In its initial period from 1998 to 2000, Otpor began as a civic protest group, eventually turning into a movement, which adopted the Narodni pokret
(the People's Movement) title, against the policies of the Serbian authorities
that were under the influence of Slobodan Milošević
who at the time was President of Serbia and Montenegro
. Following Milošević's overthrow
in October 2000, Otpor became a political watchdog organization monitoring the activities of the post-Milošević period of the DOS
coalition. Finally, during fall 2003, Otpor briefly became a political party which, due to its failure to pass the 5% threshold needed to get any seats in the Serbian parliament, soon merged with another party.
Founded and best known as an organization employing nonviolent struggle
as a course of action against the Milošević-controlled Serbian authorities, Otpor grew into a civic youth movement whose activity culminated on 5 October 2000 with Milošević's overthrow. In the course of a two-year nonviolent struggle against Milošević, Otpor spread across Serbia, attracting in its heyday more than 70,000 supporters who were credited for their role in the 5 October overthrow.
After the overthrow, Otpor launched campaigns to hold the new government
accountable, pressing for democratic reforms and fighting corruption, as well as insisting on cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal
(ICTY) at the Hague.
An Otpor membership signup recruitment slip from the movement's early days.
Otpor was formed in Belgrade
on 10 October 1998 in response to a controversial piece of legislation in Serbia — the university law — introduced earlier that year by the Serbian government
under Prime Minister Mirko Marjanović
. Also, days before Otpor got announced, the government introduced a decree
(uredba) outlining special measures in the wake of the ongoing NATO
bombing threat. Citing the decree, on 14 October 1998, the government's Ministry of Information headed by Aleksandar Vučić
banned the publishing of Dnevni telegraf
, and Naša borba
, three Belgrade dailies which were critical of the government to varying degrees.
The newly formed group named Otpor mostly consisted of the Demokratska omladina
's youth wing) members, activists of the various NGOs
that operated in Serbia, and students from the two public universities
in Belgrade — University of Belgrade
and University of Arts
. It quickly grew from a small group into a network of similarly politically minded young people, many of whom were already veterans of anti-Milošević demonstrations such as the 1996-97 protests
and the 9 March 1991 protest
. With the political opposition in Serbia in disarray, Otpor decided to build a broad political movement rather than a traditional NGO or political party. Frustrated with opposition leaders protecting their narrow personal and party interests, which often degenerated into infighting, the group also decided that "it would have no leaders
Early on, Otpor defined its objectives and methods, including an account of what it saw as the main problems of the country, in the "Declaration of the Future of Serbia." The declaration was signed and supported by all prominent student organizations in Serbia. An advisory body was set up and its members became the main promoters of the declaration.
Initially, Otpor's activities were limited to the University of Belgrade
. In an effort to gather new nonpartisan
energy, not to mention making it harder for state media to discredit and smear them as just another opposition political group, Otpor avoided publicizing its ties to the Democratic Party (DS) even though the two organizations held similar political goals and shared many of the same members.
Early on they agreed the organization's symbol to be the clenched fist
. Young designer Nenad "Duda" Petrović created the logo.
Four students get arrested for stenciling Otpor logo
The authorities' immediate reaction to the appearance of Otpor was extremely heavy-handed, even before the movement held any public gatherings. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, 4 November 1998, four students — 22-year-old Teodora Tabački (enrolled at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy
), Marina Glišić (22, Faculty of Philosophy), Dragana Milinković (22, Faculty of Philology
), and Nikola Vasiljević (19, University of Arts
' FDU) — were arrested for stencil spraying
the clenched fist symbol on the UofB's Faculty of Mathematics building facade.
Later that same day, after reportedly being intimidated into signing a pre-typed, joint statement of guilt, the four students were taken before a misdemeanor judge who handed them a sentence of 10 days in prison.
In his explanation of the sentence, judge Željko Muniža cited that "with their brazen and reckless behaviour, the four students have endangered the citizens' calm and disturbed the public order." On 5 November, the students' legal representatives — Nikola Barović, Branko Pavlović, and Dušan Stojković — appealed the respective sentences citing "improper use of both the misdemeanor process and the misdemeanor law as well as the scandalous subsequent sanction."
One day later, the misdemeanor council rejected the appeal as baseless.
The case generated some public reaction with the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Electrical Engineering professor and Otpor member Srbijanka Turajlić
calling the sentences "inappropriate" and further scolding the University of Belgrade rector Jagoš Purić as well as University of Arts rector Radmila Bakočević
for "not publicly reacting to their own students being rounded-up on the street and hauled off to jail".
Dnevni telegraf gets fined for publishing an Otpor ad
The organization gained further prominence when the Dnevni telegraf
(daily tabloid owned and edited by Slavko Ćuruvija
) 7 November issue appeared on newsstands with Otpor's ad featuring the clenched fist symbol on the front page. The paper had previously been banned for "spreading defeatism by running subversive headlines", a punishment meted out under the controversial new government decree. And though the ban was lifted within a week as the decree was put out of effect only to be replaced by the new information law, Dnevni telegraf'
s publishing hiatus continued past the ban being lifted and the 7 November issue was its return to the newsstands. Seeing the Otpor ad on the front page, the authorities quickly reacted again, taking Ćuruvija and his collaborators to court within days via a trumped up private citizen's complaint and handing them another draconian fine under the information law, this time prompting the newspaper's relocation to Podgorica
Veran Matić wears Otpor t-shirt during MTV Europe Awards live broadcast
Several days later, on Thursday, 12 November, another instance of Otpor's public exposure occurred — this time at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards
ceremony in Assago
where Radio B92
was the recipient of the Free Your Mind
award. Accepting the award presented by Michael Stipe
, Peter Buck
, and Mike Mills
during live broadcast, B92 head Veran Matić
came out on stage in an Otpor T-shirt with inscription "Живи Отпор!" (Live the Resistance) above the clenched fist logo. In his acceptance speech, delivered in Serbian, Matić explicitly mentioned the four students that were arrested and sentenced the previous week.
