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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 8 PM), December 22, 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 8 PM


    Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Miodrag Mica
    Popovic (73) died in Belgrade today. He was renowned for his
    socially engaged works, the so-called ``scene paintings.''  He
    also wrote several screenplays and plays and directed a number of
    feature films. During the 50's and 60's he participated in the
    alternative art life in Belgrade.

    In 1992, he was one of the founders of the Democratic Movement of
    Serbia and for a short spell an MP representing DEPOS, the then
    opposition coalition. He delivered his last public speech on
    November 25 to the student protesters gathered in front of the
    School of Philosophy in Belgrade. Addressing Protest '96, he said:
    ``They [the regime] will leave only if driven out, and we know how
    this gang should be driven out. Romanians drove out a similar gang
    the way they did, and there's no other way. I am not encouraging
    you to go and get killed, I merely love you and wish you a life in


    Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party, said President
    Milosevic will have to chose between two options, now that the
    OSCE mission has visited Serbia and examined the issues in the
    current electoral dispute. One is to brand the OSCE delegation as
    incompetent and ignore its recommendations, thereby risking
    further international isolation and a deepening of the political
    crisis in Serbia. The other is to try and ``get himself out of
    trouble.''  The opposition, however, will not drop its demands for
    the restoration of the annulled results of the second local
    electoral round. ``We shall continue our protests until we
    accomplish what we set out to achieve: respect for the will of the
    people,'' said Djindjic to Radio B92.

    Vojislav Kostunica, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia,
    estimated that the OSCE will demand the restoration of the
    annulled results of the second local electoral round.

    In Vojislav Seselj's estimation [Seselj is the leader of the
    Serbian Radical Party], the ``OSCE interference in Serbia's
    internal affairs can only have unfortunate repercussions on the
    Serbian people.''  Seselj said that the OSCE delegation had come
    to Belgrade with a prior agenda and an already settled idea about
    what it would find and do once it arrived on the spot: the OSCE
    mission, lead by former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez
    came ``to weaken rather than help topple Serbian President
    Slobodan Milosevic.''  Its intentions are, ``to get Kosovo from
    him for as little as possible in return,'' Seselj told the
    newsagency Beta.


    Tens of thousands of Belgraders turned out on the streets of
    Belgrade this afternoon to march in protest against the
    nullification of the local electoral results. The several hundred
    meters long column will arrive at the main Belgrade square for a
    protest meeting tonight.


    The student march under the slogan ``Enlightening the State-Owned
    Media'' begun at 18.30 tonight. The students will pass by the
    buildings housing the major state media and stage a street-
    broadcast of their own ``Dnevnik'' [named after the state
    television's prime time news program] by reading out the latest
    news over a public address system.


    The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) informed the media today that 2
    unidentified youths carried out an act of vandalism at Zajedno
    Headquarters in Pozarevac around 2 o'clock this morning. The
    youths hurled stones at the windows and ripped an SPO banner with
    the inscription Coalition Zajedno. The local police force arrived
    at the spot only after receiving the 2nd call, by which time the
    attackers had already made off.


    Members of the Independent Union of Farmers of Serbia will start
    blocking all main roads in Serbia at 10 a.m. tomorrow, announced
    Djordje Garabandic, president of this Union. He said the members
    of this Union will block all companies that have not paid for the
    agricultural produce already bought from the farmers. Farmers also
    demand that the state immediately cease collecting taxes on
    produce and free them from all state fees until it pays out all
    its arrears to them. ``The blockade will go on until we receive
    firm guarantees that our demands will be fulfilled,'' said


    A group of Serbian imigris staged a protest in front of the
    Consulate of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia today to protest
    the nullification of the local electoral results in many cities in
    Serbia. Some 100 demonstrators were addressed by Serbian
    intellectuals living in Sidney. Bora Djordjevic, a well-known
    Belgrade rock musician who is touring Australia with his band,
    also spoke to the assembled crowd. The protesters left an egg on
    the threshold of the Consulate as a symbol of the ``yellow
    revolution'' in Belgrade that will, they said, ``drive out all
    President's men.''


    Danielle Mitterand, widow of the former French President Francois
    Mitterand, arrived in Belgrade today as a guest of the Center for
    Cultural Decontamination [a dissident Belgrade group].

    On her arrival, she said she comes to Belgrade to express her
    support for those demanding the protection of basic human rights
    in FR Yugoslavia. She added that, in spite of the electoral
    manipulations, the world has heard the voice of the Serbian people
    and said she is particularly pleased with the non-violent nature
    of the protests in Serbia. Danielle Mitterand last visited
    Belgrade in July 1993, when she came to demand from Serbian
    President Slobodan Milosevic that Vuk Draskovic, leader of the
    Serbian Renewal Movement, and his wife Danica be released from


    Leader of the People's Party of Montenegro, Novak Kilibarda
    characterized Momir Bulatovic [Montenegrin President] as a very
    dangerous man, and a politician who is still supporting and right
    there by the side of ``such a dictator as Slobodan Milosevic,''
    reports the newsagency Montena-Fax.

    ``He is trying to save Milosevic by crafty and perfidious
    statements such as the one he gave to the 'Figaro' [French
    newspaper]. Apparently criticizing Milosevic, he claims that a
    serious and important politician [such as Milosevic] allegedly
    does not know what is going on around him, but that somebody else
    is behind the whole thing. That allegation is a cheap political
    trick befitting Bulatovic completely,'' said Kilibarda.

    He pointed out as more important Bulatovic's claim that
    Montenegrin authorities have started a dialogue with the local
    opposition and the students who are protesting the electoral theft
    in Serbia. ``This is a unique peace of mendacity!  It is beyond
    anybody's understanding how this man can go on paying no heed to
    the people whose head-of-state he is,'' concluded Kilibarda,
    accusing Bulatovic of completely ignoring the popular feeling in


    Mirjana Karanovic, a renowned Belgrade theater actress, spoke to
    the opposition daily ``Demokratija'' about the present situation
    in Serbia: ``Experience has taught me that struggle, belief and
    keeping your spirit free are the most important things in life.
    What is most important these days is that a space of freedom is
    opening up in people's minds. I have more faith now in the
    opposition. What they are saying is that this people should not be
    divided by animosity... . Belgrade is marvelous these days. It was
    a wonderful idea to organize afternoon walks. I meet my friends at
    same time every day to go strolling. That is an expression of
    freedom. Anybody who has tasted this energy must have felt shivers
    running down his back... . I feel these walks are a result of
    completely individual decisions. Nobody's there because they will
    lose their job if they don't come, or because they'll have to face
    'consequences' from the above. What seems inevitable to me is that
    those who arrive on buses to these planned (counter-)meetings will
    realize they don't have to toe the line any more.''

    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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