Foreign Agencies on January 21th, 1997

Cops Beat Protestors in Belgrade
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, January 21, 1997 9:40 am EST

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP)
For the first time, taxi drivers joined the protests today. More than 100 cabbies drove through downtown Belgrade, blowing their horns. They were greeted by protesting students preparing to spend a third night in the streets in their bid to outlast riot police preventing them from marching.
A student was arrested Monday while trying to join the students' protest in Belgrade, the radio said.

(c) Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Serb Students Appeal to U.S
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, January 21, 1997 5:13 pm EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Serbian student delegation appealed to U.S. officials Tuesday to help overcome Serbia's political deadlock by breaking President Slobodan Milosevic's stranglehold on the media.

"No nation deserves to be fed the kind of propaganda, lies and inventions that Milosevic's state television puts out every day," said Daliborka Uljarevic, a Belgrade University student.

In meetings with State Department and U.S. Information Agency officials, the students appealed for aid for Serbia's fledgling independent media to expand its coverage to the entire country. They said modern broadcasting equipment and technical assistance were urgently required.

Hundreds of thousands of Serbs have demonstrated for over two months in Belgrade and other cities to protest the government's annulment of November's elections for local councils. Initial results showed that an opposition coalition had won control in 14 of the country's 19 largest municipalities.

In addition, tens of thousands of university students have staged separate, pro-democracy rallies.

(c) Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Belgrade students dance for democracy
January 21, 1997
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EST (0230 GMT)

[Picture: students dancing]

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- They call it the "Blue Cordon Disco." For the past three nights thousands of students have danced to the music of Neil Young and AC/DC, blown whistles and rallied while armed, helmeted riot police watched grimly from a few yards away.

This is not partying for the sake of partying, however, but to keep alive a nation's frail hopes for democracy.

"We will stay until the police move, because we want to have a beautiful country," -- says a 21-year-old student named Zivana.

Blocked by police three nights ago on their nightly march to protest the annulment of November elections by the ruling Socialist government, the students vowed to stay until they get what they want.

Long considered the backbone of the democratic movement, they have no illusions about the intentions of the government, which is controlled by former Communists.

"Who knows what the people in the government think?" said Nenad Vujovic, 23. "They probably want to make us tired and make us quit with the protest.
[Picture: students dancing]
Taxi drivers joined the protests for the first time Tuesday, driving through downtown Belgrade blowing their horns. They were greeted by protesting students preparing to begin their third night in the streets facing down changing shifts of riot police.

[Picture: police]

Nor are the police unmoved by these confrontations. Some must overcome the urge to move with the music as the students do so freely. Indeed, they even march to and from the cordon keeping rhythm to the non-stop music, and close observers note here and there a tapping his foot or head moving to the beat.

Monday night, however, witnesses said the police clubbed and beat protesters.

Students ask Washington for help

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, a Serbian student delegation asked U.S. officials for help in securing modern broadcasting and technical equipment to bolster the country's small, independent media.

Serbia's state-run media, which includes the only TV and radio network, has all but ignored the protests except to accuse pro-democracy leaders of being terrorists and foreign mercenaries.

Reuters contributed to this report.
(c) 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.

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