Anti-Vucic protests expand across Serbia, northern Kosovo

Anti-Vucic protests expand across Serbia, northern Kosovo
Weekly protests have taken place in Belgrade and other Serbian cities since late 2018.
By bne IntelliNews February 4, 2019

Tens of thousands gathered in Serbia for a new protest demanding the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic, objecting to his politics and the climate they have created in the country.

The “1 of 5 million” protests have been organised every weekend since December 8 and were sparked by attack on an opposition politician Borko Stefanovic in the town of Krusevac. They further escalated after Vucic said that he would not agree to protesters' demands even if there were five million people in the street.

The latest protest on February 2 expanded further, with Kosovo Serbs who live in the divided northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica joining along with more cities within Serbia.

In Belgrade, speakers once again said the protesters want Vucic to step down and end the "terror" of his ruling party. As usual, they stopped in front of the presidency building, leaving letters to Vucic to tell him why are they protesting.

Dozens of intellectuals in Serbia expressed their support for the protests ahead of the latest weekend gatherings.

Meanwhile, Serbians were angered by a video released by several local TV channels offending two opposition members and, indirectly, the protesters, N1 reported. The video was allegedly created by Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and showed two men disguised as the leaders of the opposition Alliance for Serbia, Dragan Djilas and Vuk Jeremic, whom one man takes to the person he calls Tycoon No 1 for further protest instructions. The video also suggests that the protests cost the opposition a lot and are being funded by unknown powerful man. SNS members said the video was a joke.

According to Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic of Vucic’s SNS party, the protests are interrupting the proper work of government. She said that she was afraid of protests turning violent as one of the participants took gallows to the demonstration.

The police have issued an arrest warrant for the unknown person. His initiative was seen by the organisers as inappropriate and an intentional provocation.