Bulletins from the people of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

The situation in Belgrade has worsened. The legally elected Mayor of Belgrade was forced out by the dictatorship. You can read the Washington Post story on the current situation. Below is a photograph sent to me by folks in Belgrade, taken on September 30, 1997. I cannot be sure that the description is accurate, but the source who sent to me is trustworthy.

This is part of an ongoing attempt to use the Internet as means of bypassing traditional media, and getting grass-roots information out from Yugoslavia, person to person. Further grass-roots information follows below.

This page contains e-mail describing the situation in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. It is updated whenever I get e-mail, and the messages are sorted from oldest to most recent.

But before we get to the e-mail, here are a few links to the protest Web sites maintained inside Yugoslavia.

Protest page run by students of the Math department, University of Belgrade.

Protest page run by students of the Engineering department, University of Belgrade.

Protest page run by students of the Philosophy department, University of Belgrade.

Protest page run by Radio B-92, Belgrade's only independent radio station.

Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 01:56:22 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: "David S. Bennahum" CC: (suppressed) Subject: Belgrade - 27. december Dear David & other friends: Both my vife's mother and father were injured by the police on the 24th of Dec. on demonstration - her mother is in the hospital and waits for the leg operation. This evening Kali (@SezamPro.yu, the girl with black hair, Julian spoke to her during one of the street marches, I remember) was badly baeten by the police; she is in the hospital now. There were a lot of beaten people tonight - all AFTER the today demonstrations, when they started to go back home. They were attacked either by the police itself or by the groops of hooligans who were under the clear police protection. Especially the journalist (and cameramen) were aimed by the police attacks (like the reporters from Russian NTV, Austrian ORF, Associate Press, Reuter). Two (at least) perasons from the Organizing Comittee of Student Protest '96 were also beaten tonight. We are at the edge of civil war in Serbia. The Belgrade is a kind of a besieged city. It is a sort of the unofficial martial low situation. Some 20,000 policemen have been brought into the town in the last 2-3 days. The regime media (TV, radio, newspapers) keep producing the worst propaganda against the citizens ("traitors of the people", "foreign agents", "the fifth column" and the like). What will happen in the next days, no one can tell at the moment. However, we will continue with our protests. Tomorrow is the funeral of the men who was killed 3 days ago during the demos. You can help by spreading the infos of what's going on here. Yrs, Novim@sezampro.yu
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 23:40:42 +0100 From: Nebojsa Mircetovic (ndreadnought@sezampro.yu) To: davidsol@panix.com MIME-Version: 1.0 Hi there,Serbian opo fan:)))) Thanx 4 support, especially 4 Kali. I was there withw her & 10-12 Sezampro members when she was beaten. We actually provekeoked police to beat us, `cause we know that`s the way to atract atention of the world. What we did was as absurd as much a fun. We "liberated" a street light. When a green light was on, we werw rushing on the street from sidewalks, screaming "Green, Green!". When the light turned red, we turned back to sidewalks, singing: "wWe obey the law!". The policemen were laughing with us. `t was fun! We kept on going for a t15-20 minutes or so, while several groups (platoons:)))))) of police passed by. At last, a group of bad, bad, bad, mean gyus confronted us. We saw the Devil took the game in his hands. Two gyus & I started telling the rest of the crowd to be prepared to fly. Unfortunatekly, Kali (Ljiljana) is always too slow i situations like that.Now I feel guilti I did not take her by a hand & took her away. She fell down on a main street of Terazije (in front of hotel Moscow), & she would have escaped, if there wasn`t an older lady who was thrown by policemen over her. She remembers that womwn was screaming, than she was taken away & they went on beating Kali. At this moment, she is in bed, she was adviced not to move,`cause that could provoke serious complications, since kidneys have been injured, She also got few hits on the head (bloody). Even worse is: policemen beated a 11 years old girl, just because she sad she woulmdn`t move from a stone bloce on which she was standing to see better what was ahappening.Fortunately, she`s all right now. Nebojsa Mircetovic Ndreadnought@Sezampro.yu
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 23:59:42 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade X-Mailer: Mozilla 2.01Gold (Win95; I) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: "David S. Bennahum" Subject: Re: Belgrade - 27. december X-UIDL: 1e0d3693180f19b825b939e241925f3e Status: RO X-Status: David S. Bennahum wrote: > > Novica-- Thank you so much for your letter, which I received about 2 hours > ago. Since then I have written a special issue of MEME, a newsletter I have Thank you, David! I've forwarded your message to the SezamPro Forum conference. The support means a lot to us now, believe me! As for today (Saturday), there were no clashes. But: in almost all other towns in Serbia (some 40 towns where there have been demonstrations), the police have forbidden the marches and gatherings. We effectively have a martial low now, except that Milosevic is such a coward that he does not declare it officially. Very few infos on the situation in other town in Serbia. We are going to go with our protests on, peacefully, as before. The real problem now is the terrible weather (heavy snow, -10 C, cold wind). Yesterday the B92 radio was jammed again for couple of hours. It seems that some kind of censorship has been established on some of the Internet providers here (you can easily guess where), at least about the news. But, SezamPro is still open and works well. Best, Novica PS: I'll keep sending news to you, and you are free to distribute my messages when and where you think is appropriate. If you have any message to be send to SezamPro audience (and other BBS sites here), please send it to me, I'll forward it. PPS: (Sunday, 2:30 PM local time): Several thousands policemen are moving towards the centre of the town at the moment (demonstration is scheduled at 3 PM). Several groups of police snipers (!) have been put on the building roofs in the center of the town! I', going out now!
