April 7, 2019 - The eighth in a series of peaceful civic protests under the slogan Odupri Se 97,000 was held on Saturday in Podgorica with the participation of several thousand people insisting on resignations and fundamental political and social changes in Montenegro.
The demonstrators gathered this time on the plateau in front of the Assembly, then held a protest walk along the Street of Liberty near the Supreme State Prosecutor’s building, Boulevard of Ivan Crnojević, then Stanko Dragojević Street near the Government building and back to the Assembly. Nikola Grdinić addressed the gathered citizens before the protest walk, saying that he was, on behalf of the organiser, the one who announced the eighth gathering.
"I use the word to announce the actions of nonviolent resistance that we will start on other days, not just on Saturdays and not just in Podgorica but in all Montenegrin cities."
Grdinić emphasised that the Odupri Se movement will not become a political party and that it will remain the movement of all citizens.
"This is the chance we will unite in the best possible way among us, and we will become the first free choice in this country. We, the citizens, are here to ensure that this process is in the direction of a better future for all of us. We want to see the state on which the leaders will be statesmen, not thieves," Grdinić said.
He also pointed out his two impressions about the police.
"When I reported this meeting, I met an official, and I was delighted with his professionalism and attitudes. Only two days after that, a situation appeared where ten police officers were battling an unarmed young man. That record should be the last drop in the full glass of our reasons for the protest. "
He urged young people to form a living wall in front of the protective fence to send a "message of solidarity and unity."
Vuk Vujisic, a representative of the Student Initiative, who has been focusing on the University's imprisonment and the unparalleled work of the Student Parliament in the last couple of months, said that the students "will not stop until every young man knows about freedom."
"These young people are here because they want the state to create the conditions for a normal life. It is not normal for young people after graduating to leave this country in search of a better life. It is not normal for a party booklet to be worth more than knowledge and diploma. It is not normal for one's son to spend 300 euros a night, while someone works for the same sum for a month."
Vujisic recalled that the University of Montenegro was "captured and under the influence of party structures".
"It was the Day of students, our day, but as it usually goes, the students who present together with the authorities say that everything is fine. That situation is never better. And I'm wondering if you're happy or you want change," the demonstrators screamed, "We Want Change! ".
"I dream of a country in which a young man after college gets a job based on his knowledge, from whom he will be able to live and not survive! I dream of an ecological state in which public good and natural beauty are in front of an individual's pocket. I dream of a state of Montenegro with equal chances for everyone. For such a country it is worth fighting and inviting all young people to fight for it," said Vujisic.
Citizens were also addressed by "civil activist" Dragan Sošić. He said he was proud of being "a civic activist because it meant fighting this system and loudly speaking".
"The state is made up of territories, governments and citizens. The territory is endangered every day. We need bodies to defend Montenegro. We defend Zabljak, lakes, sea, rivers that several families have kidnapped and not released for 30 years. They plunder, kidnap, scare, blackmail, and kill! Enough!”
Sošić said that the citizens are the most delicate part of the state and that they are on defence. He announced a non-violent action of civil disobedience that would "paralyse the system and make them leave".
After the walk, Grdinić checked out of the eighth Odupri Se gathering. He said, "we should not pay attention to what the DPS and Duško Knezevic are talking about and not to let the opposition fight back."
"These are our protests, protests by all citizens, those who do not want to suffer humiliation and poverty. It is only important that we all together raise a voice against this regime. We must not give up," emphasised Grdinić.
The date of the next protest will be announced soon, together with the plan of all other civil disobedience actions, informed the PR team of the Odupri Se movement.