~ Images of Revolution ~
Yugoslavian people oust Milosevic - in true Uranian - Aquarian Style
from my friend
"Regarding political astrology, a very important fact is that Uranus has entered Aquarius. That explains everything. There will be no more of that kind of political rulers on planet Earth and we must be very careful if some politician (no matter where in the world) ever tries that again. But when I think of it, there is still Cuba." Sasa
NOTE - Uranus in Aquarius - from April 1995 to March 2003
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This Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible. Please take this dove with you, and place it on your site, as a symbol of World Peace. (No link back to my site is necessary.)
text of News from OneWorld.Net
Bulldozing the Regime
by Dragan Stojkovic
5 October, Federal parliament, Belgrade
CACAK AND BELGRADEIn the early morning hours of 5 October, a mighty wind began to blow through the wooded area of Sumadija in central Serbia. The people from the city of Cacak were on the move.
The night before, Cacak citizens had gathered in the town square to listen to their mayor, Velja Ilic, speak about the scheduled protest in Belgrade the next day. Ilic, mayor since 1996, had long ago proven himself to be a most unusual politician in Serbia. Under his guidance, the citizens of Cacak run their own show. For the last four years, they have lived in a city where once a week they have been invited to call Ilic during live broadcasts from the local television station and ask questions about local problems. Always, Ilic dutifully answered, taking names and looking into various matters at the citizens' request. However, Ilic realized that as long as Yugoslavia was in chains, the rest of the country could not move forward. As Ilic spoke to the crowd that night, he was visibly moved and he told the citizens that tomorrow he was fully prepared "to win or die."
It was with this sentiment in mind that Ilic packed up his citycitizens and alland headed for Belgrade. In almost constant conflict with the regime over the years, Ilic knew full well what was awaiting them in the capital city, and he did not arrive unprepared. In addition to concerned citizens, he was also traveling with concerned ex-paratroopers and army veterans who had served in the 63rd battalion. Many of these men were war heroes, with medals awarded to them by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Because most demonstrations over the years have turned into open season on protesters, Ilic was providing his citizens with an organized force to protect thema force that would serve as a reality check for the police and special forces guarding Milosevic's empire. For the special occasion, Ilic shed his usual suit and tie for a track suit.
5 October, In front of the main post office, Belgrade
By the early morning hours Cacak had gathered together 37 buses and 1,000 cars full of concerned citizens. The citizens were supplied with food, drink, a bulldozer, and two trucks full of rocks. The line of vehicles leaving Cacak was 15 miles long. By the time they reached Belgrade, they had collected another 33 miles of cars.
CAUTION: NO BRAKES
Hardly strangers to the recent actions in Serbia, on 2 October, citizens of Cacak had already set up barricades for the general strike. When opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica arrived on 3 October, he found out just how serious they were when they would not move the blockade for him. Kostunica got out, crossed the barricade on foot, and found 100 Cacak taxi drivers waiting to drive him into town. On 4 October, the citizens of Cacak broke through police barricades to visit the miners on strike at the Kolubara mines, near Lazarevactheir first major confrontation with the police. Negotiations lasted for several hours with the police, during which time the police and the truck owners they had recruited for assistance refused to remove the blockade. The breaking point came when Dejan Bozic, a 30-year-old Cacak citizen, broke the windshield of one of the trucks with his bare hand, released the brakes, and with some help, moved the first truck aside. The other truck owners quickly complied. The barricades were broken amid a cheering crowd. The Cacak men's brave initiatives snowballed. On the road to Belgrade the next day, the two police barricades would be removed, the first in four minutes, the second in sixboth with bare hands.
Along the way to Belgrade, Ilic remained in the forefront during confrontations with the police. He would negotiate with the police, who typically responded by saying "We can't let you pass, these are our orders." Ilic responded that he had 10,000 people behind him who wanted to pass. At one point, Ilic was hit by a policeman, who was then promptly beaten by Cacak citizens. The caravan was plastered with Otpor (a student resistance movement) opposition stickers, Serbian flags, and most importantly, a sign that said "Cacak has no brakes"and brake they did not.
5 October, State television building, Belgrade
Arriving at 11:00 a.m., about four hours earlier than expected, they drove immediately to the Yugoslav federal parliament building. They were the first on the scene and were welcomed by crowds of astonished and cheering Belgraders, yelling "All honor for Cacak!" At the steps of parliament, the Cacak citizens were met by less welcoming police.
Milos, a citizen of Cacak studying in Belgrade, said he received an early morning call from his family back home saying that his 70-something grandfather had somehow gotten into the caravan, and would he please go check on him. When Milos arrived on the scene, he realized that his people were there to make a last stand if necessary. The crowd was so large that Milos found himself quickly swept into it with little chance of looking for his grandfather.