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 19:10:33 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: "David S. Bennahum" CC: (suppressed) Subject: Belgrade - 29. 12. 1996 According to the sources of the oppositional coalition Together some 40,000 policemen were brought into Belgrade. Today, some 15,000 were on the streets around the center, but the protest at 3 PM - although we were declined the right to march - was without any incident. (Instead of walking through the central Belgrade area, we marched only in two pedestrian streets in the very center of the town). Students protest tonight is going now also without incidents, although police blocked the streets around the narrow central part of the old town. But after the protest at 3 PM and before the student demos at 7 PM most of the police left from the streets (at least they have become invisible for the moment); some 2-3,000 remained though. Today, the news has come that the group of high army officers from several towns in South Serbia sent a letter of warning to Milosevic, saying that they would side with the people (means: they support the protest) if Milosevic does not recognize the right of the people. The Belgrade theaters are closed tonight as well, since the actors does not want to play in the town besieged by the police. The regime media has not publish those parts of the Felipe Gonzales' report where it says that the opposition won the major cities in Serbia on the Nov. 17 local elections. The protests will continue tomorrow. Best, Novim@SezamPro.Yu
Reply-To: kali@sezampro.yu From: "kali" kali@sezampro.yu To: davidsol@panix.com Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 22:10:59 +0100 Dear Friend, Thank you for your support, and for thinking of me and events in my country. It feels easier to know that we are properly understood worldwide. I do not think that my beating is something special, it is just that at this moment things that were not so rare in this (and prior) regime, are just more known to the people. I hope that in due time we can all welcome you in the country free from repression and middle-ages inquisition methods. We shall try to prevail, and not leave that cumbersome task to our children. Dark Tower and it's Dark Lord must surely fall down. It's just a matter of time. At the moment, I'm not so bad (physically), although I have several concussions including the brain concussion. Bleeding of kidneys have almost stopped, and I hope that in few days I will be able to use computer myself. At the moment I'm typing this message, to be sent to all of you thinking of me, with the help of my friend. Thank you again. Love, Kali (Ljiljana Milic)
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 02:11:47 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: "David S. Bennahum" Subject: Re: Belgrade information network. Dear David: Thanks for all the help you are giving to us! I keep posting all messages I reaceive to SezamPro Forum, and tomorrow some of them will be read in front of the student gathering at the Plato square. Up to now, more than 100 messages have come to me, from all parts of the world. Thanks again - and I'll inform Sezamians aboyt your newest initiative right now. Best in the New 1997 to you, as well! Yrs, N.
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 20:26:32 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: "David S. Bennahum" Subject: Re: Belgrade information network. David S. Bennahum wrote: > Thanks for the Sezam explanation. Yesterday you said that some of the > messages you received will be read at the Plato. How did it go? If you > could send a description of the events today (new year's eve) that would be > great. So the some of the students-organizers told me, but apparently they will not do it tonight - at the celebration. They will do it in the next days. I'll let you know about it in detail. I have begun work on CD-ROM. B92 will be the official publisher of it, but I'll try to engage a lot of other media here. Now I'm organizing a group of the SezamPro user who will do the scanning of the photos, etc. etc. Tonight is the New Year Eve in the center of the town. Very, very cold weather (-10 C). I'll write you tonight how it goes. And I cought cold (a bit). :-( > Best wishes for 1997! > > db Yes, the same I wish to you (and Sasha, too)! Let us hope we all have a better year, with good lines, high cps, less junk mail, more time for reading (and writing), better interfaces, and all other trivia that make life more confortable. As for Milosevic, he is a past thing, just he does not know yet. Yours, N.
