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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 10 PM), December 19, 1996

    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 10 PM


    Melissa Flemming, spokesperson for the Organization for Security
    and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), officially confirmed today that
    Felipe Gonzales will act as the special OSCE representative to
    Belgrade. He will be accompanied by a delegation made up of
    representatives of several countries including Russia, the US, and
    EU member states as well. Constitutional law experts will also
    join the international team. Flemming announced that if everything
    goes according to schedule, the OSCE delegation should arrive in
    Belgrade tomorrow night and stay until Sunday. ``I think our team
    will not need much time to reach its conclusions,'' said Flemming.
    Since FR Yugoslavia's membership in the OSCE was suspended in
    1992, all the OSCE delegation can do is propose solutions. If the
    Serbian authorities decide to call for new elections, the OSCE
    will offer help in monitoring the voting. Flemming said OSCE will
    back any decision by the authorities as long as it is based on its


    The 30th consecutive day of protests against the nullification of
    electoral results in Belgrade was at once the most massive and
    most festive so far. It was dedicated to St. Nicholas, whose feast
    day, one of the most important religious holidays in the country,
    is being celebrated all across Serbia today. St. Nicholas Day also
    happens to be the family saint's day of two of the leaders of
    Zajedno: Zoran Djindjic and Vuk Draskovic.

    At the head of the quarter of a million demonstrators who came out
    into the streets today walked a line of men carrying feast cakes
    and festivity candles. Many of the 250,000 protesters carried
    icons of St. Nicholas. The marching demonstrators jeered when
    passing by the Serbian Parliament, the presidency building and the
    Russian Cultural Center. In contrast, they joyously saluted the
    thousands of citizens who stood on their balconies with candles
    and festivity cakes. The cheering seemed loudest as the
    demonstrators passed by Belgrade's main Maternity Hospital, the
    city's Cathedral, and the French Embassy. Zajedno leaders
    addressed today's protest with calls to unity and reconciliation,
    emphasizing however that one of the ten commandments reads ``Thou
    shalt not steal.''

    ``A family's saint's day commemorates the day on which a family
    entered Orthodox Christianity. This celebration of ours represents
    the big family of Serbia entering democracy,'' said leader of the
    Democratic Party, Zoran Djindjic. Coalition Zajedno called on
    Belgraders to continue their protest against the nullification of
    the local electoral results tomorrow at 3 p.m...


    The protest meeting of Zajedno supporters and citizens of Nis
    gathered today in front of St. Nicholas' Church in honor of the
    festivity dedicated to this saint. The meeting began at the city's
    central square, where Zajedno's questions to the Nis Electoral
    Commission were read out to the demonstrators. The gathered also
    heard the announcement by the managing board of the union of the
    Nis Health Center, demanding that Mile Ilic, former leader of the
    ruling SPS party in Nis, be removed from office as the president
    of the managing board of this institution for his participation in
    the electoral fraud. The demonstrators were also joined by the
    taxi drivers of Nis as well as by UofN students, who joined the
    festivity in front of St. Nicholas' Church after their own protest


    The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) attempted to organize a
    meeting in support of President Milosevic in Sabac today, as they
    did in Gornji Milanovac and Krusevac. The ruling party had buses
    lined up to bring in its sympathizers from other cities. Citizens
    of Sabac, who noted the arrival of buses bearing registration
    plates of other cities, spontaneously gathered at the place
    designated for the SPS meeting. They demanded to know what this
    meeting was about, for they had been informed about ``some
    visitors'' arriving from other cities. The organizers, dumbfounded
    by the response of the Sabac people and the numbers in which they
    came out, gave up their meeting after 15 minutes and withdrew to
    their places of residence, reports Zajedno Electoral Headquarters.


    ``The situation in Serbia was internationalized by Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic rather than by the coalition Zajedno,
    for it was he who invited the OSCE mission to come to Belgrade,''
    said Ilija Djukic, chairman of the foreign policy board of the
    Democratic Party (DS), at a press conference today. Vojin
    Dimitrijevic, chairman of the foreign policy board of the Civil
    Alliance of Serbia (GSS), picked up on his colleague's statements
    and said that the world community has understood that Zajedno were
    a capable political force and that the question of whether there
    was a credible alternative to the present regime in Serbia has
    been cleared up by now. ``The world supports our strength and
    believes that Zajedno can fulfill the commitments, especially
    those in foreign policy, made by the outgoing Serbian regime,'' he


    The state-owned RTS television reported tonight that meetings in
    support of President Slobodan Milosevic were held today on what
    were described as the crowded squares of Backa Palanka, Sabac, Pec
    and Krusevac. The state television showed banners saying ``Down
    With the Traitors,'' ``Serbia Decides for Itself,'' ``Stop the
    Misuse of Children,'' ``We Won't Sell Out on Serbia.''  The
    harshest message was sent out by Mihalj Kertes, one of Milosevic's
    closest associates, and organizer of the so-called ``people's
    awakening'' in the late 1980's and Milosevic's famous ``yogurt
    revolution.''  He called the leaders of Zajedno traitors and said
    that Milosevic's supporters knew how to marathon-walk as well,
    promising to organize their arrival in Belgrade if the leaders and
    supporters of Zajedno do not stop their street demonstrations and
    return to their ``proper place.''


    Today, at their 26th consecutive protest march, students of UofB
    held a video shoot for MTV. Protests in the streets of Belgrade
    will continue tomorrow. Spokesman of the Steering Board of the
    Student Protest '96, Dusan Vasiljevic announced that tomorrow the
    students will block the traffic on all three bridges leading to
    New Belgrade from 14:00 to 14:30. He also called on Belgraders to
    follow their suit and block the streets they live on during the
    same half hour period.

    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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