Student Protest '96 - '97

March 16th, 1997

12:00 CET
(11:00 GMT)

The Plato

On a cloudy, windy Sunday, approximately 1500 students gathered, impatiently waiting to start their walk towards Novi Beograd, where the first student automobile rally was to take place. Apart from the customary musical program, and a volleyball game at the Plato, there were no important events.

13:30 CET
(12:30 GMT)

The "Walk"

Another swaying walk across the Branko's bridge; we are all accustomed to it by now. The traffic was blocked - fortunately, it was Sunday, so the citizens didn't mind, and many (mostly regular 'walkers'), joined us along the way. Usce, the location of the race, was reached a little after 14:00. There, the students were addressed by Spasoje Krunic, President of the Executive Committee of the City Assembly. He reminded everyone that it was the students who helped the opposition acquire authority; therefore, it should be them who will take it away from them if necessary. The atmosphere was jolly, despite the unfriendly weather.

14:30 CET
(13:30 GMT)

The Motor Rally

The start line was marked with the "Belgrade is the world" sign, with 28 cars lined up behind it, waiting for the race to start. The track had automobile tires over it in one part, representing police cordons, and the finish was 'The Plato'. The drivers were dressed in professional outfits, that looked much better than their old, wrecked vehicles. Nevertheless, they were imaginative. Some cars were lacking doors, even hoods. One had a person sitting in the back, holding an umbrella, with a sign "air brake" written on it. The drivers showed even more creativity when the rally began. Some really had the racing spirit, and faced all obstacles with great courage, even driving in reverse when necessary. One of the teams changed drivers after the first round: they proclaimed themselves "moral winners". One 'Renault 4' in a terrible condition had to be pushed for the whole two rounds - the proposed length of the race track (some drove one, or even three). But, nobody stood any chance, because the 28th driver, of a new 'Ford Sierra', was an impersonator of Marko Milosevic, the President' son, who in fact is a race-car driver. His driving was not so well, although he was supported by his 'mother' (a student with a flower in her hair), and had the sign 'son' as his licence plate. Nevertheless, since the rally was obviously fixed by the father, the supposed Marko got the trophy after all. The students protested, but could not alter the judges' decision. In the end they walked a round of the race track, reminding that they weren't there just for fun, but that the protest goes on. After this, everybody went home.

Xenia & TeaNoSugar

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