Opposition group mocks Serb police after raid

BELGRADE, Sep 7, 2000 -- (Reuters) Serbian student opposition activists fooled police into confiscating several empty boxes on Wednesday in light-hearted revenge for a raid on their headquarters.

Two days after police seized thousands of posters and other anti-government campaign material ahead of this month's elections, the Otpor (Resistance) movement said it was expecting a delivery of more material.

As activists carried boxes into the building, police told them to leave them on the street.

Embarrassed-looking policemen talked on their walkie-talkies as it dawned on them that the boxes, one of which shifted slightly in the breeze, were empty.

Accompanied by loud laughter and applause from the crowd on Belgrade's main pedestrian street, police took the boxes away.

"It is the stupidest thing they've ever done," Otpor spokesman Ivan Marovic told Reuters. "This was just to trick them...that's 1-0 for us."

Otpor supports Serbia's opposition in presidential and parliamentary elections on September 24. Its campaign is called "Gotove je" ("He's finished"), referring to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Police said on Monday it had confiscated a truck full of propaganda from the "illegal, mercenary, pro-NATO organization Otpor".

In recent months the authorities have cracked down on the organization, which has gained support among those who blame Milosevic for Serbia's international isolation and slumping economy.

Police regularly detain Otpor activists, usually for wearing T-shirts bearing its clenched-fist logo or for staging events that mock the government.

Original article