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08.05.2017

Serbian maidan reserve. Riddle nonclassical public protest

Ongoing for more than a month in Belgrade and other Serbian cities demonstrations with varying degrees of intensity signaled that the country was a completely new socio-political phenomenon. For a number of signs of this phenomenon is close anti-government demonstrations in other countries of Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, North Africa, but he has its own specific features.

What unites today's performances in Serbia, with a variety of "Maidan" and "color revolutions"? First of all, it is the active use of network resources for the preliminary study of the collection locations, routes of movement, character appearances and speaker requirements. Through this participants speaking manages to maintain the necessary level of its presence on the streets of Serbian cities since 3 of April - the date of the announcement of preliminary results of the presidential elections in Serbia.

The second important feature of these speeches is their wide territorial coverage. To date, in total about 50,000 to 100,000 people have already taken part in street actions in Serbia, according to various estimates. "Protest marches" were held in all major Serbian cities: in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad, Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Chachak, Novi Pazar, Sombor, Zrenjanin, Subotica, Valjevo. Even now one can say that this "spring of protest" has become the largest action in the newest history of Serbia - at least after the "bulldozer revolution" of 2000, which overthrew Milosevic.

Finally, the participants speaking in the majority opposed to the current government, led by the election victory in April 2 Aleksandarom Vuchichem. At the same time, however, the analogy with the events and models in other countries during the "color revolutions" is over, and purely Serbian specifics of the new phenomenon of the sample spring 2017 years.

First, the performances in Serbia do not fit into the traditional scheme of geopolitical coordinates West-East (West-Russia). Even such a tendentious publication as Ukrayinska Pravda admitted that he failed to find in the actions of the protesters in Serbia an anti-Russian orientation: "No less important issue is the foreign policy vector of protests. And here everything is very difficult. On the one hand, the demand for fair elections is a typically pro-Western discourse. However, the frankly pro-Russian politicians Vojislav Sesel from the Serbian Radical Party and Bosko Obradovic from the right-wing "Doors" movement both expressed their support for the protesters ... Both leaders of the presidential race are largely pro-European, but at the same time they are by no means anti-Russian. "

Furthermore, among the slogans "Serbian maidan" virtually no appeals to the authorities of Serbia to make the final geopolitical choice between East and West, between Brussels and Moscow. In certain circles put forward the theory that the organization continued for over a month protest campaign has invested millions of euros 10 Dzhordzh Soros, however, to find confirmation of this version is not easy.

Secondly, the protest has the most impersonal character in terms of the participation in it of recognizable political figures. The organizers in advance named their action "Maidan without politicians", stressing the desire to distance themselves from the influence of any political parties. At the same time, attempts to accuse Vučić of trying to form an executive party-political vertical on the basis of a coalition led by the Serbian Progressive Party, as well as Aleksandar Vucic himself, who won the elections, are very doubtful. In addition, from the very beginning, the former human rights commissioner in Serbia, Sasha Jankovic, who supported the protesters and took the second place in the presidential election, can in no way be considered as a potential leader of the unified Serbian opposition.

Third, from the outset looks problematic main requirement protesters - the cancellation of the results of the first round of the presidential elections and the repeat voting. The participants of the action said they found a "potential" stealing votes in favor Aleksandar Vucic in the number 319 thousand. However, even if this is the case, the redistribution of the above vote is unlikely to cast doubt on the results of the presidential elections, as Vucic was ahead in the first round Sashu Yankovicha with a much greater advantage: 2.012.788 597.728 votes against votes from Jankovic.

Fourth, the current protests in Serbia much more than during the anti-government protests in the countries of the former Soviet Union or in other hot spots "Maidan area", there are the requirements of socio-economic nature. Among the slogans that sound in front of the National Assembly of Serbia, the biggest popularity of the slogan: "The people are hungry - the elite rejoices."

Tellingly, even the Serbian media may not understand the contradictory interweaving of the protesters demands. For example, the Belgrade newspaper "Politika" quotes pronounced socio-economic demands, but said that the demonstrators "have expressed their dissatisfaction with the election results."

Apparently, it is the extreme vagueness of demands and the absence of a clear geopolitical discourse that allow the organizers of the action to maintain a level of social tension for such a long time without investing in a protest of certain political content and not increasing the chances of reviewing the results of the presidential elections. In private discussions, the participants of the action in Belgrade give the most varied, but invariably concrete and personal reasons for joining the protests at one stage or another - from the desire that their children, after graduation, do not have to go abroad to work, the desire to timed the manifestation of the campaign for the matches of the popular Belgrade football teams "Partizan" and "Crvena Zvezda." It is striking that these motives have nothing in common with the classical "Maidans" and "color revolutions".

However, the threat of Serbia's destabilization still exists. And this threat is connected with the very fact of working out models of operative mobilization of public forces for anti-government and anti-state actions. Especially in conditions of persistent Western pressure on Serbia. The objectives of such pressure are broad - from the accession of Serbia to the anti-Russian sanctions until the recognition of Kosovo's independence and the entry of Montenegro into NATO. And if the new president Aleksandar Vučić and the Progressist government are not sufficiently compliant and compliant in the eyes of the West, then the "Serbian Maidan" can be at any time fired up in its traditional anti-state form.

A source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Author: Peter ISKENDEROV

Tags: Serbia protests, politicians, analysts