WINNING OVER THE POLICE
The regular citizens took their places on the street, the men with military training moved near the front, ultimately to form the front line. Ilic began to speak to the people, using the loud speakers brought from Cacak. He also continuously spoke with the police, approaching officers on the steps of the parliament and saying, "Cacak people have arrived." One older policeman smiled, but responded by saying "I have orders not to comment." Someone tried to tuck an opposition brochure in his pocket, but he edged away nervously. Ilic requested that the people be permitted to enter their parliament. The police responded that it was not possible. Shortly thereafter, riot police arrived and at around 12:15 p.m. a skirmish broke out when a rock was thrown and tear gas canisters were fired into the crowd. The men on the front lines caught one canister and threw it back. At that point, the riot police donned their gas masks and retreated into the parliament.
5 October, Behind federal parliament, Belgrade
Although the civilians in the back began to retreat, there was no mass panic. The backward movement from the front was organized. Ilic seized the opportunity to make a speech. He mounted the podium, having traded his running jacket for a blazer. He addressed the citizens of Cacak and told them that they must remain calm and not hit the police, that the police would join them. Then he addressed the police, saying "The citizens command you and the army to join them." Meanwhile, the veterans from the 63rd battalion and their associates were regrouping, recovering from the tear gas, refreshing themselves with beer, and preparing for the next confrontation.
As the tear gas began to fade away, the special forces returned to the streets, removing their masks. One woman addressed one of the men, saying "You can't do this, you have such gentle eyes." He blushed and smiled. More citizens began to approach the police, speaking with them, inviting them to join them, not to fight against them.
Other politicians had begun to arrive, and increasing numbers of demonstrators had taken to the streets. Citizens were steadily arriving from other cities with their organizers, but the Cacak people had already claimed the front line. Politicians, seeing the podium, began to speak and address the citizens. A series of speeches were made before another confrontation began.
While the citizens were busy trying to coax the police into joining their cause, the veterans and trained men were carefully maneuvering into position on the front line. When the moment seemed right, people began to say "Let's go, let's go inside," and they stormed the steps of the building. More than 20 canisters of tear gas were fired by police and one Molotov cocktail landed inside the parliament. A group of young students ran out to catch their breath and began to sing the resistance song, "Save Serbia Slobodan and kill yourself," as they choked and cried. By that time, a small number of people had gained entrance into the hall of the parliament and were engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the police. The police were slightly outnumbered and began to fall back. In the small parliament hallway, police backed away, removing their gear and surrendering to the citizens. What came next was a emotional outpouring with citizens hugging policemen, and veterans guaranteeing their safety.
Inauguration of the new president
Meanwhile, the special forces behind the parliament were considering a last stand but were quickly overwhelmed, as their vehicles fell victim to Molotov cocktails. They realized that they had no chance and avoided what could have resulted in a serious number of casualties on both sides.
A euphoric and empowered crowd began its takeover of the parliament and the surrounding streets, and a handful of hooligans set out on a looting rampage. Many citizens tried to talk with them and were able to calm things down, but anger seemed to be the rule of the day. For the veterans, the looting was a small tragedy amid a massive victory that forced police to make a choice and kept panic from raging. That night, Kostunica addressed the crowds, telling them there was no need for destruction, that every building in Belgrade belonged to the people.
On 9 October, via television broadcasts, citizens were being told where they could return anything that they took in the heat of passion to make amends. It is unknown at this time how many of them have complied.
OUT WITH THE APATHY
Not every able-bodied man accompanied the convoy from Cacak. As a precautionary measure, many of the men, including Dejan Bozic, stayed behind to keep peace at home. Early in the morning these men had overtaken the local Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) television station where they found one man on guard duty. He happened to be out of cigarettes, and was available for negotiation. He was quickly won over. From there they went to the local Interior Ministry police (MUP) headquarters and locked the officers inside so they could not intervene against the citizens. After realizing that his Ford Fiesta was not suitable for blocking one of the doors, Bozic stopped a truck driver and instructed him to use his truck instead. The driver responded, "My brother, I am afraid they will arrest me." To that Dejan said simply, "Tell them I, Dejan Bozic, told you to do this." The driver complied. That night at 11.00 p.m. the police surrendered to the citizens of Cacak.
"He is gone"
Upon the protesters' return to Cacak, a bull was roasted in the city square in their honor. The Cacak menKnez, Janjo, Jovan, Radja, and many otherswere honored by their fellow citizens for going to Belgrade not to provoke violence, but to stop bloodshed, to give the police a chance to decide, to protect their citizens. "We went to Belgrade and I brought back everyone of my citizens unhurt. If anything had happened to a single citizen I do not know how I could return and face people. Most importantly Belgrade was liberated, this means all of Serbia can now live freely," Mayor Ilic declared the following day.
Throughout Belgrade, citizens are still in a state of major disbelief. Although the capital had been the center of numerous demonstrations in the past, to a great extent, people were apathetic in the face of a presumably unbeatable foe. Several months ago, when one citizen returned from a demonstration, he said that he was tired of standing in front of the parliament and singing, "Give peace a chance." The people from Cacak were obviously tired of this, too.
Dragan Stojkovic is TOL's stringer in Belgrade.
U2 - Pride in the Name of Love