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Protests in Serbia Archive
Serbian Renewal Movement: News from Jan 12

Belgrade, January 13, 1997

Fifty fourth protest rally against the "election robbery" was held yesterday in downtown Belgrade, completely blocked by the anti-riot police. Leaders of the Coalition Zajedno invited the citizens of Belgrade to join them for the Orthodox New Year's Eve celebration and announced that they expect nearly 700.000 people to join the celebration. Yesterday, it was very cold and snowy, but citizens of Belgrade went for their usual protest walk in Knez Mihailova street, under the watchful eye of the anti-riot police cordons.

The police cordons were placed in order to prevent the citizens from taking their stroll through the streets of Belgrade, which was a ususal practice before thousands of policemen were brought to Belgrade to stop the protests. The rally was held yust a few meters away from the police cordon. President of the Serbian Renewal Movement addressed the " citizens under blockade, Belgrade under blockade, police under blockade and the Serbia" and said that such a condition will not last for a very long time. "The outcome will most likely be, as Vuk Draskovic said, the resignation of the man who turned the entire Serbia into a concentration camp and who wanted to save his election fraud and the rule of thives even at the cost of bloodshed." Draskovic then informed "the democratic assembly of the democratic Serbia" about the meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Teodoras Pangalos, who met yesterday with the leaders of the Coalition Zajedno. Leaders of the Coalition Zajedno, to Pangalos' question, answered that they are ready for a dialogue with Serbian authorities. A condition above all conditions before any dialogue starts is the full recognition of true results of November 17 elections. After the election results are recognized, said Draskovic, " we are ready for a dialogue - under one condition. The dialogue between us and the Government or us and Milosevic should be broadcast directly on state television."

"We do not want the isolation of our country. We want Serbia on its feet as soon as possible, we want foreign loans and investments into Serbia, we want diplomatic, overall world support. We want our factories and schools to come alive, our students back to their universities. We want to create basis for economic recovery and revival of our country", ephasized Draskovic.

The leader of the Coalition Zajedno asked the citizens of Belgrade to "prepare for the coming decisive days "

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