Serbian environmental activist calls for strikes

NEWS 18.01.2022 11:48

One of the leaders of the environmental movement in Serbia said on Tuesday that strikes could be added to the weekend road block protests unless the Rio Tinto company’s lithium mine project is stopped.

Aleksandar Jovanovic Cuta told Nova daily that the Ecological Uprising movement would call “literally everyone” in the country to join the one-hour strikes. “We will call students, teachers, professors, artists to stop working for an hour,” he said. According to Jovanovic, the strikes will be then next way to fight Rio Tinto if the government continues ignoring the demands made by environmental organizations.

“That’s the plan, but first let’s see what happens this saturday during the road blocks,” he said. Environmental Uprising called for a road block on Saturday at 1 pm on the highway in New Belgrade.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that she will support demands to get Rio Tinto to leave Serbia but warned that the country has to be prepared for a battle if the company decides to sue. She said that the simplest way is to let the company’s permits expire.

“Let’s end this farce with Rio Tinto. Enough threats, blackmail, lies and robbery. They have squirming for days, timidly announcing the withdrawal of the Jadar project because brave, determined people protesting and blocking roads for weeks have forced them to. We know that they are close to meeting our demands, on the verge as the Prime Minister said so let’s push them in that direction. We all agree that Jadar should not be poisoned, nor should the rest of Serbia. No land grabbing or throwing people from their ancestral land. We know we won’t give,” a press release from the organization said.