Second mass protest in Belgrade

According to the protest organizers, between 20,000 and 25,000 people showed up at the second protest rally held in Belgrade under the slogan “Stop the Bloody Shirts”, which is more than at the last protest a week ago, despite freezing temperatures and the snow that has been falling for 24 hours straight.

The next gathering was announced for January 16th, on the first anniversary of the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic.

Yellow vests, whistles, banners and masses of people gathered at 18:00 on the plateau in front of the Faculty of Philosophy to officially announce the beginning of the second protest.

Several thousand protesters gathered again at the invitation of the opposition parties and the Alliance for Serbia, demonstrating even more enthusiasm for protest and their dissatisfaction with the current government.

Academic Dusan Teodorovic and actor Tihomir Stanic were the first to address the crowd. The marchers then set off for the building that houses the Serbian presidency first, and then proceeded on to the Serbian parliament building and the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) headquarters.

Speaking to the demonstrators, Teodorovic said that it was legal for the people to fight for justice in the streets when the elections had been rigged. He said that no new election could take place as long as President Vucic was usurping hours and hours of airtime every day, and until “rigged” electoral lists were put in order. 

“If he (Vucic) fails to meet the requests of citizens, he can expect all forms of civic disobedience. We defeated Slobodan Milosevic, we will beat you, too”, Teodorovic said. 

Actor Tihomir Stanic said that people were demonstrating against injustice. 

“Repeat that to your friends and neighbours, to the jobless young people packing their bags to leave this country. Tell that to your parents, whose pensions were stolen, to a friend who has lost their job or a place to live, tell that to everyone you run into, and we will win,” Stanic said in his speech. 

The protesters marched alongside opposition leaders Vuk Jeremic, Dragan Djilas, Borko Stefanovic, Janko Veselinovic, Milos Jovanovic and Bosko Obradovic, who walked at the helm of the march behind the lead banner.  

The leader of the Serbian Left, Borko Stefanovic, said at the end of the walk they would continue to fight against any violence that political opponents were exposed to.

Another protest’s motto was “Let’s Count How Many of Us Are Here”, alluding to the reports by some media outlets and the authorities that only a small number of citizens rallied last week, on December 8th, while the organizers insist that more than 10,000 disgruntled citizens took to the streets. 

The march “Stop the Bloody Shirts” followed an attack on Serbian Left leader Borko Stefanovic, one of the founders of the opposition Alliance for Serbia, and two other activists in Krusevac, which the opposition interpreted as a demonstration of violence by the authorities against those who dare think differently. 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after last week’s march that he would not fulfill a single demand by the opposition, even if five million people took to the streets.

(Danas, 15.12.2018)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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