From: ABRAHAF@HRW.ORG Date: Tue, 31 Dec 96 15:20:41 EST To: novim@sezampro.yu, davidsol@panix.com, iskoric@igc.apc.org Subject: support from Human Rights Watch Dear Novica, Your address was passed around by David Bennahum. I am a researcher at Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (formerly Helsinki Watch), the largest U.S.-based human rights organization. We are watching your heroic efforts in Belgrade very closely and express our unconditional solidarity with your peaceful efforts to democratize Serbia. Below is a statement we issued on December 7. We will continue to monitor the situation and press the Milosevic government to respect its citizens' basic civil and political rights. We also call on the international community not to grant any concessions to Yugoslavia until human rights violations in Serbia proper and other parts of the country, such as Kosovo, desist. Yours in peace, Fred Abrahams For Immediate Release December 7, 1996 STATEMENT ON EVENTS IN SERBIA Human Rights Watch/Helsinki condemns in the strongest terms the authoritarian and racist actions of the Serbian government and calls on the government of Slobodon Milosevic to: * Respect the outcome of the November 17 local elections; * Cease the harassment of the independent media; * Release those who have been arrested for peacefully expressing their political views; * Guarantee equal rights for the ethnic minorities living in Yugoslavia. On November 17 local elections were held throughout the Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Opposition parties were victorious in fourteen of the nineteen largest cities in Serbia. Following their victory, the central election commission declared that there had been "unspecified irregularities" in those areas where the ruling Socialist Party had lost. Shortly thereafter, demonstrators took to the streets of Belgrade. Most recently, on December 4, an estimated 150,000 people protested the decision to annul the vote and called for the government's resignation. Especially students are peacefully expressing their dissatisfaction with the Serbian state. From the beginning, the Serbian government took steps to prevent the public from finding out about the demonstrations. The state-run television and radio -- the main source of information for those outside of Belgrade -- gravely understated the degree of public discontent. Meanwhile, the government made deliberate efforts to silence independent media outlets. On November 27, the Belgrade-based independent radio station B-92 had its transmission signal blocked four times during a news broadcast about the protest marches. From November 28 to December 2, B-92's transmission was blocked entirely from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. Then, on December 3 at 3:00 p.m., both Radio B-92 and the student station Radio Index were taken off the air. B-92 then received a letter from the Ministry of Transportation and Communication saying the station was operating "illegally" because it did not possess a license, even though the station had been operating on that frequency for the past five years. On December 5, B-92 and Radio Index began to broadcast again. But the government continues to block other independent stations, like Radio Boom 93. Radio B-92 has also reported that, on November 29, the Yugoslav Federal Inspector for Traffic and Communications banned five radio stations: Radio Ozon, Radio Soliter, Dzoker Radio, Radio 96 and Star FM. Some of the stations had broadcast news programs from Radio B-92. The station also reported that the authorities in Montenegro are threatening not to extend the frequency license of Antenna M, Montenegro's only independent radio station. At the same time, the government has harassed the print media. On November 27 the state-owned Borba publishing house refused to print more than 70,000 copies of the daily Blic, which had printed 250,000 copies since the beginning of the demonstrations. Other independent newspapers and magazines are reporting government attempts to restrict their supply of newsprint. Peaceful protesters have also been directly harassed by the government. On December 4, the Belgrade police arrested an estimated fifty demonstrators, both supporters of the political opposition and students. Although there were no reports of violence by the police, the government arrested and detained individuals who were peacefully expressing criticism of the state. Lastly, outside of Serbia proper, the violence and discrimination against non-Serbs continues unabated. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina and Muslims in Sanzak are the victims of varying degrees of persecution solely on the basis of their ethnicity. Forthcoming reports by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki will document the many abuses committed by the Serb authorities in these regions over the past two years. In light of these abuses, the international community should maintain the outer wall of sanctions, which prohibits Yugoslavia's readmission into the major international institutions. Lifting the outer wall while human rights violations are taking place would demonstrate the international community's total disregard for the basic principles of international law, such as free elections, free expression and non-discriminatory treatment, as well as remove any leverage the international community has to improve the human rights record of Serbian President Slobodon Milosevic. In addition, the outer wall should not be lifted until the Serbian government cooperates fully with the War Crimes Tribunal on Former Yugoslavia and provides adequate treatment, as guaranteed by international law, to the estimated 700,000 refugees currently in Serbia. For further information contact: Fred Abrahams (212) 972-8400 ext. 273 Holly Cartner (212) 972-8400 ext. 219
