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From: War Resisters International <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Belgrade: BPT report on students
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 1996 11:18:06 +0000
A Special Report from the Balkan Peace Team in Belgrade
Please pass this on, especially, to students groups.
STUDENTS' PROTEST '96 -- BELGRADE
The large protest demonstrations in Belgrade are receiving
international media coverage. The university student strike and
protest marches which are a part of these protests merit special
attention. The student strike and daily student protest marches are
organized independently of all political parties.
The students have 3 specific short-term demands:
However, the student organizers sense that this democratic student
movement is creating an atmosphere for much bigger social changes in
the years ahead. They also feel that the strike and protest puts them
at risk with regard to their careers and their lives.
- investigation of the cancelled local election results;
- acknowledgement of the protests from the University Rector
(who denied there were any protesting students), and
- a public explanation from the Yugoslavian President, Milosevic.
The Balkan Peace Team in Belgrade met with students at Student Protest
1996 recently and found the organizers very well prepared. There are
marches and demonstrations taking place every day at noon; every
night, students occupy university buildings sending out electronic
mail messages and reports to the rest of the world. They have a
well-thought-out nonviolent strategy, with designated monitors lining the
march route, and prepared to act as a buffer to the police. In case of
police violence, demonstrators have been prepared to sit down en masse
in the street.
The demonstrations are extremely creative: for example, on 5 December,
students will build a brick wall in front of the Parliament to show
that they are about building their society, not destroying it.
The students told us that they are in great need of outside support.
They do not need nonviolence trainings, as some international NGOs
have offered. Rather, they reported that they need practical help,
both from NGOs in Belgrade and around the world.
They suggested that if organizations would like to help in some way,
they should contact the student organizers directly to make
arrangements. The telephone number for Student Protest 1996 is
+381 11 438 653.
- From local NGOs, they need paper; photocopier toner (Minolta copy
machine); and food and drink for the all-night email crews.
- From international NGOs, they need financial donations to pay for
printing and office supplies.
- From university students and student organizatins around the
world, they need letters of support.
The email address is email@example.com
They maintain a special office for handling contributions which is
Balkan Peace Team is a non-partisan international voluntary
organisation which supports the building of civil society.
Leaflet from Belgrade students to their fellow-citizens
Dear Fellow Citizens,
You are not supposed to steal, but they do steal. Your trust. Your
votes. Your will. We are seeking for the truth. That is what we are
protesting against. We are not able to turn our eyes the other way.
Can you? Dare you? Can a state that we have no trust in have a future?
You are not supposed to steal.
Every kind of help is welcome. We really need printing, paper, food,
drink, just about everything. Give us a call, come bring stuff, or
Students' Protest '96