| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Serbia: Mass protest demand resignations and social change

On Friday, tens of thousands of individuals took part in anti-government demonstrations in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This marked the sixth protest following two separate mass shootings in May that resulted in the tragic loss of 18 lives.
The Serbian population holds the government and specific tabloids responsible for cultivating a climate of violence and animosity, leading to widespread blame.
Left-wing and liberal opposition parties gathered in front of the parliament in the city center and called for the protest.
They marched in two separate columns to the government building and chanted slogans like “Vucic out!” referring to President Aleksandar Vucic while holding banners that read “Students against violence.”
They demanded the resignation of the president, Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic and secret service chief Aleksandar Vulin, who they blame for failing to bring criminal groups to justice.
The other demands include the withdrawal of national broadcast licenses for television channels Pink TV and Happy TV and a ban on certain tabloids who they say contribute to creating a climate of violence.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Wednesday that she was willing to resign. She invited the opposition parties that have backed the protests to engage in a dialog.
However, protest leaders said they would not speak to the government until all their demands were met.
Vucic said that his government was not at fault for the shootings.
“Is the government to blame for crimes that happened? I cannot accept that,” he said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Milica, who has been protesting on the streets, said that she expects the protests to continue as “there is no other way.”
“I think at one point the government will have to give in, this is a large number of people and eventually they will have to give in to this pressure,” she said.
Serbia was rocked by two unprecedented mass shootings last month.
On May 3, a teenager killed ten students at an elementary school. On May 4, a 21-year-old man killed eight people in a town near Belgrade.

  • DW