Student Protest '96 - '97
February 3rd, 1997
The student protest gathering started today with the students gathering at their individual schools in order to join forces a bit later. The destination at which the five groups from different schools would meet had not been announced, and as in the previous days the student leadership kept it a secret until the last moment. And so the students started for the secret destination on their 74th day of protest against the theft on the November 17 elections.
The point of gathering was the Supreme Court in Nemanjina street. The students blocked the traffic completely, and as each group of schools arrived the number of students increased. By 12.30 there were more than 30,000 students gathered on the corner of Nemanjina and General Zdanova.
Today's walk commenced after all the schools had gathered in front of the Supreme Court. There the students demanded action regarding the evidence in the form od electoral records which the students handed over to the Public Prosecutor. Since the students had handed the records on December 17 nothing had been done. The stundet spokesman stated that the P.P. must be illiterate if he cannot read the evidence handed to him.
The students walked down Nemanjina and up Kneza Milosa street, from there they turned into Srpskih Vladara, across Terazije and into Prizrenska. From there the students walked down Brankova street and onto the bridge. As usual the students had to cross the bridge in groups of 5,000 because the bridge shook dangerously when greater numbers crossed. The point of the walk over the bridge was that the supporters of the coalition Zajedno were not allowed to do so the previous night and the situation ended with a brutal police intervention against the peaceful demonstrators. Once on Novi Beograd, the students made a circle around the building of the former Central Committee of the Communist Party, now an office building, where different companies with tight links to the Socialist and Yugoslav Left parties have offices. From there the students returned to the Plato, crossing the bridge and through Pop Lukina, where the gathering ended around 4 o'clock.
During the walk almost no police could be noticed in the streets. The small number that was seen received strong negative cries and whistling from the students. There were no incidents during the walk, and the next gathering will be announced tomorrow after the meeting of the Main Board of the Student Protest '96/97, which is scheduled for 11am.