Foreign Agencies on December 14th, 1996

Serbian opposition march draws record numbers
December 14, 1996
Web posted at: 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT)

[Picture: marchers]

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (Reuter)
Belgrade students also staged their biggest demonstration in weeks Saturday, with reporters estimating up to 40,000 protesters marching through the streets cheered by people lining the pavement or watching from windows and balconies.

[Picture: protesters flag]

Serbia's opposition and students have mounted more than three weeks of peaceful street protests since the Zajedno opposition coalition claimed it was cheated of victory in elections in the biggest Serbian cities, including Belgrade.

Copyright 1996 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
(c) 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.

The Washington Post
Serbian President Makes First Proposals to Defuse Demonstrations
By John Pomfret
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, December 14 1996; Page A24
The Washington Post

A group of 250 student protesters also began hiking to Belgrade today from Novi Sad, 50 miles northwest of the capital.

USA Today
12/14/96 - 02:39 PM ET
Students welcomed after 50-mile march against Milosevic

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia - Wet and exhausted, but in good spirits, hundreds of students for a hero's welcome in Belgrade Saturday after an all-night, 50-mile protest march against President Slobodan Milosevic.

Belgraders offered food and dry clothes to the 200 students when they arrived from the northern town of Novi Sad. Residents of the Serbian capital waved from windows and balconies, threw confetti and colorful balloons. Some old people cried.

"This is our march of solidarity with Belgrade students and all those who are saying a firm 'No' to Milosevic's dictatorship," said a Novi Sad student who identified himself only as Ljuba.

On Friday, the embattled Serbian president dismissed charges that he stole his foes' election victories last month, and invited a foreign review of the electoral results.
Nearly four weeks of protests - the biggest in Yugoslavia since Milosevic came to power in 1987 - were continuing Saturday. In addition to the march, about 10,000 students gathered in central Belgrade.

By The Associated Press

Miami Herald Published Saturday, December 14, 1996, in the Miami Herald
Serb invites a review of election
1st direct response to weeks of protest
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia
Earlier Friday, tens of thousands of students marched through the city. In solidarity, about 250 students from the northern town of Novi Sad began a 50-mile walk to the capital.

Copyright (c) 1996 The Miami Herald

By Jovan Kovacic

BELGRADE (Dec 14) - Belgrade students staged their biggest demonstration in weeks on Saturday, with reporters estimating some 40,000 protestors marching through the streets.

''These demonstrations are the biggest ever, the square in front of the Philosophy College is completely packed and adjoining streets too,'' independent Belgrade radio B92 reported.
Serbia's opposition and students have mounted more than three weeks of peaceful street protests since the Zajedno opposition coalition claimed it was cheated of victory in biggest Serbian cities, including Belgrade, during the local elections by Milosevic's ruling socialists.

The students march daily at around 1100 gmt and then join the bigger opposition rally in the afternoon.
Saturday's demonstrations were marked by the arrival of 130 students and their professor who had walked 80 km (50 miles) since Friday from the Vojvodina provincial capital of Novi Sad to Belgrade.

They were greeted by the assembled Belgrade students with a 10-minute ovation, B92 said.

A group of 17 students will start a 230 km (145 mile) trek from the southern town of Nis to Belgrade on Sunday, organizers of the student protests said.

Belgraders scrambled to accommodate the students. B92 said some 1,500 people have offered to put them up.

The Novi Sad marchers were cheered by thousands of villagers along the way as they tramped through December cold and rain.

Entering Belgrade on Saturday morning, they chanted: ''From our victory, the sun of victory is rising,'' and ''It's time for justice, time for truth...''

They carried several Serb flags and a poster ''We love you Belgrade -- and that's why we won't give you up.''

One student said he was compelled to march because of ''Milosevic's and his wife's insatiability.''

''I'm tired, but I am also excited. I am against violations of human rights,'' said a 23-year old student of Philosophy after the 20 hour march.

''Faith in victory and truth made me take this trip,'' another said.

The student started feeling tired shortly before Belgrade. ''But now that these people have welcomed us, I don't feel tired anymore -- I could go on walking,'' she said.

One of the students leaders, Aleksandar Djukic said: ''This is great. That's the best present we could have got.''

''This is just another way for all the people in Serbia to see that youth wants a normal life and has had enough of thievery.''

Reut08:21 12-14-96

Back to index of Foreign agencies
Back to the Home Page