Student Protest '96 - '97

February 24th, 1997

13:00 CET
(12:00 GMT)

The School of Mechanical Engineering

The students of the most alternatively active School was scheduled for 1 o'clock, but was a short one, so the action for the day could start. The Chancellor has not been seen for in a while, and the students have become worried about his well-being. The search was continued today in the underground. The gathered students entered the "magnificent" underground train station which is located next to the School of Mechanical Engineering. There were about 300 students, and five police officers who followed us. The station security only asked of us not to blow our whistles and horns, not to smoke or take pictures. The station, which was opened two years ago still hasn't seen this much traffic. The station was filled with security, but they were pleasant and even let the leaders use the station loud speaker to address the students. We waited for a train going in the direction of Karadjordjev Park, which is located next to the School of Veterinary. We greeted the incoming train with a great applause, to the great surprise of the passengers. When we had boarded train and it had began to roll, everybody looked out the window in order to try and find the Chancellor. Perhaps he was hiding in the underground. When the train reached the station everybody rushed out of the train blowing their whistles and horns, and we were even greeted by the engineer with a long and loud blow of the horn. The procession then walked to Slavija and then towards the Plato via Srpskih Vladara. We made a minimum detour in order to go around the Serbian Presidency and boo in front of the building. The surprise was that Senta, the personal bodyguard of Slobodan Milosevic and the person was about to pull the gun on the students on Dedinje appeared in front of the building smiling and even waving to the passing students. The procession then returned to the Plato where the other students had gathered for the traditional protest walk.

14:00 CET
(13:00 GMT)


The project which took place in front of the Chancellorship was intitiated by the professors of the Belgrade University. The students were supposed to return to their desks, and so it was to be... Of course, it was not the intention of the professors to force the students to class, so desks were brought out to the Plato and arranged as in a classroom. There the students and other attenders of the protest could rest their weary feet. At the same time the noise-mobile was activated and after the usual music and St. Sava anthem, the protest program started. The University Initiative Committee for the Defence of Democracy announced an international conference which is to take place tomorrow. The theme is "1,800 Reasons for the Chancellor to Resign" [alluding to the 1,800 professor signatures demanding the resignation]. The conference requires the handing in of papers which will be "graded" at the Plato and the first prize is a gold whistle. The only guest speaker was Mladjen Dinkic, assistant at the School of Economy and author of the book "The Economy of Destruction". He explained the complex economic situation and the difficulties of the economic recovery of Serbia. The final word was Ceda's as he announced the walk for the day.

15:30 CET
(14:30 GMT)

The "Walk"

The walk was very uneventful. The students gathered in quite a large number. About 25,000 students gathered for the walk in the spring sun and warm weather. The route was one of the traditional ones: Srpskih Vladara, Kneza Milosa, Nemanjina, Beogradska. From there down Bulevar Revolucije and Takovska to Grandma Olga's. She had a guest on her terrace, the Ljuba Tadic spokesman for the coalition Zajedno who presented her with an ivy plant (Grandma Olga was the winner for the best looking terrace last year, before the protests started). As usual there was much noise in front of RTS, Politika and Radio Beograd. There was much of a carnival atmosphere within the crowd. Spring has arrived, or at least that is what it seems like at the moment. A little energy is something the protest needs...


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