The awards ceremony was carried live in Serbia on TV Košava
, a station owned at the time by Milošević's daughter Marija. However, when it came time for the Free Your Mind award to be handed out in the live broadcast, only the initial intro by R.E.M. and part of the accompanying pre-taped video piece about Radio B92 was shown before abruptly cutting to an extended block of commercials.
Otpor's first significant gathering took place on Saturday, 14 November at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Electrical Engineering
– over a thousand students marched across town to the Faculty of Philology
where a number of students were under lockdown inside the building as the authorities wanted to prevent them from joining the protest. Otpor leader Srđa Popović
(also a member of the Democratic Party) was arrested that day and then released on intervention from Amnesty International
after being detained for 8 hours. By late November, Otpor ideas reached Novi Sad
, Serbia's second city, with the first graffiti appearing on buildings in the city.
During the NATO air-strikes
against FR Yugoslavia in 1999 regarding the Kosovo War
, Otpor ceased its activities. In the aftermath of NATO bombing, the organization began a political campaign aimed directly against the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević
. This resulted in nationwide police repression against Otpor activists, during which nearly 2,000 were arrested, some beaten.
Organization grows into a movement
Otpor next managed to bring opposition parties together and mobilize the population of Serbia against Milošević. It stressed the importance of mobilizing the population to vote, but also promoted "individual resistance" (i.e. nonviolent methods of civic disobedience in order to counter possible electoral fraud). This strategy was slowly embraced by the opposition parties in the months to come.
The strategy was based on two assumptions:
- That the opposition had to be united around one presidential candidate in order to get more votes than Milošević; and
- That Milošević would never accept defeat in the elections (and he would falsify ballots and even use force to defend his power).
By fall 1999 and early 2000, the Serbian opposition political parties, most notably the Democratic Party and the Serbian Renewal Movement
(SPO), realized the potency of Otpor's methods and the resonance of its message with the youth. Thus began the battle for control of Otpor between DS and SPO. Since both parties already had a significant number of their youth wing members within Otpor, this trend continued on a large scale with both DS and SPO (and other opposition parties as well) instructing their local chapters throughout Serbia to recruit party youth members en masse
As a result, Otpor's membership swelled into tens of thousands.
Otpor's unified message and diverse membership proved much more attractive to young activists than the deeply divided opposition parties of the time.
Although they had found common ground in Otpor, the separate opposition parties were still reluctant to cooperate among themselves. Otpor's major challenge was to bring these divided groups together in preparation for the 2000 election campaign. Instead of using old methods of "bringing everyone to the table and then…trying to come up with a common strategy and goal", the original core group of Otpor founders had gathered to first find a single goal that everyone could agree upon: removing Milošević.
During the presidential campaign of September 2000, Otpor launched its "Gotov je
" (He's Finished!) and the "Vreme Je!" (It's Time!) campaigns, which galvanized national discontent with Milošević and eventually resulted in his defeat. Some students who led Otpor used Serbian translations of Gene Sharp
's writings on nonviolent action
as a theoretical basis for their campaigns.
Otpor became one of the defining symbols of the anti-Milošević struggle and his subsequent overthrow. By aiming their activities at the pool of youth abstainers
and other disillusioned voters, Otpor contributed to one of the biggest turnouts ever for the 24 September 2000 federal presidential elections with more than 4,77 million votes (72% of the total electorate).
Persuading a large number of the traditional electorate to abandon Milošević was another one of the areas where Otpor played a key role. Milošević had in the past succeeded in persuading the public that his political opponents were traitors working for foreign interests, but in the case of Otpor, the tactic largely backfired, as the beatings and imprisonments of their members during the summer of 2000 only further cemented the decision to vote against the government in many voters' minds.
Strategy and tactics
Principles of the movement
Otpor operated on the basis of three principles: unity, planning, and nonviolent discipline.
