Parents of the children killed on May 3 at the Vladislav Ribnikar elementary school in Belgrade staged a protest on Wednesday morning outside the school demanding that a memorial centre be set up in memory of the killed students and security guard, following which they left messages outside the Serbian Government saying that “May 3 continues.”
The parents assembled at 8.40 am, the time at which they believe the shooting at the school started on May 3 this year.
They brought flowers and lit candles, while people who wanted to lend support to the parents gathered on the opposite side of the street. One of the parents, Branko Andjelkovic, told the reporters that he believes the school should have been closed because it is no longer a school but an execution site. “I stand by my every word,” he said, adding that the mistakes made since May 3 need to be corrected.
“When did the day of mourning begin? When did school start? Does anyone remember? How come the institutions cannot react but sweep things under the rug?” Andjelkovic asked.
He said a memorial centre is not set up in five minutes, but that it takes years to do it. “A memorial centre is not something I need or we need, we have it. But you need it, the children do, the grandchildren, the society,” he said.
Ninela Radicevic, the mother of a girl killed at the Vladislav Ribnikar school, said the state should take an active part in setting up a memorial centre in memory of the nine students and a security guard killed in the school shooting.
She told N1 at the protest outside the school that the parents are not insisting on any particular conceptual solution for the memorial centre, but that it should be produced by a multidisciplinary team and that the state should take an active part, which it currently isn’t doing.
University Professor Ivanka Popovic, who had come to support the parents, said that the process of setting up a memorial centre at the Vladislav Ribnikar School is far too slow and that the parents who are protesting have every right to feel embittered, that their children have been forgotten and that other things seem to be more important.
(Radio Free Europe, 30.11.2023)
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