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Protests in Serbia Archive
News from Serbian Renewal Movement, Dec 14

December 14, 1996

Mr. Draskovic addressed the meeting yesterday

Once you have breathed freedom and felt the beauty of it, no force has the power to stop it. More than 400,000 people walked through the streets of Belgrade today, and to be more precise, over 600,000 citizens of this country, if we include other towns and villages, said Mr. Draskovic.

Our peaceful protests are nearly at an end. Very soon Novi Sad, Cacak, Kraljevo, Nis and other towns will do what is inevitable. A couple of more days and freedom will be won, he declared, adding that the current regime can already be called ex-regime.

In his opinion, we are witnessing its last desperate moves. Last night, on state television (which we call TV-Bastille) they cited some dishonorable newsmen from New York and Paris, who can't bear to look at this wonderful new Serbia, and who habitually keep writing about this country as a country of bandits. This is what they have been reporting about it over the past few years, using arguments obtained from Milosevic. The TV-Bastille also draws upon its last weapon. In its reports, it calls dissatisfied citizens, students and youth nationalists only because in our rallies are carried Serbian flags and the old Serbian anthem "Boze pravde" ("Oh, God of Justice") is sung, said Mr. Draskovic inviting all those carrying flags to raise them.

We are not ashamed of carrying our flag and singing our anthem, he stressed and went on mentioning all the battles won by the Serbian people under that flag, while singing that anthem.

Allied with the U.S.A., France and Great Britain in World War I, our grandfathers fought under that flag, singing that anthem when they broke through the Salonica front and created Yugoslavia.

On their victorious march from Salonica to the Alps, they did not kill a single civilian or prisoner-of-war, nor demolish a single house or church; they did not hurt anybody's national or religious feelings, nor did they participate in ethnic cleansing, or any other crime. We are proud of that, we are proud to belong to those Serbs. As for Milosevic, he is a true disgrace to our people.

Those bandits should be ashamed because last night they claimed that protesting citizens are against peace just because they saw some girls dressed in national costume. In this country, every girl will have the right to wear the national costume: Serbian girls will wear Serbian costumes, Hungarian girls -Hungarian, Albanian girls - Albanian... promised Mr. Draskovic.

I can see here, he added, the portraits of myself, Zoran /Djindjic/, General Draza /Mihailovic/ on numerous posters... This must be stopped. We are not fighting here either for five-pointed star or a cockade. We are fighting for democracy, for overthrowing dictatorship. If we succeed, and we will suc- ceed, everybody will get what he deserves - the king, and Vuk, and Zoran, as well as Slobodan Milosevic, to be sure. Down with the posters portraying the live and the dead, up with the flags of Serbia, trade unions, theaters...

Citing parts of Milosevic's letter to Mr. Christopher, Mr. Draskovic emphasized that in the opinion of Serbian president, peaceful demonstrations are acts of vandalism and political terrorism. He who represents the last survivor of communist evil is giving a lesson to the United States of America, said Mr. Draskovic.

The kind of democracy practiced by the regime was illustrated with the latest case in Kosovo, where Feriz Blakcori, an Albanian teacher, had been beaten up to death in one of Milosevic's police stations.

The young Dejan Bulatovic is also fighting for his life. It may be that hundreds of demonstrators are being abused at this very moment. Someone might be dying during these protests. Democratic city of Belgrade, Albanian teacher Feriz Blakcori, a citizen of our country, has been killed by Milosevic's police. Let us pay our last respects to him! A few hundred thousand people stood still for a minute. Not a sound was heard. "God bless his soul," they said in unison.

We have never been ready to identify ourselves with the shameful acts committed by Milosevic, Mr. Draskovic went on. We represent a different Serbia, a country of the people enjoying equal rights regardless or religion and language. We will soon build destroyed bridges. All exiles from Knin and Bosnia will soon be able to return to their homes, where they will enjoy all rights.

Those who are responsible for instigating bloodshed will be handed over to the international tribunal, in the Hague. The moment we receive indictments from the Hague, our democratic Serbia will hand them over with pleasure, including Milosevic himself, Mr. Draskovic concluded.

Serbian Renewal Movement Information Service

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