Student Protest '96
December 26th, 1996
With a moment of silence for Predrag Starcevic, the first victim of the "violence in Belgrade", the Students of the Belgrade University started today's protest rally at the Plato.
Yesterday's open letter of the students to Slobodan Milosevic, accusing him of being the most responsible for the violence on the streets of Belgrade was read. The students were addressed by Voja Brajovic, actor and Dusan Popovic, a member of the Initiative Board of the Student Protest 96, who said that according to unofficial sources, Bill Clinton, President of USA, spoke to the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic yesterday on the phone and told him that if he uses force against the protesters the Serbian regime will bear new economic sanctions and all it's financial channels will be suspended. Messages of support from a hospital in Cambridge and the Catholic Theology Alliance were read.
The Belgrade students officially invited the rock band R.E.M. to Belgrade on New Year's eve.
The students were warned by the police "to think before they go for the walk", because it is the duty of the police to intervene in such a case. We passed by the buildings of RTS and "Politika" again. A woman waved from a window of RTS and Politika employees threw confetti. They were greeted by the students, who continued down the streets of Kneza Milosa and Takovska, where 500 - 600 fully equipped police officers stood. There were another 1,000 officers in front of the State Parliament, but there were no traffic police, and our security had to regulate the traffic during the whole walk.
Around 14:30, after the walk we gathered at the Plato again, in order to continue our protest within the School buildings.