Local News

Demonstration Held at State Capitol

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RALEIGH — Protesters carrying the Serbian flag demonstrated on the grounds of the state capitol Saturday. Homemade signs spelled out their opposition to the air strikes over Kosovo.

"I am against the use of NATO force against the sovereign country of Yugoslavia to resolve an internal conflict," said Memamja Pesovic. "That is something that should be left to a country alone."

The protesters say they sympathize with the ethnic Albanians who are fleeing Kosovo by the thousands.

They blame the military action for driving them from their homes.

"These people need to be taken care of, they shouldn't have to leave their homes," said Gary Milkovich, another protester. "And they didn't -- until bombs started to drop."

Former U.S. Army Capt. Chip Krotee patrolled the Macedonian border last year as part of the UN's peacekeeping mission there.

"Like almost everybody else, you just realize it's a terrible thing. Anything you can do to prevent that is a good thing," he says.

Now a student at Duke, Krotee is following news about the air strikes -- and about the captured army soldiers. He believes there will be a peace settlement.

"I think the ideal solution would be that we could end the airstrikes and bring both factions back to the bargaining table and figure out a peaceful solution," he says.

The protesters who demonstrated at the state capitol today are also collecting signatures for a petition against the bombing.

They plan to send the petition to Senators Jesse Helms and John Edwards and to President Clinton.