Student Protest '96 - '97
March 12th, 1997
Why didn't the gathering at Plato start at 2 o'clock, as it was announced? Because we awaited confirmation of the rumor that the Yugoslav Soccer Association would donate 7,000 tickets (which is the number of students gathered) for the friendly match between Yugoslavia and Russia, which started at 5.30. In the meantime the protest program continued as usual (only an hour later). The first and only guest was professor Slobodan Marinkovic - Moca from the Medical School (even though his student are in class). He apologized for not attending the protest gatherings the past ten days, because he was in Japan attending a conference. He justified the absence saying that his address at the congress started with a tribute to the students of the Belgrade University who are the "smartest, most wonderful, and most enduring". He said that Japanese officials sent their greetings after hearing of our fight. Service information was read and then the story of what the former Chancellor's last deed was. He named prof. Dr. Tomislav Dragovic, one of the vice-chancellors and professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering, as acting Chancellor. Dragovic was a nominee in the local elections for the Socialist Party of Serbia. He fairly lost in the second ballot to Goran Vesic, a student, by a 500 vote difference. When the second ballot was annulled Vesic didn't run in the illegally repeated ballot, so Dragovic was elected delegate. Because of his political involvement he had no time for lectures, and held his first lecture in the winter semester on December 9th, two and a half months late and two weeks after the beginning of the Student Protest. After his "victory" in the elections he held a party at the university for his personal friends and party comrades. The next news read at the Plato were from the Board for the Defence of Democracy. The Board recommended that the acting Chancellor, prof. Dr. Tomislav Dragovic transfer his authority to prof. Dr. Dragan Kuburovic, who is the eldest vice-chancellor and is supported by the Deans and professors of the Belgrade University. The recommendation was further argumented by the fact that Kuburovic worked towards the normalization of the situation at the University during the entire duration of the Student Protest. Sad news... The Yugoslav Soccer Association granted us only 300 tickets to the match so not all of us could attend the game. Cedomir was off negotiating with the Soccer Association so the walk was announced by Dusan Popovic.
In stead of walking to the stadium of the Yugoslav Army, we walked to Slavija trough Kolarceva and Srpskih Vladara. After a circle around the square, the 7, 000 students walked up Marsala Tolbuhina and to Maksima Gorkog. We then crossed over to Bulevar Revolucije through Sindjeliceva. While passing by the Schools of Electrical and Civil Engineering and Architecture, we loudly protested. A small number of students joined us and some professors waved from their office windows even though 90% of the students attending the student assemblies voted to return to class (until March 20). We then passed by the Law School, where there were no students (they voted to stay in the protest) and returned to the Plato via Ivo Lola Ribar. We were glad to see Grandma Olga on her balcony again. The student gathering has been announced for tomorrow at the same time and place.