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the best way to mobilize the discontent which is strongest in the provinces smaller cities became the center of the opposition and belgrade was like a black hole there were no independent electronic media in belgrade, in last two years everything was kind of silent and in cities like Carcak, nishe, novicad, kravivo, uzhice Situation was very hot people were very dissatisfied and very angry and very radical As OTPOR organizes in town after town The regime faces a dilemma Whether to continue small scale repression or luncheon all out offensive On May 14th the State Information Minister suddenly escelades the attack on OTPOR in a nationally televised press conference. Whoever tries to present OTPOR as a student organization and a political party will be wrong OTPOR is a neo-fascist organization like the Red Brigades And our government will take the same measure as other ones did confronted with terrorism of this magnitude Having labeled OTPOR a terrorist group the regime unleashes a way of beatings and arrests. OTPOR has expected the repression and prepared for it. With each arrest protestors quickly appear at police stations and prisons. We developed this chain of command. When the information of arrestment comes to a central office or a local office there was a system producing press release providing the lawyer's help to the arrested guy and producing as many activists as we can in proper moment to be in 10 minutes in front of police stations So, that was really important to develop such kind of solidarity. I appeal to the head of the central prison You have ten minutes to inform us about the health status and condition of detention They were afraid of us, they wanted to portray as us terrorists, as fascists and as I don't know criminals, drug addicts and something like that. But when people go out in the streets they see members of resistance they see these kids are 18-20 years of age and one of the older members like I am, 26-27 now And they say come on, this is ridiculous, these kids are not fascists, these kids are just kids So, it was very important for us to show how the state television propaganda was actually ridiculous After midnight on May 17th the police take over Belgrade's largest TV station Two independent radio stations, and a newspaper which has criticized the regime In the morning, the city discovers its best sources of independent news have been cut off. During the day thousands of protestors assembled at the city hall. Citizens, we have just got the information that you can tune the radio station program through the satellite connection between 7:30 - 9:30 evening The radio station works on, and of course the internet, too. With this latest escalation Milosevic has aroused thousands of people who had never before taken part in political protest. Through the day, through the night, all the next day and the next evening the protest continues. At 10 o'clock the regime has had enough. The main mistake of the regime was that they spread the circle of those who were under repression. And that's why this repression was contra productive. Because it is like third Newton law of action and reaction. When you raise the level of repression, the resistance goes up as well. Ten days later, OTPOR members from provinces march into Belgrade. They have come to put the squeeze on Serbia's opposition political leaders. To stop their bickering and work together against Milosevic. Most of the party chiefs don't want to be here. But no-one wants his rivals to have the stage to themselves. If they run against each other as they always had, Milosevic will win. OTPOR wants them to work together. But the party chiefs are suspicious and jealous of OTPOR's growing popularity. The were really worried because we were filling the political space,you know, like cancer. Filling all the blanks for which they were not able to fill Giving all the answers to all the issues people asked which they were not clever or competent enough to give. And having the strongest network Now, gentlemen, I ask you to come forward. The reluctance to touch the flag of the brashed OTPOR movement shows how hard it will be for them to work together against Milosevic in next year's election. On July 27 Milosevic brings a surprise calling for elections 10 months ahead of schedule. He knows that opposition is unprepared and he badly needs to renew his claim to legitimacy. He understood that his positions getting worse everyday He was trying to save what there still existed as support for him That's one thing The second thing is he was prepared to steal and the third thing he was prepared to keep his power by force. Under Milosevic, average income has fallen from 800 dollars a month to 50. A newspaper reports that the majority of voters are wearing ten year old shoes. Milosevic is vulnerable. But against the divided opposition it won't be hard to steal or even win the election. September 1st Serbia's opposition unveils a new coalition to run against Milosevic Through democracy groups like OTPOR had demanded it, and Americans and Europeans have offered to help if they work together Their coalition is called Democratic Opposition of Serbia DOS DOS is 18 parties pledged to support a single presidential candidate A man barely known outside Belgrade's political elite His name is Vojislav KoŇ°tunica KoŇ°tunica is a lawyer who heads a small party Opinion polls have shown he is the best candidate to run against Milosevic. His nationalist credentials and anti-American rhetoric will