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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 11 PM), December 18, 1996 EDITED

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 11 PM


    The Municipal Electoral Commission in Smederevska Palanka reviewed
    its decisions on the second round of local elections concerning 5
    mandates in this municipality and confirmed its original decision,
    saying that those five electoral units will have to enter
    elections again, report some Belgrade media. At present, according
    to the results of all three electoral rounds (November 3 and 17
    and December 1) the Serbian Socialist Party won 27 and Zajedno 22


    Citizens of Belgrade today walked down the streets of their city
    for the 29th time in a row, protesting the annulment of results of
    the second round of local elections held in Serbia last month.
    Belgraders expressed their dissatisfaction over Kremlin's official
    attitude to the electoral crisis in Serbia by booing loudly in
    front of the embassy of the Russian Federation in Belgrade.

    After having returned to the Square of the Republic, the
    demonstrators were addressed by Vuk Draskovic, president of the
    Serbian Renewal Movement, who reacted to the last night's attack
    of the state-controlled RTS.  RTS accused the protesters of being
    traitors for waving a German flag, among many other European
    flags. Draskovic responded: ``This is a flag of a new, democratic
    Germany, the Germany of Willy Brandt, not the one of Adolf Hitler.
    This is a flag of a country which has accepted half a million
    people who fled from communist Serbia in the past few years. Let
    Milosevic ask Serbian refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina how
    Germany welcomed them and took care of them, and then he should
    ask the same people how himself would welcome them back and how
    they would live in Serbia today,'' said Draskovic. Draskovic poked
    fun at the regime's strongman, saying that Milosevic seems to have
    lost his nerve a little on hearing that a group of students were
    walking from Nis to Belgrade, although he didn't blink an eye when
    an entire people were forced to walk out of their own ancestral

    Zoran Djindjic then addressed the gathered by saying: ``We don't
    hold anything against them, not even their red flag. We are
    against the thieves among them.''  Djindjic estimated the regime
    ``is cracking'' and that there are ``more cracks than expected.''
    Vesna Pesic, president of the Civic Alliance of Serbia, sent a
    message to Milosevic saying that people will not allow a
    ``spiritual, moral and political genocide'' to be carried out
    anymore. Pesic characterized the counter-demonstrations SPS has
    organized in several Serbian towns as nothing but a self-serving
    gesture of a regime grown desperate and incapable of formulating
    any real response. A huge festivity will take place at the Square
    of the Republic tomorrow, announced the Zajedno leaders, to honor
    the traditional feast of St. Nicholas' Day. Fish, cakes and wine
    will be served for the occasion. The most interesting banners
    today said: ``Slobo, I Am Waiting For You -- Tito,'' ``Sisyphus,
    We Know How You Feel...''


    A group of Belgrade rock musicians and theater and film actors
    have just finished recording a song that is to become the official
    anthem of Protest '96 and the opposition demonstrations alike.
    Untranslatable, the anthem is by turns witty, defiant, and bitter.
    Its lyrics, like its title, revolve around a play on words, a
    political pun afforded by the Serbian for ``vote'' or ``ballot,''
    the same word as that meaning ``voice.''  The anthem accuses the
    authorities of stifling all spontaneity and freedom, even the life
    and vigor of the intellect itself. For all its caustic qualities,
    it is a song of jubilant defiance and self-confident humor. One of
    its lines, in fact, plays up another political pun very much in
    vogue in Belgrade these days: the soccer fans' cry which combines
    both the sense of ``attack'' and ``offense'' in its cheering
    refrain. To avoid any misunderstanding, the authors of the lyric
    have included a couplet that goes

    ``When I asked for the truth, they turned a deaf ear to me, they
    did not hear; So now I make my peaceful sorties, day after day:
    walk with me, friend, without fear.''

    The operative word here being ``peaceful'' or ``non-violent,'' of


    Some five thousand workers from 15 Serbian cities protested in
    Belgrade yesterday and expressed their support ``for workers
    themselves because they fight for their salaries, for students
    because they fight for democracy, and for Zajedno for the votes
    they won,'' reports today's issue of Belgrade's daily ``Dnevni


    The fifteenth day of student protests in Novi Sad was louder, more
    cheerful and vastly more musical than ever before. Choosing for
    their itinerary parts of the city they haven't walked in on their
    previous marches, the students came out accompanied by a band of
    musicians carrying saxophones and drums. Professor Milos Tesic
    expressed his support and reminded the students that ``back in
    1991 Predrag Matic, student from Vrsac who was marching down these
    streets against a senseless war, got killed near Vukovar only a
    month after he received his masters degree -- a meaningless,
    futile death exacted by the very same people who call us fascists
    these days.''

    Nebojsa Covic, Mayor of Belgrade, said in an interview with news
    agency Beta yesterday that ``he frequently goes out on the balcony
    with the President of the Belgrade Executive Board and watches the
    protest walks of Belgraders,'' reports ``Dnevni Telegraf'' today.
    ``None of us has anything to be ashamed of,'' said Covic. Asked
    what he feels about the scenes unfolding beneath the Parliament
    balcony, Covic replied: ``A very large number of citizens,
    walking.'' He also said that he ``will comment on the protests in
    Belgrade when the time is ripe.''


    Hundreds of Belgrade cab drivers formed a long column of vehicles
    tonight, driving through the streets of Belgrade, as a sign of
    protest against the murder of on of their colleagues in Belgrade
    today. ``Beotaxi'' said a cab driver of this company was killed
    around 6 p.m. this evening at Topciderska Zvezda [in Belgrade].
    Cab drivers of all Belgrade taxi associations took part in the
    protest today. The Belgrade police are not willing to comment on
    the latest incident. Immediately after the incident, a meeting was
    called in the Belgrade City Hall between representatives of
    ``Beotaxi'' company, Mayor of Belgrade Nebojsa Covic, and the
    Serbian Minister of Interior Zoran Sokolovic.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/

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