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Protests in Serbia Archive
Serbian Renewal Movement: Christmas Eve Jan 6

About 500,000 people participated in the Christmas Eve celebration yesterday, organized by the Zajedno Coalition. That was, apart from the New Year's Eve celebration, the most magnificent and most numerous gathering on the streets of the Serbian capital.

Coalition Zajedno representatives started the program by giving out thousands of gifts to the children. Zoran Djindjic, Vesna Pesic and Vuk Draskovic addressed the gathering thereafter.

Vuk Draskovic, inter alia, said in his speech:

"Serbia is welcoming this year's Christmas, polarized between love and hatred, future and past, spirit and the beating club, between the robbed and the thiefs, between the victims of beatings and the thugs. What should one wish on the eve of Christmas, without merely giving out one's Christian beliefs? Let stupidity, beating club and past go and be gone, and leave Serbia to the new reason and the new spirit.

Except for us here, there is one other force that can help this rotten fruit fall from the tree. That is Montenegro! Montenegrins, do withdraw from the Federal Government, the Federal Parliament, the General Staff, from all institutions! Let us overpower this evil together and see it off to China as soon as possible. The de facto leader of our country, Mirjana Markovic (the spouse of Slobodan Milosevic), proclaimed not so long ago that Serbia would turn into a doomed state if the opposition were to win. She said on that occasion that she and her whole family would leave to China right away, and indulge in the beauties of Communism there. As a Christian, I wish that desire of hers to come true this year.

To the police I wish that, when we see each other here tomorrow, on the Christmas day, we shake hands and never see each other again on the streets."

After the gathering, on the main square of the city, the citizens, including a significant number of students, walked together to the Saint Sava Temple. There, according to an old Orthodox Christian tradition, the Arch-priest lit the Christmas yule log and wished all the gathered a marry Christmas and Christmas holidays. The Arch-priest's greetings were accepted with a stormy round of applause and with fireworks.

The SPO leader Vuk Draskovic named the magnificent Christmas Eve gathering in front of the Saint Sava Temple "a Christmas riot of the good against the evil."

When asked what his expectations were of the outcome of the Protests, Vuk Draskovic said: "This nation can no longer be overpowered by anyone!"

The people at the windows and on the balconies in Belgrade continued with their whistling and humming at 7:30 pm yesterday. The action Belgrade, catch the beat is becoming more and more widespread. It was particularly interesting to see many people use their whistles simultaneously last night, at their numerous gathering of about 500,000 in downtown Belgrade, during the Christmas Eve Zajedno Coalition rally. Despite impressive number of people gathered, still many others stayed in their homes and made noise between 7:30 and 8:00 pm, during the daily state-controlled TV news program Dnevnik. The whole city of Belgrade was echoing: the people were beating spoons against cooking pots, whistling, ringing bells, and using other imaginative ways of making noise, and by doing so expressing their protest against the way the public TV is presenting the current political situation in the country.

A new action, The Whistle of Reconciliation, is scheduled for today, related to the whistle, the sign of the protests in Serbia. The citizens are suggested to give a whistle as a present to anyone they know who at one point or the other voted for Milosevic; those people are, as the MC said at the yesterdays gathering, "soon expected to want to whistle."

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