- Title: Demonstrators storm Serbian parliament in protest over lockdown
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: BELGRADE, SERBIA (JULY 7, 2020) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF SERBIAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING, AUDIO OF LOUD WHISTLE BLOWING MEN STANDING IN FRONT OF RIOT POLICE WITH HAND BEHIND THEIR HEADS RIOT POLICE IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING ENTRANCE PROTESTERS SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM OF SERBIA, ARMS RAISED PROTESTERS CHANTING MAN WITH ARMS RAISED STANDING IN FRONT OF RIOT POLICE CORDON GUARDING ENTRANCE TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PROTESTER THROWING FLARES / SHOUTING VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS TRYING TO FORCE WAY INTO BUILDING, BLOWING WHISTLES, SHOUTING, RIOT POLICE PUSHING THEM BACK, USING BATONS VARIOUS OF FLARES, PROTESTERS PUSHING FORWARD ON STAIRWAY OF BUILDING RIOT POLICE IN FRONT OF BUILDING, USING BATONS, MAN WAVING FLAG PROTESTERS PUSHING THEIR WAY THROUGH ON BUILDING STAIRWAY / POLICE PUSHING THEM BACK PROTESTERS RUNNING AWAY FROM PLATEAU IN FRONT OF BUILDING AFTER TEARGAS THROWN BY POLICE TEARGAS SMOKE RISING AFTER BEING THROWN ON SIDEWALK PROTESTERS SHOUTING AT POLICE, CHANTING (Serbian) "GO TO KOSOVO!" / POLICE PUSHING THEM BACK / THROWING TEARGAS MAN HELPING WOMAN GET OUT OF CROWD AFTER BEING TEARGASSED PART OF CROWD DISPERSING AFTER TEARGAS GROUP OF PROTESTERS FACING OFF WITH RIOT POLICE RIOT POLICE USING BATONS AGAINST RIOTERS/PUSHING THEM AWAY FROM ENTRANCE OF BUILDING RIOTERS DISPERSING AFTER BEING TEARGASSED, HELPING EACH OTHER EVACUATE FROM PLATEAU RIOTER KICKING TEARGAS CANISTER ACROSS STREET/SMOKE SPREADING OVER STREET VARIOUS OF RIOT POLICE IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING, PROTESTERS THROWING STONES, FLARES, SMOKE SPREADS NEAR RIOT POLICE CORDON, PROTESTERS SHOUTING, RUNNING PAST CORDONS HOODED MAN THROWING STONE AT POLICE TWO CORDONS OF RIOT POLICE ON PARLIAMENT BUILDING STAIRWAY / GROUP OF PROTESTERS SHOUTING / FLARE FALLING BEHIND CORDON TEARGAS SMOKE SPREADING OVER STREET / PROTESTERS DISPERSING FLARES LIT IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING / PROTESTERS SHOUTING RIOT POLICE SLOWLY RUNNING ACROSS STREET / OBJECT HURLED AT POLICE LANDING ON STREET BEHIND THEM / SMOKE COVERING STREET
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 00:12
- Keywords: Serbia's parliament Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic opposition supporters
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- City: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- Country: Serbia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLY7MMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A group of opposition supporters stormed the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday (July 7) in a protest against a lockdown planned for the capital this weekend to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday evening that stricter measures including the lockdown of Belgrade over the weekend would be introduced because of the rising number of coronavirus infections.
Opponents blame the increase on the government and say people should not have to pay the price for another lockdown.
After Vucic's statement, several thousand people began gathering in front of the parliament in Belgrade's central square.
Around 10 p.m., a small group of protesters pushed past a police cordon, broke through a door and entered the parliament building. But police later pushed them back.
The crowd demanded Vucic's resignation and shouted: "Serbia has risen." Police threw teargas, pushing the crowd away from the parliament building. Police reinforcements later arrived.
Serbia, a country of 7 million people, has reported 16,168 coronavirus infections and 330 deaths. But the numbers are spiking and 299 cases and 13 deaths were reported just on Tuesday.
Epidemiologists and doctors warned that hospitals were running at full capacity and that medical workers were tired.
In early March, Serbia introduced a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
But in late May, the Balkan country was among the first to open up and set elections for June 21. During the campaign, Vucic's ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) organised rallies at which people did not wear masks.
Top party officials, including the president's adviser, were infected after celebrating their election victory in a small room while not wearing masks.
Opposition parties, many of which boycotted the election, criticise Vucic for using the lockdowns to strengthen what they call his autocratic rule.
(Production: Fedja Grulovic, Marko Djurica, Branko Filipovic)
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