Breaking point: Can citizens regain control over the protests?

Part of the Serbian public believes that radicalization of civil protests occurred when the protest was taken over by the opposition parties and that the ordinary protestors simply have to regain the control over the demonstrations.

While political analysts say that radicalization is a consequence of the decline in energy and the number of protests, public figures say that there are many ways to fight against the regime in power without resorting to violence.

The protests took a different turn when the protestors, including several opposition party leaders, stormed the building housing Radio and Television of Serbia during the last weekend, exerted pressure on journalists, broke several windows, and then, a day later, demolished the fence in front of the Presidency building. The opposition justifies all these events by saying that RTS, although a public broadcaster, is not objective in reporting, but also because of the behaviour of the authorities.

Still, some people think there is no need for protests to take this, more violent turn, and that, ultimately, this causes the protestors more harm than benefits. Among the loudest advocates of this line of thinking are theatre director Kokan Mladenovic, sociologist Vesna Pesic, actress Bojana Maljevic, and actor Branislav Trifunovic.

Mladenovic said that he strongly believes in protests, but that he also believes that political organizations have managed to turn them into a sort of coup d’état. He adds that the events of the past weekend were far from civil.

Sociologist Vesna Pesic shares Mladenovic’s opinion and says that there is a disconnect between the government and the opposition, but also the opposition and the citizens as if the opposition block and protestors are taking totally different roads towards the same destination.

Pesic says that civil protests would have to ‘give birth’ to their own political leaders.

“You cannot always borrow actors to speak at protests. Yes, they are popular, they do have something to say, but after protests, they all return to what they do for a living because they are not that interested in politics. Protests should also not ‘borrow’ leaders of other parties and organizations, because there is obviously a disagreement between citizens and the current opposition,” Pesic added.

(Blic, 21.03.2019)

Photo credits: Uros Arsic


This post is also available in: Italiano

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