Student Protest '96 - '97
February 10th, 1997
The 81st protest student gathering started at the Plato in front of the School of Philosophy, expressing the student's disapproval of the manipulations at the November 17 elections. As usual, before the protest walk the students were addressed by different guests. The guests for today included Ivana Vujovic, theater director and a delegation from Radio Ozon in Cacak. The most impressive reaction of the students could be seen when Branko Kockica (Yugoslav Mr. Rogers) came out to speak. His children's series was something all the gathered "children" grew up on. He sang a song from one of the old episodes which told the story of how stealing is bad and that when something is stolen from you "you are sad and the thief is ugly". In the last verse Branko exchanged the missing balloons and marbles with votes and mandates. He ended his solo-mandolin performance with the theme from the series "There is a kingdom in the world, a kingdom where comeradery rules". The moments were one of the more emotional ones at the Plato in the past eleven weeks. A letter from an anonymous student's mother was also read; a very emotional piece of art describing her vision of the students and there role in the future of our country.
Today's walk was unexpectedly long. From the Plato the 20,000 students walked down Vasina, Kolarceva and Srpskih Vladara to Slavija, up Beogradska and right upon reaching Bulevar Revolucije. We walked up Bulevar Revolucije until we reached the city hospital, and then returned down Dimitrija Tucovica, Cvijiceva and 29 Novembra to the Plato. At the corner of 29 Novembra and Cetinjska, we were greeted by Rastko Kostic, the injured student who waved from his window. As usual there were no incidents along the way, but a great number of students gave up along the 15km, 3.5 hour walk.