17 people were killed in gun attacks in Serbia last week. In Belgrade and Novi Sad, large rallies commemorated her – and at the same time demonstrated against President Vucic.
A few days after two gun attacks that left 17 dead, thousands of people marched in silence against violence in Serbia. In the capital Belgrade, participants from several political camps in the country gathered in front of the parliament. There was also a protest march in Novi Sad, the country’s second largest city.
The grief was mixed with anger at the populist government and its reaction to the two acts. The participants demanded the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic.
Several opposition parties had called for the demonstrations. Among other things, they are calling for the resignation of government ministers and the revocation of the broadcasting licenses of state-controlled media that encouraged violence and allowed convicted war criminals to have their say in their programs.
President criticizes “politicization”
There was no official estimate of the number of participants, but observers described the rally in Belgrade as the largest in years against Vucic and his government. Representatives of Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party condemned the protests as “politicizing” the bloody deeds aimed at attacking Vucic. The President himself had announced a large-scale “disarmament campaign” after the deadly attacks.
In the first of the two gun attacks, a student shot dead eight children and a security guard with his father’s gun on Wednesday in a Belgrade street. Less than 48 hours later, a 21-year-old killed eight people in several villages near Belgrade.
Education Minister Branko Ruzic then resigned on Sunday. The authorities also stepped up action against illegal gun ownership, but the opposition criticized this measure as too late and insufficient.
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