. In its statement, the Civil Initiatives said that Lilic had been consistently active for nearly ten years and must have been a thorn in the side of the self-proclaimed professor Seselj"

The student movement is planning meetings in all faculties of the university during the week to gather support. The sessions will culminate in a mass rally outside the Faculty of Philosophy on Friday May 26.

Source: B92

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