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 1997 03:47:12 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: (suppressed) CC: "David S. Bennahum" Subject: Re: Happy New Year Let me say just a few words about this most wonderful New Year Eve that Belgrade ever experienced: There were some 200-300,000 people in the center of Belgrade (some media say 500,000 - who can count; this eas the biggest crowd I ever seen in my life). The celebration of the New Years Eve was marveolous! Almost hundred of Sezamians was there, at the Republic Square. This was the night when Belgrade found its soul again, after all thsoe terrible years pf war and nationalist darkness. I feel again as the citizen of the world, like many, many others here, and I am proud of my town after so many years! Excuse me for being a biu pathetic, perhaps, but this feeling is common tonight and we all here start being normal again, after so much time, so that it is difficult to sustain feelings... From the very place of celebration we called Kali (she is still in bed, like Sasha's mother), and she cried over the line from hapiness this time... Whatever happens tomorrow, this night of complete freedom from fear and apiness that future could bring us freedom we dream of, will always be our sign that we - the democrats in Sebia - will win! Yours, Novica
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 1997 20:48:56 +0100 From: Novica Milic Organization: Institute for Literature, Belgrade To: "David S. Bennahum" Subject: Re: Happy New Year David S. Bennahum wrote: > What good news about your new year's celebration. I am curious to hear how > the mood is today in Belgrade. Radio reports here say that it is very > good, that the protests are continuing again, and that the Orthodox church > is about to make a statement on the elections. Yes, the celebration was really great. I heard that world TVs reported on that, even MTV was repeating some scenes from that evening. So, the world knows. NONE of the regime media gave any news about it here! Still there is a lot of police around in the town, preventing our marches, so the meetings are held at the Republic Square, and some symbolic marches were organized in the main street - that pedestrian zone (Knez Mihailova Street). Tonight at 7.30 PM (the time of the main daily news on regime TV) people in different parts of Belgrade (or, to be precise, almost everywhere in the town) opened their windows and made a noise in protest of regime media. Nice sound spectacle all around! The messages I receive was read to the students at Plato (some of them, I keep forwarding the messages of support to students' press center), and there will be some special show about them both on the student Radio Index and B92 radio. So, people here do know about the Internet support to us! Today Serbian Orthodox Church made official statement about the demonstration: the Church was very hard on the Milosevic's regime, and openly supported the right of the people. This is symbolically important, but politically it has no big influence. The CD-ROM "Protest 96/97" takes its shape; a lot of work. Do you have any idea to whom ask for the permission about use of the Internet news (I mean: Reuters, NYT, AP). Since the Radio B92 covers the project, and since the CD-ROM is fully non-commercial edition, I hope they could give me permission to use their texts (or parts, at least). But what is the address to ask about it? Yours, N.
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 1997 16:26:40 +0100 To: davidsol@panix.com From: Robert Horvitz Subject: #protest IRC at Univ. Belgrade David, I read a little about your trip to Belgrade in MEME as posted on Europe Online, and wrote to Novica with regrets about his in-laws injuries. Biljana and I have been regularly monitoring the #protest IRC at zmaj.etf.bg.ac.yu. It has been quite active some days during the afternoon, with first-hand reports about the demos. In the evenings (your afternoon) it is much quieter, mostly foreigners asking for the latest info and no one replying because no one online at the University of Belgrade then speaks English. Here is a transcript which I posted on the WELL about an hour after the fact. I deleted just the non-English responses and the housekeeping notices ("biki@omri.cz has left #protest," etc.). >BOB< #protest buffer on Fri Dec 27 14:11:10 1996 how are things there?? bad mljr:explain... students are surounded by cops what ??? how many cops how many students? ask azdaja he's giving us the informations zap: you should know that right now is -7 Celsius degrees .. 