Novica Milic on Mon, 3 Feb 97 13:47 MET

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nettime: URGENT: Police atack in Belgrade

Dear friends:

Tonight at 11.30 PM (local time) several thousand policemen attacked
the Belgrade demonstrators. I've just come back from the town, and
as a witness I can say this:

We were blocked in front of the Branko's bridge for more than 2
hours. 10-15,000 people were on the other side of the bridge, but
police blocked the bridge from both sides, and did not allow them
to join us. There were 30-40,000 people on our side of the
bridge, but many of them left the place. When only 4-5,000
remained, and when we saw that strong police forces began to
circle us, the opposition leader Vuk Draskovic spoke, and told us
to go to the center - because 5-10 minutes before that we felt
that perhaps they would attack. We started to go, and less than a
minute later police attacked us from all sides with water
cannon and tear gas. There was NO any provocation from our side,
and there was NO one single reason for the police to attack! We
began to retreat and run away, but the police srat running after the people,
beating brutally everyone whom they could catch - older women,
children, everyone without difference. A taxi driver took me and
my wife and drove us home. Now I am listening to the two
independent radio stations here (B92 and Radio Index): several
thousand policemen are on the streets in the center of Belgrade
beating everyone there! People try to escape, but at the moment
the situation is dangerous around the Faculty of philosophy where
many people found a shelter. The latest news is that policemen
entered into the Faculty, beat several people and arrested many
others. Hundred of people are injured. Many cameramen were
attacked. In a dramatic interview Vuk Draskovic just said that
police fired at him, but somehow he managed to escape - he says
that the regime gave order to kill him this night. The lady from
the opposition, the leader of pacifist Civil Ligue of Serbia
Vesna Pesic is injured. At the time I am writing this messages,
the police action still goes on!

Please, help us by informing everyone on the net about this
terrible night in Belgrade.

And we are going to keep fighting for our freedom and rights, no
doubt! They can arrest us, but they cannot win, no matter what

Yours, Novica Milic

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