It used the following ten strategies to achieve success:
- Take an offensive approach
- Understand the concept of "power in numbers"
- Develop a superior communication strategy
- Create the perception of a successful movement
- Invest in the skills and knowledge of activists
- Cultivate external support
- Induce security force defections
- Resist oppression
By means of decentralized leadership, education, using humor to maintain morale, and supporting members who had been arrested
- Use elections to trigger change
- Enable peaceful transition of power
Protest and persuasion
- Public theater and street acts to mock Milošević
- Extensive branding by hanging posters and stickers in widely trafficked areas
- Rallies, marches, and demonstration
- Electoral politics - campaigning & coalition-building
- Concerts and cultural celebrations
- Distribution of anti-Milošević materials
- Strategic use of internet, fax, and email to organize and distribute information and volunteers
- Covert and public communication important community leaders to cultivate allies
- Public statements, press releases, petitions, and speeches
- Distribution of training manuals, frequent workshops for activists
- Boycotts and strikes by students, artists, actors, and business owners
- General strikes
- Defection of both security forces and members of the media
- Organization that occurred outside the electoral system
- Election monitors and well-organized election results reporting system
- Blockades of highways in order to debilitate the economy and demonstrate power
- Occupation of key public buildings, occasional nonviolent invasions of said buildings
- Bulldozers moving aside police barricades
Examples of specific campaigns
Humor was the basis of Otpor's campaigns; it used irony to provoke the government and motivate Serbians to join the movement. The following are specific campaigns designed by Otpor in 1998-2000
A Dinar for Change:
Otpor activists painted Milošević's face on a barrel and set up in front of the Belgrade National Theater, asking passersby to pay one Yugoslav dinar
to hit the portrait. The activists went to the sidelines and watched as the barrel attracted more and more attention. Police eventually confiscated the barrel.
Happy Birthday Milošević:
Activists in Niš
created this event to "celebrate" Milošević's party with a cake, a card, gifts, and wishes. More than 2,000 citizens had the opportunity to sign the card, and gifts such as handcuffs, a one-way ticket to the Hague, and a prison uniform were received on his behalf.
The Fist is the Salute:
A poster campaign depicting many well-known Serbians raising their fists
in opposition to Milošević. Over 50,000 copies were distributed. The campaign ended on New Year's with a Santa Claus fist poster.
Resistance, Because I Love Serbia: The most widespread poster campaign with a circulation of 150,000.
This is THE Year: 3,000 people gathered in downtown Belgrade for a New Year's party in January 2000. After a night of celebration, Otpor interrupted the jubilation with pictures of the horrors of the past ten years, telling Serbian they had nothing to celebrate. The people were asked to go home peacefully and to think about how they were going to change their situation.
It's spreading: In Spring 2000, Otpor undertook efforts to spread the movement to rural areas and the nonacademic population.
It's time!: A clock showing five minutes to twelve with the slogan "vreme je!" was used to convince all audiences that they must quickly act.
Otpor's most well-known campaign. Close to the elections, volunteers put up over 1,500,000 "He's finished!" (Gotov je
! / Готов је!) stickers on existing posters of Milošević and all over cities.
: Campaign for raising awareness of HIV/AIDS
and approaching general elections in December. Posters, pamphlets, and condom packages featured stylized image of human brain.
Stamp it!: Campaign employed by Otpor after the fall of Milošević. The campaign reminded Serbians that they must follow through by defeating Milošević in the December general elections.
In the immediate months following 5th October Overthrow
, Otpor members were suddenly the widely praised heroes throughout FR Yugoslavia
as well as in the eyes of Western
governments. From the wide range of local celebrities and public figures seeking positive attention by wearing Otpor T-shirts, to Partizan
basketball club painting the Otpor logo in the center circle for their FIBA Suproleague
game, the clenched fist was omnipresent. This widespread popularity inspired even some individuals tied to the former government to become involved with the DOS
authorities by praising Otpor and its activities.
The pop-culture component of Otpor's activities became especially pronounced in this period. On 16 November, little over a month after the overthrow, Otpor received the Free Your Mind
award at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards
Activists Milja Jovanović and Branko Ilić were on hand in Stockholm
to accept the award presented to them by French actor Jean Reno
. Back home a couple of days later, FR Yugoslavia's foreign minister Goran Svilanović
held a reception for Otpor's delegation consisting of Milja Jovanović, Ivan Andrić, and Nenad Konstantinović in order to congratulate them on the MTV award.
Then, in early December, Serbian singer-songwriter Đorđe Balašević
held a concert in Belgrade's National Theater
specifically for and in praise of Otpor members, which was televised nationally on RTS2
The movement even turned to concert promotion itself, organizing several Laibach
gigs in Belgrade.
In the midst of all the praise and adulation, the movement promised to keep on. Otpor initially attempted to establish itself in a "watch dog" role after the revolution by launching campaigns holding the new government accountable, pressing for democratic reforms, and fighting corruption. It started weeks after the revolution with "Samo vas gledamo" (We're Watching You) campaign, sending the message of accountability to new authorities.
In parallel, by November 2000, with the upcoming December 2000 parliamentary elections
, launched two campaigns named "Overi" (Verify It) and "Upotrebi ga" (Use It). Though some already questioned the movement's raison d'être
the idea behind both was to encourage the electorate to "verify" the 5 October revolution by voting against the parties that were part of the government - the Socialist Party of Serbia
(SPS) and the Serbian Radical Party
(SRS) - at the upcoming constituent republic-level parliamentary election.
In 2001, the corruption
monitoring becoming the new focus with several new anti-corruption campaigns started (Bez anestezije
, etc.), but it was clear that Otpor experienced problems staying relevant on the transformed political scene of Serbia and FR Yugoslavia.
