Saturday protest recalls date Milosevic regime fell

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Source: N1

The 44th Saturday protest in Belgrade was held on the anniversary of the October 5th demonstrations which toppled then FRY President Slobodan Milosevic.

Protest organizers said in a press release that October 5th is being rememberd as the day of victory over the regime of a dictator who interfered in all aspects of society. “We are saying that the new victories have just started,” it added.

Don’t Drown Belgrade Initiative activist Vladimir Radojicic told the crowd that the protesters who toppled Milosevic 19 years ago believed that they had won the democratization of Serbia but were wrong. “Nineteen years later, Serbia is occupied again because (President Aleksandar) Vucic has abducted the institutions and media,” he said.

The main message from speakers at the 1 in 5 Million protest was that Finance Minister Sinisa Mali will no longer have the academic title of doctor after November 4 which was set as the deadline for an ethics commission to rule his doctoral thesis which is alleged to have been plagiarized.

“We won that date to finally resolve the problem of the false doctor,” said Valentina Rekovic, one of the students who took part in the lock-down of the Belgrade University Rectorate in protest over the committee’s failure to rule on the doctorate.

She was followed by University Professor Oliver Toskovic who called Sinisa Mali to come to the protest and apologize for plagiarizing his doctoral thesis.

The 1 in 5 Million banner which has been carried at the front of the column was replaced with a banner saying Boycott. and the protest march ended with a performance with stone blocks on the newly-reconstructed Republic Square. The protesters painted the stone paving with gold paint to symbolically show that the authorities are just painting over everything. “They are saying we are in a golden age. We showed them what their golden age is. They just paint over the façade with everything falling apart underneath,“ protest organizer Miodrag Simovic said. 

The stone blocks on the street running by the square had to be re-laid following the reconstruction, drawing heavy criticism of the city authorities.