Revolution Of 5Th October Essay, Research Paper
How to start telling a story, which is short yet so long, happened quickly yet evolved during many years? In the morning of 5th of October, 2000. only the uninformed were surprised with the course of events. Being on the defeated side from the elections (held od 24th of September) former president Slobodan Milosevic failed to understand people’s democratic will and to leave office. Instead, he tried to steal the elections, first by post-poning publishing of results and later even with cancelling the elections alltogether. Immediately after this, opposition parties gathered in the DOS (Democratic Opposition of Serbia) coalition, called the people of Serbia to bring country to a standstill, by non-violent road-blocks, strikes, and peacefull protests. The people responded accordingly, with students of the Belgrade University at the fore-front of events. Demonstrations started in every major city in our country, and evolved in a global celebration of real election results at one, and request for Milosevices withdrawal on the other hand. Shortly, the well known reasons for such a massive rebellion against his totalitarian rule are:
1.Economic downfall during the last ten years (low wages, high un-employement)
2.Engagement in wars (Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, NATO agression)
3.His colleagues, from both his party SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia) and his wife’s JUL neo-marxist (Yugoslav Left), who spent time during his reign enriching themselves and engaged in state-supported criminal activities
4.High number of employed security forces, largest police force in Europe
5.Large emmigration from our country to western countries in Europe, and over-seas of highly educated work-force
This was only a short reminder of past events, which of course could be elaborated further, but since they are not the main objective in this short essay .
The main cause for the rebellion of 5th October was, of course, electoral theft. It involved Federal Electoral Comission, Constitutional (Supreme) Court and manipulated state- controlled media, such as RTS (Radio Television of Serbia, well known for its neglect for facts and real events taking place in our country), Radio Belgrade and daily newspaper such as Politika+ and Politika Ekspres+, just to begin with.
General strike and well organised campaign of civil disobediance preceeded the final call for meeting of whole of Serbia+ in Belgrade, in front of the federal parliament. Focal point of these preceeding events was the Kolubara coal mine strike, which caused wide spread electric outages and restrictions. Miners refused to work and were able to deflect pressure from police, state-media and even the Army. Given those facts, they became national heroes for their strong
position: give us the true results, or there is no coal production.
Elected president dr Vojislav Kostunica, then yet unrecognized by Milosevic , visited them and offered his moral support. The whole situation raised the civil unrest campaign profile, and made great difference in our cause+ being, of course, putting the elected president in power, and finishing off Milosevices tirany.
On the morning of our D-day+ the message from the protesters heading to the capital from all regions of Serbia was clear: let us through, or And, for the first time police withdrew. Somewhere peacefully, somewhere with a few extra arguments on the protestors side, such as bars, fists, machines (like the digger we see on the picture), and bare number of people that were in long ques on all highways and roads to Belgrade. This was the signal that this time, there is no joking. Protestors begun pouring into streets from all directions, and our group of about 25,000 students joined in about 11.00 am on the Nikola Pasic’s square, just in front the Federal Parliament. First clashes begun around 12.00 am with police using tear-gas, and protestors quickly withdrawing, but emerging again and again. At 3.00 pm square was crowded beyond all expectations (an estimated 650,000 big crowd) and final confrontation was imminent. Protestor armed themselves with what they could find, but around 300 of us came fully armoured, with gas-masks, base-ball bats, and huge metal bars. People from smaller cities of our coutry even came with small arms and automatic pistols (during all those wars, they were supplied with these weapons) Waves of protestors were attacking the building, one at a time, until finally the blocade was broken (with help of a digger) with sore eyes and a few broken bones. Police turned sides, and started helping the protestors,even hugging and kissing them (after all, they shared common feelings of misfortune that Milosevices regime brought to them) Interior of the building was set on fire, and antique chairs and other furniture was either broken or stolen. Students were among the first to enter the building (after people of southern town called Cacak, who are original heroes of this revolution). At that point it was impossible to stop looting and breaking, simply because all this was the diplay of rage that people accumulated during past 13 years.
Next target was state- television. The resistance from the police (who yet then did not realize what was happening) was harder here, and there were shots fired, resulting in three wounded protestors (aside of 350 total hurt during physical clashes) Digger again played an important role, as the people were encouraged by it, and were able to hide behind until it reached the entrance in the media (RTS) building. Furios people took the director of RTS and almost crushed him to death, if it wasn’t for one opposition leader to save him and escort to the ambulance.
After these events, police stations, fell one after another and shorlty afterwards the whole of the police force was on our side, that being the case with the army, too. All previously Milosevices media started profesionally reporting, with editors fleeding from Belgrade and escaping RTS’es director’s faith.
All this was a remarkable experience, a unique, clear example of pure rage against authoritarian, totalitarian rule. One thing is for sure: people are very sensitive when it comes to stealing their votes, and Serbian people sent a message to all present and future Milosevices: be carefull and know that everything you do against your people will later emerge and be pointed against you.
Unfortunately, there were two victims. One girl that fell from the truck in all that chaos, and one elder man that died of a heart attack.
The struggle for democaracy is not yet finished. We have a long way to go, many more obstacles to overcome, but the first and the hardest is behind us.
This is the end of this report, but the subject is virtually unexploitable. I suggest that we arrange a panel discussion about these events on the forthcoming conference, so I would be pleased to infom you about all aspects of your interest in the issue. I am also ready to present you press- cliping, literature, statistical figures from the elections of 24th of September etc.
Related news web sites that I recommend (in English):
www.blic.co.yu (leading daily newspaper)
www.dos.org.yu (opposition coalition)
www.ds.org.yu (main opposition party)
www.inet.co.yu (concise, up to date, in English)
www.freeb92.net (independent radio station)
www.corax.co.yu (cartoons, real fun)