KOSOVSKA MITROVICA — Students from elementary and high schools in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica today gathered to protest against demands to abolish Serbian institutions in Kosovo.
The students and their teachers walked through the streets of the northern, Serb part of the ethnically divided town, carrying Serbian flags and banners reading, among others, “We won’t give Kosovo”, and “We don’t want Albanian security forces”.
Head of the Serbian Education Ministry School Administration Predrag Stojčetović joined the protest, and told reporters that the events in the north of the province were also “seriously jeopardizing the stability of the education system”.
According to him, in order to protect themselves, student assemblies decided to say they would remain within the education system of the Republic of Serbia.
“These are not parallel institutions, and if anyone tried to claim otherwise, the students, their teachers and parents are saying that while they could be driven out of their schools by force, they can’t be driven out of their homes. We will organize classes in private houses, but education institutions will remain a part of the education system of the Republic of Serbia no matter the cost,” said Stojčetović.
He noted that “our further moves will depend on messages that will arrive about the educat institutions in Kosovo and Metohija”, and said that protests would be organized if there were attempts to separate them from the Serbian system.
On behalf of the students, Jelena Prstojević called on states around the world to “accept the truth that is being offered to them without any price tag attached”:
“We do not need your mercy and democracy, your laws and resolutions, because our laws are older than your countries. You trust your guns and bombs, we have our faith and hope,” the high school student said.
Similar gatherings were also held in the towns of Zvečan, Leposavić and Zubin Potok, and went without any incidents.