According to the Montenegrin opposition, under his rule the Mediterranean tourist paradise impoverished and turned into a "gangster ghetto", led by corrupt authorities, relying on criminals and loyal security services.
Today, Montenegrin citizens have no other way of protecting their legal rights but to organize street rallies. Such rallies and demonstrations organized by the "Democratic Front" (DF) opposition coalition have been going non-stop for over two month across all of Montenegro. The largest of them were held in the capital Podgorica, where the number of protesters reached 25 thousand (country's population - 620 thousand). Despite harsh suppression by the authorities, people continue to take to the streets, demanding the resignation of the government.
This weekend, yet another rally was held in the second largest city of Montenegro - Niksic. Once this city was an industrial center of the country. Now it's a symbol of degradation and decline. Thousands of its residents were left without work and livelihood. Not surprisingly, protest moods dominate the minds here and the "Democratic Front" opposition coalition is most popular.
During Saturday's rally, that started out at the Saka Petrovich square in Niksic about 12 thousand people (total city's population counts at 57 thousand) gathered and once again demanded the government to resign and organize a fair and transparent election. Citizens spoke out in favor of strengthening relations with Serbia and Russia, and also negatively assessed the government's intention to speed up the process of the country's entry into NATO. After rallying in the Saka Petrovich square, protesters marched through the streets of Niksic, completing their march at Municipality building's walls.
The protesters called their actions "Just Revolution" (meaning that it's a revolution of justice). "We are tired of Djukanovic, of all the endless lies and villainy, bandit and police brutality, corrupt authorities, and we demand justice and fair elections," - said an opposition activist, a simple school teacher of history.
The event went generally nonviolent, except for minor incidents. But the authorities were ready for yet another forced dispersal of demonstrators. According to protest rally participants, 50 riot police vehicles were deployed in Nicsic two days before the event, ready to cover the city with a cloud of tear gas. In addition, there were about 70 security officers dressed in civilian clothes on the square among the protesters.
Describing the mood of protesters, one of the rally organizers, Iva Bajkovic reported that "DF" will spare no effort for the Montenegrin "vox populi" to be heard by the country's authorities and the entire international community. "Sometimes we get the feeling that nobody cares about Montenegro and the Balkans, but this is our fight and we are destined to win it," - said the opposition activist.
The authorities "did their best" to prevent popular uprisings. City administration waged merciless war against opposition agitation and to do that besides the police, every available municipal service has been mobilized. Fire engines with water cannons on the ready were drawn into the city centre, blocked streets led to traffic jams on entry highways. A representative for the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) D.Papich attacked some young activists of the "Democratic Front" while they were distributing leaflets comprising calls to take part in the rally.
It should be noted that despite the countries authorities' willingness to use unlimited force against the protesters and their active resistance to rally organizers, Montenegrins continue their protests. This demonstrates an unprecedented level of anti-government sentiment in the Montenegrin society, along with the willingness to defend their civil rights and fight for the future of their country.
With the approaching summit of the NATO countries' foreign ministers, scheduled for December 1, 2015 current protest activity will only increase. Memories of NATO airstrikes are still too fresh for the people of Montenegro. And the more Djukanovic and his clan yearn to join the Alliance, the more supporters join the cause of the "Just Revolution."