Foreign Agencies on December 3rd, 1996

U.S. warns Milosevic not to use force against protesters
December 3, 1996
Web posted at: 10:35 a.m. EST (1535 GMT)

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- About 20,000 student protesters marched in Belgrade Tuesday, as the United States warned Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that he might face renewed sanctions if he cracks down on them.

The United States said it sent Belgrade a strong message urging Milosevic not to use force against the protesters, who began demonstrating about two weeks ago when the government annulled a victory by opponents of Milosevic in municipal elections.
In another effort to stop the demonstrations, Education Minister Dragoslav Mladenovic ordered university departments Monday to make sure classes were held.

Tuesday's protest was in defiance of that order. At one point, a column of marchers came across a busload of police. The students flashed a traditional Serb three-finger salute at the police, who responded with the same salute -- an apparent sign of sympathy with the demonstrators.

Reuters contributed to this report.

The Daily Free Press, Tues., Dec. 3, 1996, p.7
Associated Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia - Defying a government warning, thousands of students demonstrated against Serbian President Milosevic yesterday and said they'll face down his powerful police if necessary.

About 10 000 students - some carrying flowers - marched in downtown Belgrade despite heavy snow and said they plan a larger demonstration through the capital later in the day.

The protest, the largest and the most sustained ever against the Serbian leader, have become daily events since a court two weeks ago annulled opposition victories in local elections.
Authorities have tolerated the demonstrators. But the speaker of the Serbian parliament said Sunday that a crackdown maybe coming against the protests, which he called a "pro-fascist rampage."

Yesterday's protest featured students carrying sign saying "We are not fascists."

December 3, 1996
Web posted at: 8:15 p.m. EST (0115 GMT)

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN)
Peaceful clashes with police

While the Interior Ministry mobilized more police reserves, protesters continued to ignore warnings of a government crackdown on unauthorized marchers.

Some young protesters donned gas masks in front of Serbia's Parliament and sprinkled insecticide on the walls in a symbolic political cleansing. A handful of police made a halfhearted attempt to stop them.

In another clash, some demonstrators drew slogans on the wall, and police efforts to push them away were met by a hail of chalk sticks. The officers looked embarrassed and uncertain about how to respond.

(c) 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.

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