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Protests in Serbia Archive
Serbian Renewal Movement: News from Jan 13 and 14

Belgrade, January 14, 1997

News agencies estimate that nearly a million people attended the Orthodox New Year's Eve celebration organized by the Coalition Zajedno and the Belgrade Student Protest.
The gathering was addressed by some of the most prominent public figures and was followed by the rock concert. At the stroke of midnight, video message by His Holiness Patriarch Pavle was shown and the leaders of the Coalition Zajedno, Vuk Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic expressed their best wishes to the this magnificent gathering.

Coalition Zajedno demanded yesterday from the highest echelons of Army and the police to explicitly express their position toward the demands of "high officials of the Socialist Party and the Yugoslav left to use force against the demonstrators and choke the demonstrations in Serbia." Coalition Zajedno estimates that "SPS and YUL are obviously trying to provoke the state of emergency". Coalition Zajedno demands from Yugoslav Army and the Ministry of Police to "protect the citizens and the Serbian state interest".
Serbian Renewal Movement spokesman Ivan Kovacevic stated today on a press conference that Serbian Renewal Movement will continue its activities after the holidays. "The eruption of enthusiasm and joy on streets of Belgrade last night represents our determination to continue our protests until results of November 17 elections are recognized and reinstated."

In Prokuplje and Vinca, two small towns in Serbia, the police beat two Zajedno supporters during the New Year's celebration, stated Ivan Kovacevic.


Today, after the press conference held by the chairman of Belgrade city electoral commission, leader of the Coalition Zajedno, Vuk Draskovic commented the announcement of the Commission.

"Today's decision of the Belgrade electoral commission could be a step towards sanity. But, we must be very careful how to judge their conclusions and see if it Is not yet another Milosevic's trick. We are going to see how the SPS will react in the next few days and if they are going to submit an appeal to the electoral commission."

If the regime reinstates all the results of November 17 elections, Coalition Zajedno will cease to demonstrate peacefully, stated Draskovic.

Vuk Draskovic concluded his statement by saying that Coalition Zajedno will continue to fight for the deblockade of the media, state television and radio and free, responsible journalism.

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