Serbian authorities on Thursday banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the capital, Belgrade, after two nights of violent clashes between police and thousands of demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdown measures.
Thousands of people defied the authorities ban to stage a sit down protest Thursday night in front of Parliament, along with other peaceful gatherings in towns elsewhere in Serbia.
Protesters appeared wearing white T-shirts with the inscription, “Sit Down, Don’t Be Set Up” claims to voice ,the violence of the previous nights was staged by hooligan groups close to the authorities to smear the opposition groups’ image.
Protesters in Belgrade have lambasted the government’s fumbling efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and flocked at parliament.
People are tired of government corruption, nepotism, and incompetence.Thousands in #Belgrade & across multiple cities in #Serbia are protesting last night’s excessive violence by riot police
A press brief by President Aleksandar Vucic delivered in the characteristic slow and mournful tone with a lot of bombastic imagery, could be boiled down to to the following message: Serbia will reimpose lockdown measures and long curfews to fight the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Thousands flocked to downtown Belgrade, including many youths and young couples. The protesters pelted the police with flares, rocks and empty bottles, and a group of them managed to breach the parliament building. The security forces responded with overwhelming force and volleys of tear gas.