Revelation of U.S. involvement
Contacting various officials from the U.S. based organizations, in his New York Times Magazine
piece, journalist Roger Cohen
sought to shed some light on the extent of American logistical and financial assistance received by Otpor. Paul B. McCarthy from the Washington
stated that Otpor received the majority of US$3 million spent by NED in Serbia from September 1998 until October 2000. At the same time, McCarthy himself held a series of meetings with Otpor's leaders in Podgorica
, as well as Szeged
Just how much of the US resources appropriated in the year 2000 by USAID
, for democracy and governance, which included support to groups that worked to bring an end to the Milošević era through peaceful, democratic means, went to Otpor is not clear. However, what is
clear is that the Democratic Opposition of Serbia
—a broad alliance of those seeking Slobodan Milošević
's downfall, among them the Democratic Party (Serbia)
Otpor would later merge with—received in excess of $30 million to "purchase cell phones and computers for DOS's leadership and to recruit and train an army of 20,000 election monitors" as well as to supplement them with "a sophisticated marketing campaign with posters, badges and T-shirts."
Donald L. Pressley, the assistant administrator at USAID said that several hundred thousand dollars were given to Otpor directly for similar purposes.
Daniel Calingaert, an official with IRI
, said Otpor received "some of the US$1.8 million" his institute spent in the country throughout 2000, but didn't specify the concrete figures. He also said he met Otpor leaders "seven to ten times" in Montenegro
(then part of FR Yugoslavia
), and Hungary
, beginning in October 1999.
IRI particularly focused a lot of its attention on Otpor, organizing a seminar on nonviolent resistance at the Hilton Hotel
in Budapest during March 2000 and paying for about two dozen Otpor leaders to attend it.
Lectured by retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Helvey, who did two tours of duty in the Vietnam War
before devoting himself to study of nonviolent resistance methods around the world, including those used in Burma and the civil rights struggle in the American South
, the Serbian students received training in such matters as how to organize a strike, how to communicate with symbols, how to overcome fear and how to undermine the authorities.
Transformation into a political party
The official announcement of Otpor's transformation into a political party was made on 19 November 2003, days after the parliamentary elections had been set for 23 December.
The party didn't name an official leader. However, cousins Slobodan Homen
and Nenad Konstantinović
played key roles. Asked about the new party's finances in November 2003, Konstantinović said it was funded by the Serbian companies.
Otpor started its election campaign on Saturday, 29 November 2003 by submitting its 250-person candidate list.
In addition to former Otpor activists such as Slobodan Homen, Nenad Konstantinović, Ivan Marović, Predrag Lečić, Stanko Lazendić, and Srđan Milivojević, the candidate list featured established professionals in other arenas such as professor and anti-corruption campaigner Čedomir Čupić
, political analyst Dušan Janjić, psychologist Žarko Trebješanin, lawyer Boža Pelević, and former Serbian Supreme Court
vice-president Zoran Ivošević.
The candidate list named "Otpor—Freedom, Solidarity and Justice" led by Čupić fared poorly, with only 62,116 votes (1.6% of total vote) in the 2003 Serbian parliamentary election
, which left it out of the parliament (the census required a minimum of 5%).
By spring 2004, in the aftermath of the election, the organization faced more turmoil when Branimir Nikolić, a prominent activist from Otpor's Subotica chapter, publicly accused the party central, namely Homen and Konstantinović, of embezzlement.
Soon after, another member of Otpor, Zoran Matović, joined Nikolić's accusations, claiming that out of the €2.1 million that came into the organization during 2001 and 2002, more than half went missing.
Responding to the accusations in both instances, Homen announced his intention to sue both Nikolić and Matović.
The observer reaction in Serbia to the dissolution of Otpor was mixed. Some talked of Otpor's "ideologically heterogeneous membership that in addition to progressives also contained those well infected with Milošević's war propaganda", seeing the organization's eventual demise in the post-Milošević period as the victory of the latter over the former,
while others believed Otpor's failure in the political arena was caused by its inability to disassociate itself from foreign aid.
Commemorative reunions and usage of Otpor symbols
In the years since its dissolution, Otpor's symbols and imagery occasionally reappeared in Serbian political life. Some of the former Otpor activists also organized a few official commemorative gatherings.
In April 2008, during the election campaign ahead of the parliamentary election
, the clenched fist was stenciled on several walls in Novi Sad.
This led to an announcement of Otpor's reactivation by its former activist Nenad Šeguljev,
however nothing ever came of it.
Later that year on 13 November, Serbian president Boris Tadić held a reception to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Otpor's founding.
Former activists Srđa Popović, Slobodan Đinović, Slobodan Homen, Nenad Konstantinović, Dejan Ranđić, Ivan Andrić, Andreja Stamenković, Milja Jovanović, Branko Ilić, Srđan Milivojević, Jovan Ratković, Predrag Lečić, Vlada Pavlov, Stanko Lazendić, Miloš Gagić, and Siniša Šikman were on hand at the presidential palace at Andrićev Venac
giving Tadic an old Otpor poster.
Tadić underscored Otpor's "important role in the democratization of Serbia".
The next day, in Stari dvor
, the exhibition of Otpor's materials was opened with Belgrade mayor Dragan Đilas
saluting the former movement for "the courage shown in the fight for democratic changes and thus enabling others to live in a normal country".
In July 2011, posters with clenched fist and a message "Pruži Otpor svakoj lošoj vlasti" (Resist all bad authorities) appeared all over the city of Bor
, protesting the local authorities' decision to build a roundabout.
In October 2011, the Democratic Party (DS) official web site (ds.org.rs) was taken down by unknown hackers who left the Otpor logo on the site.
Otpor leaders after Otpor
Though its members often proudly talked of the movement's "horizontal command hierarchy
" and its lack of established leadership structure,
Otpor still exhibited a top-down organizational model with several members from its Belgrade central office clearly asserting themselves as the main decision makers.
