Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey: FAR FROM BEING A SPONTANEOUS POPULAR REACTION, YOUGOSLAVIA’S REVOLUTION WAS PLANNED

100,000 people from the area of Cacak (Tchatchak) descended on Belgrade last Thursday in a well-planned campaign to oust the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. This massive crowd, in a 20-kilometre long convoy, smashed through police blockades with bulldozers and was coordinated by crowd leaders with mobile telephones. Police units were also involved in this movement. It is reported now for the first time that police and army units were strategically placed in the crowd with two-way radios, giving instructions for the popular assault. Eye witnesses in the assault on the parliament building in Belgrade said that the police who were apparently trying to resist the first wave of assaults said:Move back now. Don’t worry, you will win. Just move back now. It is said that the real test was 15.30. This was the deadline which would decide the success or failure of the assault. The Mayor of Cacak, Velja Ilic, is reported to have told his people, who launched a mass assault on Belgrade: If you can hold out until 15.30, you will have won the battle. That is the time when the police decided not to resist any longer and to support newly elected President Vojislav Kostunica. The popular revolt had succeeded but it is very doubtful that this revolt was a spontaneous uprising, more likely it was a planned assault on an ailing regime, very well planned, probably months in advance. We should not forget the millions the US State Department spent on computers and fax machines for the Yugoslav opposition.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Correspondent of PRAVDA.Ru Lissabon