2017 Serbian protests

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2017 Serbian protests
Part of Serbian presidential election, 2017
2017 serbia protest symbol.png
Symbol of 2017 Serbian protest against dictatorship depicting Aleksandar Vučić's hand gesture
Date 3 April 2017 – 31 May 2017


and many other cities...
Caused by
Methods Demonstrations, civil disobedience, civil resistance
Status Finished; failed to achieve any of its goals
Parties to the civil conflict


  • Against Dictatorship "Protiv Diktature" https://www.facebook.com/protivdiktature/
  • Citizens
  • Youth
  • Students
  • Police union
  • Army union
  • Pensioner union
  • Liberals
  • Communists
Lead figures

up to 20,000 in Belgrade,[1]

10,000+ in Novi Sad [2] 3,000+ in Niš [3]

The 2017 Serbian protests against perceived dictatorship were ongoing mass protests organized across Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and other cities and towns in Serbia, against Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, as a result of the presidential election. The election was marred by accusations of voter intimidation and a near total domination of Serbia’s media by Vučić and his populist conservative Serbian Progressive Party.[4] The protests started on April 3 and thousands of people had been gathering on the streets of Serbia's cities on a daily basis. They informed themselves via official Facebook protest pages.


The leading participants are university students, however by Sunday, but they have been joined by the police, the army, taxi drivers, lawyers, postal office workers and other organizations who are protesting against the president-elect's authoritarian regime. During the 8 April protest, according to president of the Army union, there were more than 80.000 people in Belgrade walking against dictatorship.[5] A set of demands have been presented to endorse a democratization of the country, including measures to limit and oversee the President-elect's firm control.[6] Portestors also demand independent monitoring and a new assessment of the recent presidential election, with responsibility to be shouldered by "those responsible for any irregular campaign, as well for [any] irregularities during voting and counting." They also called for all "corrupt public officials" to quit, and for all media editors not respecting the press code to be held accountable.[7]

Protester holding Lord Acton's quote, referring to Aleksandar Vučić's absolute power

On 11 April, protests were joined by NKPJ and left-wing union "Sloga". They protested against "bad situation of worker class" and against expulsion of their members from one Kruševac factory.[8]

The largest protest so far was on 12 April. The protesters have called for a break due to the Easter in the demonstrations; the deadline for their ultimatum to the government was 17 April. Since their demands were not fulfilled, the demonstrations are continued after the Easter holidays.[9] The media reported that there is a possibility of protest radicalization by blocking the major city streets, bridges and universities.[10]

On 1 May, several thousand members of unions and left-wing parties, including New Communist Party of Yugoslavia, protested on International Workers' Day and supported the student protests. They protested against worker law and the International Monetary Fund, and for higher pay and better workers rights. In the meantime, the union "Sloga" also protested in Kruševac.[11]

On 31 May, the day of Vučić inauguration, there was opposition protest, as well the pro-government rally. There were large number of incidents on government rally, including attacks on journalists and anti-government protesters by SNS supporters and, so called, party parapolice members.[12] On opposition protest were few thousand people from Belgrade, and on government rally was 10 000 people from entire Serbia.[13][14]


Protests were held without formal organization and leadership. Anyone could participate in deciding and voting via a Facebook group concerning next steps of protests. Walking routes were posted on the Facebook page and discussed on the spot. Due to a decline in number of people walking and "loss of meaning", group of protesters in Belgrade made a separate faction called "With Culture Against Dictatorship" which will continue in protesting.[15] Another fraction called "Seven Demands" has been formed. An informal group of students dissatisfied with protesters who expressed a will to cooperate with the opposition in achieving the protest goals broke out of main group. They stated their will to pursue action for "Seven Demands" but without implications for political parties and politicians.[16] In early May, a faction "Against Dictatorship" announced via their official Facebook page that they would protest once a week instead of every day.[17]

Protests in Niš

Protests broke out on April 3.[18] A few thousand protesters spontaneously gathered at Trg Kralja Milana to support the Belgrade protest which had been held earlier that day. On April 5, at National Theatre in Niš, plato protesters announced a set of demands,[19] the same as those in Belgrade. On the same day, protesters had been throwing eggs at a billboard from Aleksandar Vučić's presidential election campaign.[20] On April 13, protesters set local demands including stronger budgetary control of institutions, introduction of participatory budgeting at the municipal level, criminal prosecution of corrupt judicial officials, fiscal transparency, and stopping nepotism.[21] On 17 April, protesters began funny chants towards the controversial[22] disability pension of city major Darko Bulatović.[23] On 18 April, protesters organized a performance by giving away fake Ph.D. degrees to citizens,[24] referring to plagiarism affairs involving public officials in Serbia.[25][26]

