INTERVIEW WITH A POLICEMAN IN CORDON
Police cordons. Every day. Waiting for us, students. They have been ordered to stop the student procession. Some of them are in the mood for friendly conversation. Here follows a compilation of some of their statements...
ABOUT THEIR WORK:
"We go to work 10:00 a.m. every morning. We are taken to the Republic Square by busses, and than we wait. We are throwing snowballs at each other, playing cards and listening to radio B92. My brother works there (at B92). We haven't spoke to each other since all this began. He can't understand, but I'm just doing my job. I can't throw my police bat and shield and just walk away. I have a family to support."
"It is said that we receive 100 dinars per day. That is not true. We are only given one can, loaf of bread and a pack of cigarettes."
"We had no problems with them. They give us popcorns, chocolates, flowers, cigarettes. One girl offered me some chocolate yesterday. My commander told me: 'Let it go! Do not take! Do not talk! Attention!'. I took the chocolate and hide it in my pocket, when he looked the other way."
"One of the traffic police officers was fired because he supported the students by whistling and waving on one city square."
ABOUT PRO-REGIME GATHERING:
It was terrible. They (people) were throwing bottles and other things on us. Lot of my colleagues were injured. It's terrible... you are ordered to beat up your own people! You, students should have come in between... Someone else is pulling the strings, and financing everything."
"We listen to radio B92 to find out what is going on. It looks as if 'Politika' (pro-regime newspaper) and 'Demokratija' (pro-opposition newspaper) are newspapers from different countries. We do not watch RTS (national TV) in my house."
THE BOYS IN BLUE, GENERATION '76:
"Every day we wear gymsuits under our uniforms. In case that we are ordered to beat up our people, we will take off our uniforms and run into the crowd. It's no time for playing games."
"If I wasn't a policeman, I'd be a thief. That's the only profitable job."
"I'm 24 years old. I was taken to war. Hell."
"Here is my pager number. Call me. I'd like to chat with you when I'm not in my uniform."
"Thank you for the popcorns."
"It's OK to take pictures with us here... Will you bring us the photos tomorrow?"
Copyright © 1997 by Protest Tri-Bune '96-?