Alex Rondos was visiting the Belgrade headquarters of the student-based Serbian Resistance movement Otpor. Like other members of the international community, he views it as a significant political group; so does President Slobodan Milosevic. His key regime allies have just labelled Otpor activists ‘terrorists’ and ‘traitors’ and subjected hundreds of them across the country to arrest and questioning.
Crisps and chocolate biscuits notwithstanding, Otpor is becoming an increasingly influential force in the Yugoslav Federation. In the words of one western diplomat: ‘We take them very seriously. They are the only serious players in town.’ So what exactly is Otpor? How does it operate? And what is its potential as a force for change in a country whose official political opposition is weak, egocentric, divided and fractious?