Several attempts of taking over the protests in Serbia

Theories arise on who stands “behind” the protests in Serbia, given the lack of leadership that would take over the “fame” and face the consequences for it whiles the Government and the media under its control are trying to identify those responsible.

Foto: Srđan Ilić
Foto: Srđan Ilić

Rumors are spreading about the leadership of the protests and are shaking Serbia. For some, the Government is the organizer of the protests as a kind of damage control. For others, it is the US philanthropist George Soros and the presidential candidates who lost the elections, Vuk Jeremic and Sasa Jankovic. However, here are the facts gathered by the Insajder’s team during the past six days of protests.

The protests erupted on Monday, after the first results of the presidential election when Nemanja Milosavljevic posted an event on Facebook, calling the citizens to protest over results of presidential election. The event was called “Against the dictatorship.” Insajder team tried to reach Milosavljevic via his Facebook account, but he did not reply to our messages nor even showed up as speaker at the protests. Milosavljevic did post the information on his Facebook profile that there are no organizers or leaders of the protest.

Interestingly, the protesters have not had any demands until recently, and it is still unknown who has been organizing the protests.

It is also unclear why the protests were organized in the first place, since all headquarters of the presidential candidates admitted that the current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has won the presidential elections.

Only on the third day of the protests in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and other cities have the citizens announced their demands: resignations of the members of the REC and REM, the dismissal of the National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic, and resignations of the directors and editors in chief of RTV and RTS.

Ideological diversity as well as some convicts among the protesters gave the Government a maneuver space to label the protesters as “a handful of hooligans and twiddles.”

It all led to a situation in which certain opportunists tried to impose themselves as leaders of the protests.

One such case is Sima Radovanovic who proclaimed himself the initiator of the protest and announced on his Facebook profile that he is quitting the protests due to “a growing influence of some of political parties and NGO sector in taking over the leadership of the protests.” He claims that they tried to “take over” the protests from the citizens. This information was immediately disseminated by the pro-government tabloid Informer, which used the opportunity to again make accusations that someone is trying to destabilize Serbia and PM Vucic.

However, on the FB page where the event “Against the dictatorship” was created, warnings were already posted about this and similar situations. Few more incidents about “taking over the leadership” were noted.

Milan Pogacar, one of the representatives of the Student Movement from Novi Sad, told Insajder that they are not the organizers of the protests but that, since the situation is a bit “chaotic,” they coordinate things a bit.

When asked why they demand the change of election results, Pogacar said that that is not their demand and the point is not in the elections only.

“At this election, we have just confirmed that representative democracy is not functioning in a way it should. Most of the citizens were economically blackmailed and did not vote according to their conscience because they feared losing their job,” said Pogacar.

Mina Milanovic

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