Their involvement in Otpor served as a springboard to Serbian political, business, and NGO careers.
Srđa Popović and Ivan Marović
Shortly after 5 October 2000 revolution, he left Otpor to pursue a political career in Serbia, becoming a Democratic Party (DS) MP in the Serbian assembly as well as an environmental adviser to prime minister Zoran Đinđić
In essence, it was 27-year-old Popović's return to the DS since he was active in the party's youth wing since the early 1990s.
Simultaneous to his political engagement, Popović, together with former colleagues from Otpor Predrag Lečić and Andreja Stamenković, founded the environmental non-governmental organization Green Fist.
Conceptualized as an "ecological movement", it attempted to transfer some of Otpor's mass appeal into environmental issues by using similar imagery, but soon folded.
In 2003, Popović, with another prominent former Otpor member Slobodan Đinović
, co-founded Centre for Applied Non Violent Actions and Strategies
, (CANVAS), an organization focused on the use of nonviolent conflict to promote human rights and democracy, and eventually quit actively participating in Serbian politics. Instead, he started to cooperate with Stratfor
, which paid for Popović lectures about CANVAS fomenting color revolutions also in Iran, Venezuela and Egypt.
In 2006, Popović and two of his former Otpor colleagues, now CANVAS members - Slobodan Đinović and Andrej Milivojević - authored a book called Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points
, a how-to guide to nonviolent struggle, which can be downloaded for free in six languages from their website.
The book was financed with a grant from the United States Institute of Peace
(USIP), an organization founded and funded by the U.S. Congress
The book has been downloaded some 20,000 times in the Middle East, mostly by Iranians.
Due to their involvement in regime changes all around the globe, CANVAS has been labeled "Academy of Revolution" while Popović and others involved in the organization have been referred to by various media outlets as "professors of revolution",
"professional revolutionaries", and "revolution exporters".
In 2007 Popović became adviser to Serbian deputy prime minister Božidar Đelić
Popović additionally heads the Ecotopia fund,
the non-profit organization dealing with the environmental issues, financially backed by various Serbian governmental institutions as well as the private sector. In 2009, the fund organized a wide environmental campaign featuring well-known Serbian actors and media personalities with television spots and newspaper ads.
On top of that Popović is a board member of International Communications Partners, a media and PR consulting company.
Today, in addition to their revolution-consulting and training activities through CANVAS that according to one report take up a third of their year,
Popović is active on the speaking engagement circuit throughout various Western countries where they're frequently hired by universities, institutes, and think-tanks to give lectures and hold workshops on strategy and organization of nonviolent struggle.
Since 2008. Popović and Đinović have also launched CANVAS-related graduate program in cooperation with University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Science.
From 2011 to 2012, Popovic was a visiting scholar at Columbia University's Harriman Institute
In November 2011, Foreign Policy Magazine
listed Srdja Popovic as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" of 2011 for inspiring the Arab Spring
protesters directly and indirectly and educating activists about nonviolent social change in the Middle East.
In February 2012, Srdja Popovic was named to "The Smart List 2012" by Wired UK
magazine as one of 50 people who will change the world.
In addition to Popović, Ivan Marović
is another Otpor activist with significant media presence, both before and after Milošević fell. During the movement's activist days leading up to the overthrow, his appearances in the anti-government Serbian media were in the capacity of one of the movement's spokespeople.
He stayed at Otpor even after the transformation into the political party and was its MP candidate at the December 2003 parliamentary election. He also became active on the speaking engagement circuit, mostly in the United States,
where like Popović he gives lectures on his experiences from Otpor days. Additionally, Marović is one of the designers behind A Force More Powerful
and People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance
, video games that promote nonviolent struggle as a political tool. During the mid-2000s (decade) he moved to the United States where in 2007 he earned his master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
at Tufts University
in Medford, Massachusetts
. In the late 2000s (decade) he returned to Serbia. Since the mid-2000s (decade), he has maintained a blog on B92.net.
Slobodan "Cole" Homen and Nenad "Neca" Konstantinović
Unlike Popović and Marović, Slobodan Homen
mostly kept behind the scenes while at Otpor. Born to affluent parents - prominent Belgrade lawyers Borivoje Homen and Dušanka Subotić - young Slobodan was raised in privileged circumstances. During his days studying law, before becoming one of Otpor's founding members, he was the president of the University of Belgrade's student parliament. Described by sources quoted in the Serbian media
as Otpor's "alpha and omega" during the movement's heyday in the spring and summer of 2000, Homen and his cousin Nenad Konstantinović
handled everything from money to transportation. Homen was also the main point of contact for the foreign-based organizations that donated significant funds to Otpor. Otpor's headquarters was owned by Homen's family. Some accused Homen of an obvious conflict of interest in this situation after allegations appeared that his family actually rented out the space to Otpor, which was paying for it with the money from the incoming donations.
After Milošević's overthrow, Homen and Konstantinović were of the opinion that Otpor should evolve into a political party, which put them at odds with some of the movement's other activists. The two eventually got their way in 2003, but did poorly at the parliamentary elections later that year. Simultaneously, Homen and his family were involved in various high-profile real-estate business ventures in the city of Belgrade, some of which raised controversy.