Protests in Belgrade

Protests in Novi Sad


  1. ^ "In Serbia, tens of thousands of people protesting against the President of Serbia". The Newspapers. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ево колико времена "Против диктатуре" дају Вучићу да испуни захтеве (In Serbian)". Pravda. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Nekoliko hiljada Nislija na protestu(In Serbian)". Juznevesti. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "A Serbian Election Erodes Democracy". The New York Times. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  5. ^ http://www.kurir.rs/vesti/politika/novica-antic-na-protestu-u-beogradu-je-bilo-vise-od-80000-ljudi-clanak-2775051
  6. ^ Da Silva, Chantal (8 April 2017). "Serbian protesters accuse media of turning blind eye, as anti-corruption rallies continue". The Independent. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  7. ^ http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/new-anti-govt-protests-starting-in-serbia-04-10-2017
  8. ^ http://www.nkpj.org.rs/clanci-sr/tekst361.php
  9. ^ http://mondo.rs/a999209/Info/Srbija/Beograd-Protest-10.-dan.html
  10. ^ http://www.danas.rs/politika.56.html?news_id=343622&title=Mogu%C4%87e+blokade+saobra%C4%87ajnica%2C+fakulteta%2C+mostova...
  11. ^ http://www.danas.rs/ekonomija.4.html?news_id=344812&title=+Radnici+MMF-u+slo%c5%beno+rekli+odlazi
  12. ^ http://www.danas.rs/drustvo.55.html?news_id=347267&title=Napadnuto+vi%c5%a1e+novinara+(VIDEO)
  13. ^ http://www.blic.rs/vesti/beograd/zatvoren-centar-grada-bez-saobracaja-od-pravnog-fakulteta-do-terazijskog-tunela/pq2224y
  14. ^ http://www.blic.rs/vesti/beograd/zavrsen-kontramiting-nekoliko-hiljada-gradana-prosetalo-uz-opoziciju-zabelezen-i/ct4p1l4
  15. ^ https://insajder.net/sr/sajt/tema/4445/Podele-u-studentskom-protestu-Nova-grupa-%E2%80%9EKulturom-protv-diktature%E2%80%9C-kre%C4%87e-u-odvojene-akcije.htm
  16. ^ https://insajder.net/sr/sajt/vazno/4459/Grupa-%E2%80%9ESedam-zahteva%E2%80%9C-na-protestima-%C4%87e-zahtevati-smenu-politike-ne-samo-politi%C4%8Dke-elite.htm
  17. ^ http://rs.n1info.com/a247086/Vesti/Vesti/Protest-Protiv-diktature-jednom-do-dva-puta-nedeljno.html
  18. ^ https://www.srbijadanas.net/odrzan-protest-i-u-nisu-narod-najavljuje-da-ne-odustaje-protesti-se-nastavljaju-i-sutra/
  19. ^ https://www.juznevesti.com/Drushtvo/Nekoliko-hiljada-Nislija-ponovo-na-ulicama-sada-sa-konkretnim-zahtevima.sr.html
  20. ^ https://www.juznevesti.com/Drushtvo/Nekoliko-hiljada-Nislija-ponovo-na-ulicama-sada-sa-konkretnim-zahtevima.sr.html
  21. ^ https://www.juznevesti.com/Drushtvo/Niski-demonstranti-izneli-nove-lokalne-zahteve-pauza-za-vikend.sr.html
  22. ^ https://www.juznevesti.com/Politika/Dveri-Preispitati-Bulatovicevu-penziju.sr.html
  23. ^ https://www.juznevesti.com/Drushtvo/Na-protestu-protiv-diktature-postavili-pitanje-gradonacelniku-Nisa.sr.html
  24. ^ http://www.radiocity.rs/izbori-2017/6680/gomila-%E2%80%9Cdoktora-naprednih-nauka%E2%80%9C-nakon-protesta-u-nisu.html
  25. ^ http://pescanik.net/velike-tajne-malog-majstora-ili-kako-je-sinisa-mali-ukrao-doktorat/
  26. ^ http://pescanik.net/kako-do-doktorata-lako-slucaj-ministra-stefanovica/

External links

  • Young Serbians protest Vucic victory
  • Vucic reacts to protests: It's okay as long as it's peaceful
  • Facebook group that initialed the mass demonstrations
  • Official Against dictatorship page from Niš
  • Official Against dictatorship page from Belgrade
  • Official Against dictatorship page from Novi Sad
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