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MASSIVE protests rock Serbian capital after new Covid-19 lockdown announcement (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

MASSIVE protests rock Serbian capital after new Covid-19 lockdown announcement (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Mounted police used teargas and truncheons to disperse a crowd of a number of thousand protesters gathered exterior the Serbian parliament in Belgrade, against the federal government’s announcement of a brand new coronavirus lockdown.

President Aleksandar Vucic introduced on Tuesday {that a} new curfew would go into impact on Friday and final over the weekend, after 300 new Covid-19 instances and 13 deaths – essentially the most for the reason that pandemic started, native media reported.

This prompted an estimated ten thousand folks to collect exterior the parliament constructing and demand Vucic’s resignation, beginning round 10 pm native time.

After some demonstrators reportedly broke into the constructing, riot police had been deployed and used power to disperse the group, together with tear gasoline. At one level, police on horseback charged the demonstrators.

Opposition politicians tried to direct the protests right into a revolution in opposition to the federal government, urging all of Serbia to “go to Belgrade, now or by no means!” and telling folks to “seize their freedom.” 

Former overseas minister Vuk Jeremic appeared among the many demonstrators at one level, earlier than he was instructed to “go away” and acquired a slap upside the pinnacle.

The protest could have began over Covid-19 restrictions, however its individuals seemed to be motivated partially by frustration with Serbia’s politics, usually denouncing Vucic as a “NATO lackey” and his authorities as a “colony.”

Journalist Boris Malagurski, who has been important of the federal government, posted a photograph of the protest with the caption “Serbia has risen.”

Most of the protesters had been younger. One younger man instructed reporters he was there as a result of his father died of the virus on account of lack of ventilators. An older man, with blood flowing down his face, stated he was a father of two preventing for a greater future for his kids – probably a touch upon “For our youngsters,” the ruling Progressive social gathering’s slogan in final month’s parliamentary election.

Vucic’s social gathering received a commanding majority, with a turnout slightly below 50 %. The president himself has not commented on the unrest, whereas Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated that police would “restore order.”

Serbia imposed one of many strictest lockdowns in Europe beginning in mid-March, turning to Russia and China for assist after the EU blocked Belgrade from shopping for medical provides. Easter was canceled, and the elections scheduled for late April had been postponed to June. The state of emergency and the lockdown had been lifted on Might 6, however masks, social distancing and different mitigation guidelines have remained in impact. 

Tuesday’s demonstrations had been the biggest such protest in virtually a decade. Serbs have been reluctant to arrange mass protests for the reason that October 2000 ‘colour revolution,’ which turned out to have been a regime change operation backed by the US.  

Only some hundred folks remained within the park exterior the parliament as of 1 am, earlier than the ultimate cavalry cost pressured them a number of blocks again. 

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