Thousands of people in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis, Sabac, Pozarevac, Pancevo, Valjevo and other Serbian cities blocked major roads and bridges in protest of a planned lithium mine, despite of police warnings and a campaign of intimidation by Serbian authorities against protesters.
Protesters whistled and chanted “Get up! Upraise!” stopped the traffic on the main highway in the Serbian capital.
Masked SNS hooligans entered the crowd, no one knew from where, since they had not been in the crowd before, they lit torches and tried to provoke the citizens.
It is suspected that these masked hooligans came with a clear goal, which is to provoke conflicts, but those gathered did not allow them to do so, so the “torchbearers” fled in the direction of New Belgrade.
The key demands of the protesters led by environmental organizations are related to the withdrawal of the law on referendum and expropriation, which they believe paves the way for the arrival of Rio Tinto’s environmentally dangerous investment in a lithium mine in western Serbia.
The rally near the Sava Center passed peacefully, until the end when a group of young men threw stones and torches at the protesters. No one was injured, and the young men fled after the incident.
A fight broke out in Novi Sad because, as the Beta agency reported, about twenty young men got out of the convoy of cars and clashed with the protesters. About a hundred people took part in the fight and there are injured, and the attackers fled the scene.
Uniformed police were not visible during the most massive demonstration against the populist government in Serbia in the last few years.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, ignored the protests and traveled to the location where the company Rio Tinto plans to start the excavations, as it was announced from his office, he talked to the locals in order to hear their opinion on this project.
Vucic and other Serbian officials condemned the protests, saying they were being funded by the West to destabilize the country and bring the opposition to power.
When the regime is in fear, the propaganda machinery is working at full speed, so on TV Pink during the blockade, SNS analysts and defenders on duty are slandering and insulting the gathered people. In order to minimize the real picture of the blockade in which tens of thousands of citizens participated, the television that the President of Serbia praises the most, as well as its journalists, Pink, showed a video of the blockade, but from the end of the line of protesters near Gazela, which deceived the public, which is certainly not the first time.
“20 people blocked Belgrade, and 1,000 people have to walk. “Classic terror”, said “security expert” Ilija Zivotic.
“All this tells you. What is this? What rivers of people? So, the most important bridge in Belgrade was blocked by 100 people, let’s buy them a drink”, added another of Vucic’s men, Dragan J. Vucicevic.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic was also a guest at Pink, to explain that this is an alleged media manipulation.