make it impossible for Milosevic to call him a traitor. I will do everything in my power in order to make our country to be a real home for the all of its citizens: Serbs Montenegrins Hungarians Muslims Serbia's ethnic minorities will be the key in what he assured to be a close selection. Kostunica works with smaller towns where Milosevic dares not to go DOS strategists get help from US pollsters and political advisers based outside Serbia The polling told us that voter desperately wanted a reason to vote against Milosevic and for a better life in Serbia So, we really worked with the party leadership to understand they had to go out and meet the voter one-on-one. Shaking hands as you go through the market and knocking on doors, doing telephone calls, and as a consequence they got tonnes of local press, local television and they were able to compensate what they couldn't get in Belgrade What did this authority give to you? Serbia, suffering from sanctions, tomorrow, perhaps from someone else's bombing? Serbia where they have everything, but you have nothing? Serbia, where public television is the television of one party? The positive message was our vision of new way of life. Because we have been so tired by, our life being so uncertain. wars, pressures, Milosevic's repression and my impression during that campaign talking to so many people was that actually that's what they needed and that what they dreamed about. So, they were not just thinking so much about Milosevic. We welcome You, mister president! Kostunica stresses the positive, but the catchiest campaign slogan is negative, invented by OTPOR: Gotov je! He is finished! Gotov je! He is finished! It was dary, audacious, bold to say Milosevic, He is finished! And they didn't even say Milosevic They said, "He is finished!". Everybody knew what they meant. And they did this over and over with different slogans that haven't hedge to them, they fit in the society in a remarkable way. Kostunica campaigns alone other party leaders like Zoran Djindjic set aside their own substantial egos and ambitions to campaign separately on his behalf. DOS and Kostunica are reinforced by OTPOR and others at least 5 major campaigns coordinated, but separately. They have the advantage, because Milosevic cannot attack them all The advantage of our position in this campaign was that the campaign was dispersed, OTPOR in one side, other non-governmental organizations,17+, DOS parties and Kostunica. We had five campaigns, so they didn't know who is the leader, it was not recognizable. So, Milosevic didn't know who should be attacked. Milosevic makes his first campaign appearance only two weeks before the election For him, personal contact with the voters is unnecessary It is no secret that socialist party pays people to turn out for his rallies. To make better pictures on state television On independent TV stations the opposition campaign dominates Less dramatic than campaign speeches and commercials the training of poll watchers is probably more important. The sessions are organized by the Center for Free Elections and Democracy A Serbian civic group which teaches how to spot and prevent vote fraud by Milosevic election authorities. By election day the democratic opposition "Get out the vote" groups, OTPOR, dozens of pro-democracy and human rights organizations, independent media had joined in the campaign In the last year they have received 25 million dollars from American sources When the voting station is closed, all parties certify the count at each location Any attempt to steal the election will have to be committed by the regime in Belgrade There were ten thousand polling policies you need at least thirty thousand people to monitor ten thousand polling policies Had they really organized 30000 people?! Well, not only had they organized something like thirty thousand people but they had organized this incredible effort to convey the election results to Belgrade, almost immediately So, when the fraud occurred, they had numbers they demonstrated the fraud An email network feeds the results to a computer center As they wait for the votes to be totaled there is little doubt of the result but no one knows what will come next We knew that we will win and we knew that Milosevic will not accept and our advantage was we were prepared for the second step that he will not accept our victory and he will try to manipulate after that. At campaign headquarters after midnight they are waiting till tabulations have been double checked Then they make the announcement which will make the manipulation of the official results impossible. Our data shows a solid victory in the first round of presidential elections Only one question remains when or whether the winner will take office In the next days as Belgrade holds its breathe Milosevic's electoral commission says neither candidate pulled over 50% then caused a run-off election Now you face the most significant challenge of your life. you have to lead the protests you have been trained for this We have support at universities This protest - is yours Now everything depends on you. They have trained and organized for months Now they face the decisive test of their non-violent movement Ten days forced the regime to step down DOS and Kostunica declare all on all

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 19 seconds
Country: Serbia
Language: English
Views: 58
Posted by: e152617 on Oct 17, 2011

documents the spectacular defeat of Slobodan Milosevic in October, 2000

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