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New Left Review I/54, March-April 1969


D. Plamenic

The Belgrade Student Insurrection

Chronology of Events

The Explosion: A troop of actors was scheduled to perform free of charge on the second of June before an audience of ‘Youth-Action’ workers camped near a large complex of student dormitories in New Belgrade, a suburb of Belgrade. Student representatives had requested that the performance be held in a large open amphitheatre so that those other than members of the Youth-Action could attend. Announcing that such free cultural events were the privilege of the Youth-Action only, the authorities scheduled the performance for a small theatre. Angered by this, several students attempted to force their way into the theatre before the performance, but after a short struggle were expelled by the police. News of the expulsion flashed through the student village and soon a crowd of over a thousand students gathered in front of the theatre. After only a few minutes of hesitation the crowd attacked the theatre, breaking windows, ripping off the doors and fighting with those already inside. Police reinforcements arrived with a firetruck, but before they could use its hoses the students captured and burned it. At this the police attacked. The students responded with barricades made of overturned cars and stones. After several violent clashes the students retreated to their dormitory village to discuss further action.

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