After Otpor merged into the Democratic Party, Homen set about building a political career there. In 2008, he became state secretary in the Serbian Ministry of Justice working under cabinet minister Snežana Malović
, within the government of prime minister Mirko Cvetković
. Following the 10 October 2010 mass rioting
by the right-wing groups in protest of the Belgrade gay pride parade, standing in front of the Democratic Party headquarters that were attacked by the rioters, Homen went on state-television airwaves, delivering a threatening message to the "hooligans". Speaking to a reporter, Homen said: "I can guarantee you that they'll remember this day because the state's response to this will be chilling".
In March 2011, Homen was named the Serbian government's PR coordinator.
another Otpor founding member, also went on to a notable career within the Democratic Party
He's the president of the Serbian parliamentary
administrative board and was a high-ranking official of the ruling coalition
that held power in Serbia from 2008 until 2012.
During his Otpor days, Slobodan Đinović
, leader of the student organization at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
founded an NGO called the Center for Political Analysis (CPA).
The idea behind the venture was to set up an organization ready to become an alternative source for disseminating information in case Milošević shut down all the non-governmental media outlets.
Soon after Milošević fell, Đinović founded Media Works, the first Wi-Fi
provider in Serbia. Center for Political Analysis eventually folded as Đinović decided to focus more on his budding telecommunications business. In parallel, he was active with CANVAS.
In early 2010, Media Works merged with wired Internet providers Neobee.net and SezamPro to form Orion Telekom, of which Đinović is the CEO.
Utilizing a government-issued licence for providing fixed wireless
services that Media Works won in 2009, Orion began offering fixed telephony
services throughout Serbia using the CDMA
method of access in June 2010.
In the documentary film The Revolution Business
produced by Austrian TV ORF and distributed by Journeyman Pictures, Srdja Popović claimed Đinović is the main financial backer of CANVAS.
Đinović is also the managing board member of the state-owned Ada Ciganlija company, which manages the public grounds of the eponymous river island
Ivan Andrić and Dejan Ranđić
The creative presence behind many of Otpor's visuals and media campaigns was Ivan Andrić. After the revolution, he left the movement for politics, joining the Civic Alliance of Serbia
(GSS) and becoming managing board member of the state-owned Belgrade Youth Center
. He later joined the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), becoming its MP. Furthermore, in 2002, with close friend from Otpor days and Youth Center managing board colleague Dejan Ranđić
(who would also later go on to become high-ranking LDP official), Andrić founded the marketing agency Gistro Advertising
that has in the years since done prominent product launches and ad campaigns for various clients in Serbia such as government ministries, political parties (including the transformed Otpor), local municipalities, and state-owned enterprises.
In addition to contributing to Slobodan Milošević's overthrow, Otpor has become the model for similar youth movements around Eastern Europe.
MTV granted Otpor the Free Your Mind
award in 2000. There were several award-winning documentaries made about the movement, most notably Making of The Revolution
by Eric Van Den Broek and Katarina Rejger (launched at the Amnesty International Film Festival in 2001) and Bringing Down A Dictator
by Steve York, which won a Peabody Award in 2002, narrated by Martin Sheen. It has reportedly been seen by over 23 million people around the world.
Otpor members were instrumental in inspiring and providing hands-on training to several other civic youth organizations in Eastern Europe
and elsewhere, including Kmara
in the Republic of Georgia
(itself partly responsible for the downfall
of Eduard Shevardnadze
(which was part of the Orange Revolution
) and Vidsich
(opposing the president Viktor Yanukovych
) in Ukraine
(opposing the president Alexander Lukashenko
(opposing the president Vladimir Putin
(active in the revolution that brought down the president Askar Akayev
(opposing Islam Karimov
) and Nabad-al-Horriye
. A similar group of students was present in Venezuela against Hugo Chávez
. In 2008, an April 6 Youth Movement
was founded in Egypt
, which facilitated and joined the 2011 Egyptian protests
, and took advice from Otpor in the process.
In 2002, some former Otpor members, most notably Slobodan Đinović and Srđa Popović, founded the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). This NGO disseminated the lessons learned from their successful nonviolent struggle through scores of trainings and workshops for pro-democracy activists and others around the world, including in Egypt, Palestine, Western Sahara, West Papua, Eritrea, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Tonga, Burma and Zimbabwe as well as labor, anti-war, and immigration rights activists in the United States.
In interviews, the leaders and consultants of Otpor have described their involvement in the planning, coordination and implementation of the 2011 "Arab spring" revolutions.