6 buses with police ( special squad ) aproaching center of BG is B92 there??? almost not Right now i can hear B92 with very huge mass of noise ... ( sounds like signali is filtered . ) azdaja: did they march ... the students??? zap: students , sourounded by police make circles ( walking round and round ) with their hands ower head ( like prisoners ) zap: students and police just pushing each other ... ( students want to make protest march ( police wont let them ) azdaja: there will be CNN-news in a few minutes i think an hour ago they didn't say anything... zap: tell us what CNN reports ... azjada: they stay at the place where they came together??? zap : yes ... ok... azjada: yes,i give you the news ...it'snews now bye they didn't say anything there is no recent news on CNN does anyone listen to B92?? <_sch> does b92 still exist? zap: B92 has been jamed <_sch> hmmm... cnn said it was totaly shut down by the governement..hm, zap: B92 isn't shut down, somebody is jamming their signal! banel: isn't there any other way to have news??? yes radio INDEX zap: what is going on? banel: they said that it is a bad report for MILO from Osce banel: Gonzales said that it is clear that opposition won they didn't mention the towns... COMMON ! LET'S GO ! EVERYONE IN ATTACK ! COMMON ! LET'S GO ! EVERYONE IN ATTACK ! COMMON ! LET'S GO ! EVERYONE IN ATTACK ! banel: they said that Slobo has reacted by saying it is intervening in Serbia's political bussines banel: they also say they are taking the risk to encircle the students banel: I think Slobo has lost for OSCE zap : Slobo hes lost for everybody VIVA VICTORY ! COMMON ! LET'S GO ! EVERYONE IN ATTACK ! banel: I think it"s a good sign but also a dangerous... zap: there is always a danger! banel: he has nothing to loose now... banel: it was the reaction of the WEst he was afraid of.. banel: has anyone news from the march..are they still walking around??? zap: down here is very dangerous situation! there is more and more police every moment! banel: are they intervening or encircling?? zap : they are encirclin' boban: how many police how many students, can they get away??? zap: they have just surround students zap : if police attack nobody can get away there are too many of them zap: gonzales said that opposition heva won on 17th banel: they are trying to provoke the students... lotke: is it already known in Belgrade??? about Gonzales?? is there anyone who can give me news about the situation there? zapatistj: everything is peaceful for the moment: students are still blocked in the Knez mihajlova street zap: Right now situation is little tense. OSCE judged in favour of opposition, and we are waiting for a press conference at 15.00 CET igor: thanks they can't go away... Is it the same place where the manifestation of the opposition will part?? zap: No oppp. rally is on the square of Republic zapatistj: some 30 meters away: the opposition is on the Trg republike - the square of republic, that is the beginning of the Knez mihajlova street zap: where u r from? protest: from Antwerp Belgium... there is news on CNN tell us they say the same thing about the OSCE... keep us informed please it's strange that they are lancing it now...during the manifestation?? zap there is a lot of strange things here maybe OSCE want to say: SLOBO, don't dare do anything, or maybe they want to get him really in a corner. pro: is B92 back??? they have tech. problems THEY ARE NOT BANNED OF THE AIR (as far) ZAP: YES, b92 is back:)))) suff: tell us zap: my english is VERY bad...:)) zap: big group of students will join the gathering at the republi square hmm, fergie on cnn... zap: it will start at 15:00 tehnical engeneer of B92 told that b92 have tehnical problems ( it's sounds like ... bad filtering of main signal ... ) zap: students' protest-walk is finished ( protest stand :) ) so without bloodshed?? good:) zap: the radio b92 had some technical problems - noise on the air, it seems that everything is ok now zap : we are listening them igor: it's the first time they walk together??? zap: no of course. but students are first on the students' walk. after that many of them are joining the citizens leaded by "togehter" coallition igor: so will they let the opposition march??? zap: yesterday police prevented walk of citizens. studenst were walkin but coalition did not zap: we'll see what is going to happen today zap: students try to make diference between oposit. demonstrations and student protest zap: news: the police had taken two of demonstrants in unknown direction!!!!!!!! listen: here, police is everywhere! there was not any incidents! i saw pictures of the streets on TV i saw many policemen but also people dancing i think for the decision of OSCR zap: today's demonstration is over they say Slobo will take a decision today the leaders were greeting the decision of Gonzales! they speak about 14 towns and some parts??? of Belgrade now, people are going home parts??? yes they said... are there districts are something like that?? tomarrow the demonstrations will take place in the graveyard! banel: why the graveyard it is out of town??? there will be funeral for the first victim of demonstrations! yes i understand is it out of town??? no the graveyard is in Belgrade! End of #protest buffer Fri Dec 27 16:23:11 1996 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Robert Horvitz, International Coordinator, OSI Internet Program Motokov Building - Room 518, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Praha 4, Czech Rep., tel 42 2 6114-2751, fax 6114-2750, email horvitzr@omri.cz
