Pressure on Milosevic to Go Intensifies Yugoslavia after the War: Mass Rally against President in His Stronghol D as Moscow's Forces Finally Join Nato's in Pristina
Crawshaw, Steve, The Independent (London, England)
THE PRESSURE continued to build yesterday for the resignation of Slobodan Milosevic, with a protest under the slogan "Now Or Never" that brought thousands on to the streets last night in the town of Uzice, 120 miles south of Belgrade.
Speakers called for the resignation of the Yugoslav president and yesterday's rally was only the latest indication of the growing crisis for Mr Milosevic. In one of the most extraordinary protests yet seen, around 20,000 gathered in the south Serbian town of Leskovac on Monday night, in a demonstration called by a lone television employee at a moment's notice.
Ivan Novkovic, a programme director at TV Leskovac, interrupted the official broadcast during the half-time break of a basketball match between Yugoslavia and Germany. He broadcast a pre-recorded tape calling for his fellow citizens to go out and demonstrate in the town centre. Like a little-guy-against-the-system hero in a Hollywood movie, Mr Novkovic put his appeal on air before the authorities knew what was happening. His main demand was for the dismissal of the regional boss, Zivolin Stevanovic. What came next may perhaps go down in the annals of Serb history, if the events of these days prove to be the beginning of the end for the regime. Those who witnessed the spontaneous eruption of anger - no microphones, lots of hoarse voices - say that 20,000 took part. State media and officials were reduced to complaining about Mr Novkovic's "abuse of the freedom of the media". Mr Novkovic has given voice to a revolution that seemed almost mute. Leskovacis a traditional Milosevic stronghold. It was heavily bombed in the war. One slogan chanted on Monday night was: "Leskovac is no longer red." If passions are so easily inflamed, even in Leskovac, Mr Milosevic must be worried what might happen elsewhere. In the next fortnight, rallies are planned across Serbia. In many respects, the "now or never" slogan was correct. To echo a phrase much heard during the revolutions in Eastern Europe a decade ago: "if not now, when?" Serbia is still confused. Most people are disillusioned with Mr Milosevic. Some are angry that he lost the …
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Publication information: Article title: Pressure on Milosevic to Go Intensifies Yugoslavia after the War: Mass Rally against President in His Stronghol D as Moscow's Forces Finally Join Nato's in Pristina. Contributors: Crawshaw, Steve - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: July 7, 1999. Page number: 12. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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