Student Protest '96
December 29th, 1996
At the protest gathering at the Plato today the students were addressed by Milica Mihailovic, actress, Eleonora Prohic, resigning editor of TV Politika, and Nedeljka Pavlovic, M.D. Then Cedomir Jovanovic, member of the Initiative Board of the student protest '96, announced the "route" for today (to Dedinje, Autokomanda, Zemun, 29 November street, etc. and back to the Plato, 70 km est.), saying that it was the "route" for the police forces, and not for the students, and that there is no way to keep the Belgrade students from being in every part of their city.
The students started their "walk" from the Vasina street, as usual, where the column was stopped by a police cordon. Trying to walk through Knez Mihajlova street, we bumped into two cordons, one on each end of the street. Students left leaflets reading: "Policemen, don't obey to those who will allow murder to withhold their position. Join the people." in front of the cordon in Vasina street.
Than we split in two columns, one heading towards Vasina, in the opposite direction from the police forces, and the other, heading to the Students square in the direction of the PMF (School of mathematics and natural sciences). The police forces than blocked the Zmaja od Nocaja street from all sides and Visnjiceva street.
The students were carryihg a large lollypop-shaped ballon, to which they, on the previous day, gave a moment of silence after it had blown out, again. We made a little "performance" on the Student Square, when one group simulated the counter rally of the SPS carrying the broken banners of the participators of the rally "For Serbia" held on December 24th, and the other simulating the Zajedno coalition rally, for fun. The two groups then started calling each other names and fighting with club-shaped balloons.
Total confusion of the police forces came when one group of the students started simulating the intention of going down the streets Vuka Karadzica and Zmaj Jovina. A police officer, standing alone in the middle of the street held out his hands, crying out "Wait, the cordon will be here in a minute" in panic. The students who were not there to create trouble but only confusion, sympathised with the officers doing their job, and waited for the cordon, and then turned in order to avoid that street.The student protest for today ended around 20:30, with the walk around the Student Square in front of Plato.