40,000 Slavs on protest march rattle Milosevic government
Monday 27 September 1999
The success of the march, on Saturday night, has breathed new life into the flagging opposition campaign. Demonstrators chanted slogans against the government, drawing in passers-by as they rallied in the streets, and protests were due to continue yesterday in Belgrade and other Serbian towns and cities.
But the number of demonstrators in Belgrade is still small compared with the huge mass protests of 1996 and 1997 and represents only a fraction of Belgrade's population of two million. Leaders of the Alliance for Change opposition grouping said they hoped the rallies would mark the beginning of the end for the Milosevic government.
"There are more and more people all the time", said Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party and leader of the Alliance for Change. "I'm sure there will be a culmination (of protests) by mid-October and that we'll achieve our goals by that time ... If we persist, we'll win."
In the face of a lukewarm response from the public, apparently bored with long speeches that preceded a march through central Belgrade earlier in the week, Alliance leaders introduced a new scenario, with marches first, and speeches later.
Protests now start from the central Republic Square with a parade past key government buildings, where passers-by join in, and end with short speeches back at the Republic Square. Opposition activists are comparing the slow and gradual beginning of 1996-97 rallies with the beginning of this campaign.
Goran Svilanovic, an Alliance for Change leader, said: "We expect, in the days to come, more and more people to show up." Vladan Batic, another Alliance official, said: "There is no way back for us now ... We'll finish the job we started." But the biggest opposition party, Vuk Dras-kovic's Serbian Renewal Movement, is still withholding support for the rallies amid personal rivalries with the Alliance leaders.
Yugoslav authorities appear rattled by the continuing demonstrations, as the coverage in government-controlled media illustrates. The rallies are described as "small gatherings" and the umbrella group is branded "Nato's Alliance for Change".
n Sixteen mostly young people were injured in a hand grenade attack at a cafe in the southern Serbian town of Prokuplje early on Saturday.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police after Zendaya dreadlocks racism row
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...