- ^  Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine; "The Rise Of Youth Movements In The Post Communist Region", Olena Nikolayenko, Center For Democracy Development, Stanford,19 June 2009
- ^  Archived 2 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine; "Resistance studies - University of Goetheborgh" November 2010
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2011.; "Rage Against The Machine - Milja Jovanovic, People Building Peace", vol 2 European Centre for Conflict Prevention 2002
- ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.; "OTPOR campaigns New Tactics" November 2010
- ^ Dragan Džonić: Otporaši su dobili krila i poleteli Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Hereticus, 20 April 2003
- ^  Archived 8 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine; "Canvas, Otpor, Pora: Serbia's brand is non-violent revolution" 31 March 2011
- ^ Pesnicu Otpora Vole Svi Svetski BuntovniciArchived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine May 2010
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- ^ a b c d Gde su danas lideri Narodnog pokreta Otpor: Dnevnik jedne mladosti Archived 19 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine;Vreme, 15 July 2010
- ^ "Otpor". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- ^ "Otpor". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- ^ "Majica "Živi Otpor!"". Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2011.;Gozaar, 19 June 2009
- ^ a b c d Selektivna anestezija Archived 30 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine;Blic News, 19 October 2001
- ^ "Analysis: Otpor's Challenge to Milosevic". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- ^  Archived 12 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine;The Year Life Won in Serbia: The Otpor Movement Against Milosevic , 17 June 2011
- ^  Archived 20 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Janusz Bugajski, "Political Parties in Eastern Europe" 2002
- ^ Interview with Srdjan Milivojevic Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine A Force More Powerful, 27 November 2000
- ^ Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial TacticsArchived 13 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine CANVAS page 98
- ^ Branding in Serbia
- ^ Social Media as a Tool for Protest Archived 12 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine STRATFOR by Marko Papic and Sean Noonan, 3 February 2011. Elaborates on creating the perception of a successful movement
- ^ A Guide to Effective Nonviolent StruggleArchived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine CANVAS, page 223
- ^ a b Interview with Srjda Popovic Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine A Force More Powerful, December 2000
- ^ a b Otpor and the Struggle for Democracy in Serbia (1998-2000) Archived 15 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine by Lester Kurtz for Nonviolent Conflict, February 2010
- ^ Plan B: Using Secondary Protests to Undermine Repression Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Zorana Smiljanic
- ^ Civil Society, Youth and Societal Mobilization in Democratic Revolutions Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine by Taras Kuzio, September 2006
- ^ Whither the Bulldozer? Nonviolent Revolution and the Transition to Democracy in Serbia, United States Institute of Peace
- ^ Otpor campaigns - meaning and concept Otpor campaigns - meaning and concept CANVAS, 2010
- ^ Otpor! members receiving MTV's Free Your Mind Award Archived 5 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine;2000 MTV Europe Music Awards, 16 November 2000
- ^ SVILANOVIC PRIMIO DELEGACIJU OTPORA Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;B92, 20 November 2011
- ^ Balašević for Otpor!;December 2000
- ^ Serbie's New Wave Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine;In These Times, 5 March 2001
- ^  Archived 2 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine;'Resistance studies Network – a global network of critical studies on "resistance", 11 March 2011
- ^ Otpor, kome? Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;NIN, 16 November 2000
- ^ a b c d Cohen, Roger (26 November 2000). "Who Really Brought Down Milosevic?". New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
- ^ Vetta, Theodora (2019). "Chapter 2: NGOing And The Donor Effect". Democracy Struggles: NGOs and the Politics of Aid in Serbia. Dislocations. 25 (1 ed.). Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books. pp. 60–61. doi:10.2307/j.ctvw049q1.7. ISBN 978-1-78920-099-7.
- ^ Gallagher, T., 2005. The Balkans in the New Millennium: In the Shadow of War and Peace. London: Routledge. p.112.
- ^ a b Dobbs, Michael (11 December 2000). "US Advice Guided Milosevic Opposition". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- ^ Otpor od srede stranka, samostalno na izborima Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;B92, 18 November 2003
- ^ U subotu izborna lista Otpora Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;B92, 25 November 2003
- ^ 'Otpor' i SSJ predali liste Archived 4 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 1 December 2003
- ^ "Otpor! list". Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- ^ Otporovi milioni $ Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback MachineKurir, 28–29 February 2004
- ^ Novi obračun u 'Otporu': Fali milion evraArchived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 28 April 2004
- ^ Pripadnici Otpora optužuju svoje kolege da su prisvojili novac od stranih sponzora: Svađa u Otporu oko dva milona dolara Archived 12 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Glas javnosti, 26 April 2004
- ^ O SMRTI "OTPORA" I JOŠ PONEČEM: Ko će da grize loš sistem vrednosti? Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine;nedimsejdinovic.com, 2 September 2004
- ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2011. From Resistance to Revolution and Back Again
- ^ Pesnica "Otpora" ponovo u Novom SaduArchived 9 September 2012 at Archive.today;Građanski list, April 2008
- ^ Ponovo aktiviranje "Otpora", policija i privođenje novinara Archived 18 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine;Deutsche Welle, 11 April 2008
- ^ Otpor says it's back in business Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine;B92, 11 April 2008
- ^ "Tadić primio predstavnike Otpora". Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- ^ Tadić primio otporaše Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Alo!, 14 November 2008
- ^ Deset godina od osnivanja Otpora Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine;RTS, November 2008
- ^ Tadić: „Otpor" imao važnu ulogu u reformama Srbije Archived 26 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 14 November 2008
- ^ Otvorena izložba povodom desetogodišnjice osnivanja Otpora Archived 25 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Press, 14 November 2008
- ^ OTKRIVAMO: "OTPOR" PONOVO U BORUArchived 23 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Medija Centar Bor 26 July 2011
- ^ HAKERI SRUŠILI SAJTOVE BORISA TADIĆA I DS Archived 18 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Kurir, 16 October 2011
- ^ a b Šta je Otpor: Pesnica u oku režimaArchived 9 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine;Vreme, 13 May 2000
- ^ Danas, kada postajem političar...;Blic News, 2003
- ^ Fantasy Island: Democracy EditionArchived 16 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Mother Jones, March/April 2010
- ^ Revolution U Archived 24 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Foreign Policy, 16 February 2011
- ^ Exporting Nonviolent Revolution, From Eastern Europe To The Middle East Archived 13 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, 21 February 2011
- ^ Arab Uprisings, from Serbia Archived 4 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;DigitalJournal.com, 8 March 2011
- ^ a b Blueprint for a revolution Archived 8 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Financial Times, 18 March 2011
- ^ So you want a revolution... Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine;The Independent, 11 September 2011
- ^ "Celebrating 10 years of revolution-Kiyv Post, October 2010". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- ^  Archived 12 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 9 December 2010
- ^ Leibovitz, Liel, "The Revolutionist", March 2012, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/the-revolutionist/8881/ Archived 23 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 30 May 2012
- ^ Manea, Octavian and Srdja Popovic, "The Non-Violent Struggle as Asymmetric Warfare: Interview with Srdja Popovic", 26 March 2012, Small Wars Journal, http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/nonviolent-struggle-as-asymmetric-warfare-interview-with-srdja-popovic Archived 30 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 30 May 2012
- ^ Williams, Emma, "A Velvet Fist", May/June 2012, Intelligent Life Magazine, http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/a-velvet-fist?page=0%2C0 Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 30 May 2012
- ^ Bringing Down The Dictator Archived 9 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine;PBS 2002
- ^ NGO directory Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Branding Democracy: U.S. Regime Change in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe (First printing ed.). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 24 February 2010. ISBN 9781433105319.