From: BBecharas@aol.com Date: Fri, 3 Jan 1997 11:34:16 -0500 To: novim@sezampro.yu, kali@sezampro.yu cc: davidsol@panix.com, billp@pennwell.com Subject: Best wishes for peace and justice Dear Novim & Kali, I have just received and read David S. Bennahum's article MEME BULLETIN - FREEDOM FROM FEAR, FREEDOM FROM HARM - AN URGENT PLEA FROM THE PEOPLE OF SERBIA forwarded to me by my good friend in Boston.... Fear not the World IS WATCHING.... everyday I read a (or several) new article (s) in the Chicago Tribune newspaper about the crimes of Slobodan Milosevic and his thugs and criminal co-conspiritors. as David requested, I have forwarded his article to more than 20 friends who live mostly in Central and Eastern Europe... I will be there (Prague and Poland) in 11 days time.... One of the things that would be most helpful to Americans and other nationalities would be a 20 page (or less) document that outlined the struggle of your peoples over the last 6 or 7 years.... There is so much information about the many peoples of (former) Yugoslavia that I am afraid that I do not clearly understand the chain of events... I am sure that the major news organizations would pay handsomely for a well written piece or series ! Best wishes for peace, justice and the free pursuit of happiness! yours sincerely, Brian G. Becharas, Evanston, Illinois USA
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 23:28:15 -0500 Subject: MEME: Police atack in Belgrade To: Multiple recipients of list MEME MEME BULLETIN -- POLICE ATTACK IN BELGRADE Dear MEME reader, Approximately one moth ago you were introduced to Novica Milic, a resident of Belgrade, and member of Sezam Pro, the largest BBS in Serbia. Milic, 41, and his wife Sasha, are active in the opposition to President Milosovic of Serbia. A month ago you read of the situation in Belgrade, via Milic's letters to me, and many of you sent letters of support. Several were read during the daily protests in Belgrade, and on the radio, which have attracted up to 300,000 people daily. After a brief period of tension with the police, it seemed the opposition was on its way to being granted control of several cities (which they won during elections held in November 1996). Such hope has suffered a serious setback, as I have received the following note from Milic this evening. I am resending it to you. The Internet is playing an important role in these events, by circumventing the near complete censorship of media in Serbia, and forging a bridge between the embattled democratic opposition and those people of good will who support their demand for self-governance and freedom from dictatorship. With this in mind, I ask you to forward this message wherever appropriate. Thank you. David S. Bennahum Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 00:50:26 +0100 From: Novica Milic (novim@sezampro.yu) To: David S. Bennahum (davidsol@panix.com) Dear friends: Tonight at 11.30 PM (local time) several thousand policemen attacked the Belgrade demonstrators. I've just come back from the town, and as a witness I can say this: We were blocked in front of the Branko's bridge for more than 2 hours. 10-15,000 people were on the other side of the bridge, but police blocked the bridge from both sides, and did not allow them to join us. There were 30-40,000 people on our side of the bridge, but many of them left the place. When only 4-5,000 remained, and when we saw that strong police forces began to circle us, the opposition leader Vuk Draskovic spoke, and told us to go to the center - because 5-10 minutes before that we felt that perhaps they would attack. We started to go, and less than a minute later police attacked us from all sides with water cannon and tear gas. There was NO any provocation from our side, and there was NO one single reason for the police to attack! We began to retreat and run away, but the police srat running after the people, beating brutally everyone whom they could catch - older women, children, everyone without difference. A taxi driver took me and my wife and drove us home. Now I am listening to the two independent radio stations here (B92 and Radio Index): several thousand policemen are on the streets in the center of Belgrade beating everyone there! People try to escape, but at the moment the situation is dangerous around the Faculty of philosophy where many people found a shelter. The latest news is that policemen entered into the Faculty, beat several people and arrested many others. Hundred of people are injured. Many cameramen were attacked. In a dramatic interview Vuk Draskovic just said that police fired at him, but somehow he managed to escape - he says that the regime gave order to kill him this night. The lady from the opposition, the leader of pacifist Civil Ligue of Serbia Vesna Pesic is injured. At the time I am writing this messages, the police action still goes on! Please, help us by informing everyone on the net about this terrible night in Belgrade. And we are going to keep fighting for our freedom and rights, no doubt! They can arrest us, but they cannot win, no matter what happens! Yours, Novica Milic

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