Environmentalists, lawyers call planning protests on Saturday

Beta/Dragan Gojić

Environmentalists and lawyers said on Wednesday that they are planning to stage protests across Serbia this weekend over the new laws on referendums and expropriation.

The Alliance of Ecological Organizations of Serbia (SEOS) said that it would organize road blocks across the country at 2 pm on Saturday while a lawyers’ protest committee said they would gather in front of the Serbian Presidency building at noon.

A SEOS press release said that the road block protest was over the planned opening of several lithium mines as well as the two new laws and the privatization and explitation of natural resources. “We promised to block roads again if President Aleksandar Vucic signed the law on referendums … we are calling the Serbian public to join us. This time the road blocks will be in place for more than an hour and in more places in Serbia,” it said and called that police to prevent any violence.

Last weekend’s road block protests turned violent in Sabac where supporters of the Serbian authorities drove an excavator into the crowd and thugs beat a number of people before fleeing in what are alleged to be local administration cars.

Lawyers told a news conference on Wednesday that they would be protesting against the two new laws and what they called the criminal attitude of a High Court of Cassation Judge. A spokesman said the lawyers stand with the public against the two new laws whose implementation should be stopped.