- ^ "Reuters: Serbian activist teaches lessons in revolution Thursday 16 June 2011". Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
- ^ The 50 Habits of Highly Effective Revolutionaries Archived 2 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine;Reason, 21 September 2006
- ^ Wölfl, Adelhaid (10.03.2011) Gewaltloser kampf, 50 entscheidended punkte – Serbiche beratung bei revolutionen, Der Standard
- ^  Archived 12 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine; John Jackson at Huffington Post, April 2011
- ^ The Legacy of Otpor Archived 20 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine;Deutsche Welle, 24 February 2011
- ^ Serbia: The Legacy of Otpor | European Journal Archived 20 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine;Deutsche Welle, 24 February 2011
- ^ "Ecotopia". Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- ^ "Ecotopia". Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- ^ "International Communications Partners". Archived from the original on 18 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- ^ "Columbia, SIPA 5 April 2011". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- ^ Can Nonviolence Move The Next Century?Archived 11 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Chronicle Of Higher Education, Todd Gitlin une 2011
- ^ Foreign Policy Magazine: 2011 Top Global Thinkers Archived 12 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Foreign Policy Magazine, December 2011
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- ^ Ivan Marović, istaknuti aktivista Otpora, za "Glas": Ako treba, ulazimo u SPS Archived 12 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Glas javnosti, 30 May 2000
- ^ Teorija zavere - konzervativci optužuju: Srbi i CIA organizovali ustanak u Americi Archived 2 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine;Press, 14 October 2011
- ^ Dosije: Porodično blago imperije Homen Otimačina na sto poštenih načina Archived 9 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine; e-novine.com, 8 October 2010
- ^ "Homen on 10 October 2010". Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- ^ Slobodan Homen: Od "Otpora" do vladinog koordinatora za PR Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 24 March 2011
- ^ Moj dosije ne sadrži hapšenje u Lipovačkoj šumi Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;Danas, 21 December 2008
- ^ Mrtav 'ladan - nosi lažni roleks! Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Press, 3 July 2009
- ^ Konstantinović: Vladajuća koalicija čvršća nego ikada Archived 9 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 27 February 2010
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- ^ 'Blic News' u novom broju o mahinacijama vođa 'Otpora': Selektivna anestezija kod 'otporaša'Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine;Blic News, 17 October 2001
- ^ "Orion Telekom". Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- ^ "Orion" počeo sa pružanjem usluga fiksne telefonije Archived 1 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine;Blic, 21 June 2010
- ^ The Revolution Business Archived 20 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine;Journeyman Pictures
- ^ Monopolisti vladaju telekomunikacijamaArchived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine;NIN, 28 April 2011
- ^ "Gistro Advertising". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- ^ Traynor, Ian (6 June 2005). "Young democracy guerrillas join forces". The Guardian: 16. Available at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
- ^ Bringing Down A Dictator
- ^ a b 60 Revolution In The RevolutionArchived 16 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Otporaši na Maldivima". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- ^ a b FLEDGLING YOUTH GROUPS WORRY POST-SOVIET AUTHORITIES Archived 22 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ MJAFT! press release Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Orange People: A Brief History of Transnational Liberation Networks in East Central Europe
- ^ Young democracy guerrillas join forcesArchived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ The new revolutionaries
- ^ Egyptians and Tunisians Collaborated to Shake Arab History Archived 1 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, 13 February 2011
- ^ KIRKPATRICK, DAVID; SANGER, DAVID (13 February 2011). "New York Times". p. 1. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- ^ Gene Sharp: Author of the nonviolent revolution rulebook Archived 30 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, Ruaridh Arrow, 21 February 2011
- ^ Serbia: 10 Years Later Archived 13 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine; The Huffington Post, 17 June 2009
- ^ Kirkpatrick, David D.; David E. Sanger (13 February 2011). "A Tunisian-Egyptian link that shook Arab history". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
Last edited on 8 March 2021, at 17:12
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.