Serbia Soul Searching After Rally Over Shootings

Monday, June 5, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags:

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BELGRADE (Worthy News) – Serbia has begun soul searching after two shootings killed 18 people, half of them children, prompting massive protests over the weekend.

The violence in a Balkan nation already wounded following recent wars added fuel to the “Serbia against violence” movement.

On Saturday alone, tens of thousands gathered for the fifth anti-government protest, one of the largest since the fall of strongman Slobodan Milošević more than two decades ago.

The protests followed the early May mass shootings that left 18 dead and wounded several others. Nine of the dead were students at a Belgrade elementary school who a 13-year-old pupil gunned down. A day later, a 21-year-old man killed eight outside Belgrade, which triggered deep dissatisfaction and demonstrations

The rallies underscore mounting public anger over what protesters say is “a culture of violence” encouraged by the populist government and media outlets it controls.

“The fact that you young people have taken to the streets with a clear message that you will no longer live in this diseased society gives hope that maybe we will lift ourselves up,” popular actor Dragan Bjelogrlic told Saturday’s rally.

The protest, organized by several pro-European opposition parties, was initially planned for Friday. It was then moved to Saturday as a precaution after far-right groups announced they would show up, organizers said.

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