Serbia (AP)

Opponents of Serbia’s populist leader block main highway to keep up pressure after weeks of protests | AP News

Opponents of Serbia’s populist leader block main highway to keep up pressure after weeks of protests | AP News

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Opponents of Serbia’s populist government blocked the country’s main highway on Friday as part of weeks-long protests that first started after mass shootings in early May, including the first ever school carnage in the Balkan country.

The protesters are demanding the resignations of top Serbian security officials and the revoking of broadcasting licenses for pro-government media and tabloids that regularly air violent content and host crime figures and war criminals.

Opposition politicians and their supporters drove up slowly to Belgrade in some few dozen cars along the north-south motorway before stopping and parking in the country’s capital, thus halting traffic in both directions. No incidents were reported.

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The highway blockade was the latest in a series of street demonstrations that started after two mass shootings on May 3 and May 4 that left 18 people dead and 20 others wounded, many of them pupils from a Belgrade elementary school.

A similar road blockade was also organized on Friday in the northern city of Novi Sad.

Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic has ignored the protesters’ demands and has branded protest leaders as “hyenas” who want him and his family dead.

A protest march toward the pro-government Pink TV station is planned for Saturday. The protesters say that state-controlled media are responsible for the culture of violence that has been mainstay in Serbia since the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s that killed more than 100,000 people.

“This is just another way to put the pressure on the government to fulfill the requests that are more than justified,” said opposition politician Radomir Lazovic. “If we were lucky to live in a different country that is more orderly and normal, there would be no need for protests.”