"It is bothering me that you push us to war," "The education system is bothering me," "The rivers in the pipes are bothering me," "We are tired of you and your lies, Aleksandar Vucic," "It bothers me that we are silent "… read some of the messages displayed in front of Presidential building in Belgrade during students' gathering on Wednesday titled "Are you bothered by the same thing as we? "
Anja Ilic, a sociology graduate, said it was good that more and more students’ initiatives were launched during the protests and roadblocks directed primarily against Rio Tinto lithium mining, but that Wednesday’s messages pointed at other problems as well, „caused by the destruction of the country and giving priority to investors according to whose will the laws of this country are tailored.“
She added that students were not offered a prospect of staying in Serbia. They are expected to have low-paid jobs with poor labour protection and expected to keep silent about bad work conditions, according to Ilic.
Ilic added that the rightists offered unhappy people „something that seems like easy and tempting solutions, which are usually false“.
Ilic said it was important for the leftists to protest and offer an alternative by pointing out the „real roots of the problem.“ She added that Rio Tinto was not an arrogant investor’s problem, but the fact that Serbia was operating based on foreign direct investment and „subjugation“ to investors and sales of land, labour, and infrastructure.
A student from the Technology and Metallurgy Faculty, Andrija Drobnjak, said the government did not care about students because it „mainly focuses on pensioners“ and made them promises.
He wondered if students would have a chance in Serbia and whether they would they become more important to the authorities when they graduated or retired.