Blocking the roads’ motorways, bridges and paralysing life in Belgrade and other cities is not a way to express any opinion, but a gross violation of the majority of people’s rights, Serbia’s Defence Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has said about thousands of demonstrators who have blocked the country on Saturday, adding “the people suffer while (an opposition leader) Dragan Djilas and alike try to, contrary to the people’s will, cause instability and get back to power at any cost.”
Saturday’s protest against the laws on referendum and expropriation the environmentalists say are passed to enable Rio Tinto lithium mining in western Serbia has gathered many more demonstrators than a week ago but no one addressed the crowds.
Unlike last Saturday, only sporadic incidents happened during the protests in dozens of Serbia’s places.
The organisers announced new protests next Saturday.
“They (the demonstrators) have already shown that nothing is sacred to them and that they are ready for everything. And I see the known ‘friends of Serbia’ in the region applauding them today. While Djilas is blocking Serbia, branding it as a neo-fascist country and calling for chaos in the streets, Aleksandar Vucic is with people in (western town) Loznica. Those are the same people who Djilas heads blockades in Belgrade for,” Stefanovic said in a written statement.
Djilas and other opposition leaders supported the protests but said had nothing to do with its organisation. People that talked to N1 said they were not politically motivated to protest.
Stefanovic added that “today’s blockades clearly showed the overwhelming majority in Serbia doesn’t support Djilas’s policy and such acts which can only harm our people and country.”
Uniformed police officers were not present during the protests, while N1 reporters and activists said they saw many plainclothes policemen and several drones flying over protesters in Belgrade.