Student Protest '96 - '97
March 9th, 1997
It is the sixth anniversary of the first pro-democracy demonstrations in Belgrade, the first step which Serbia, Former Yugoslavia at the time, took towards a new system of government. Today we are still in the same fight, reaching for a new and better future. A number of professors addressed us, expressing their different opinions on what should happen tomorrow, on the day designated by the minister of education as the day we must return to class, or serious repressions will be forced upon the university. Today was the last day that Cedomir Jovanovic did not address the students, since he was unable to attend the gathering due to health problems.
The evening walks usually follow the "media route" which passes by the major government-controlled radio, television and newspaper, and gives us the chance to express our rage against the propaganda machine of the regime. This evening we took a slightly different path to visit the place where the first victims of the fight for democracy fell. High school graduate Borivoje Milinovic ended his life on the sidewalk at the corner of Srpskih Vladara and Kneza Milosa during the riots exactly six years ago. During the moment of silence for the dead candles were lit and the crowd was overtaken by a holy spirit. We walked down Kneza Milosa and turned left into Masarikova street where the other tragic death of that historic day took place. This time it was a policeman by the name of Nedeljko Kosovic, who died in front of the Student Cultural Center. After another moment we proceeded up General Zdanova and Bulevar Revolucije. We returned to the Plato through Takovska and Ivo Lola Ribar, greeting Grandma Olga on the way. The protest will continue tomorrow at 2 o'clock in spite of the decision by the University Staff to continue classes.