More than 2,000 people rally in Belgrade against new laws

Nov 24, 2021, 1:19 PM | Updated: 1:33 pm

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Thousands rallied in central Belgrade on Wednesday against the populist government’s policies that protesters say favor interests of foreign investors over those of the Balkan nation’s citizens and are bad for the environment.

More than 2,000 people gathered outside the Serbian presidency building, blowing whistles and blocking traffic before marching through the central city zone toward the parliament and government buildings.

The protesters pledged to block roads throughout the country if authorities approve planned laws allowing swift expropriation of private property if that is deemed to be in the public interest, and lowering turnout requirements for voting in a referendum.

Organizers say the laws will allow the state to take away land and other property from citizens in the interest of foreign companies such as Rio Tinto, which has faced protests over its bid to open a lithium mine in western Serbia.

One of the organizers, Sava Manojlovic, said the new laws have been “drawn for Rio Tinto.”

Ecology groups and experts have warned that the planned mine would devastate the environment in the region, including various animal species, farmland and rivers in the area.

“We don’t care about the interests of any companies, American, Russian, Chinese or of the EU,” said Manojlovic. “We must take care about the interests of Serbia and its citizens.”

Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic and his government officials have denied that the draft laws were designed to enable Rio Tinto to take control of the land needed for the mine.

Vucic said at a press conference earlier on Wednesday that the law was needed for infrastructure projects such as roads and railways.

The protesters are also angry over the start of construction work for the underground transport system at Belgrade’s main water supply zone, which experts have warned could harm the quality of the drinking water in the city of 2 million.

Environmental issues recently have drawn public attention in Serbia, which is seeking entry into the European Union. The Balkan nation has faced huge waste management problems and high air pollution after decades of neglect.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A woman holds a child at a clinic in Dollow, Somalia, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Somalia is in t...
Associated Press

Prolonged drought brings famine, death and fear to Somalia

DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — A man in a donkey cart comes wheeling through the dust, carrying two small, silent boys. The sky is overcast. It could rain. It won’t. It hasn’t for a very long time. Mohamed Ahmed Diriye is 60 years old, and he’s completing the grimmest journey of his life. He set off […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Colorado baker fighting ruling over gender transition cake

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple’s wedding cake a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. A lawyer for Jack Phillips on […]
18 hours ago
Susana Lujano, left, a dreamer from Mexico who lives in Houston, joins other activists to rally in ...
Associated Press

Appeals court orders another review of revised ‘DACA’

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered a lower court review of Biden administration revisions to a program preventing the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the United States as children. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a federal district judge in Texas should take another look […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, at podium stands by a photo on display of TV producer ...
Associated Press

‘Scrubs’ producer Eric Weinberg charged with sex assaults

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Weinberg, an executive producer and writer for the hit TV show “Scrubs” and many others, has been charged with sexually assaulting five women that he lured to photo shoots and there could be many more victims, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Wednesday. Weinberg, 62, was arrested Tuesday, nearly a week […]
18 hours ago
This booking photo provided by the El Paso, Texas, County Sheriff's Office shows Michael Sheppard, ...
Associated Press

Family of Mexican migrant slain in West Texas seek answers

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The family of a migrant authorities say was shot to death in Texas by two brothers — including one who was the warden of a detention facility with a history of abuse allegations — are demanding more information this week, as the two men charged in the killing were released from […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Water flows along the All-American Canal Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, near Winterhaven, Calif. T...
Associated Press

California agencies float Colorado River savings in drought

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California water agencies that rely on the parched Colorado River said Wednesday they can reduce their use by one-tenth starting in 2023 in response to calls for cuts from the federal government. The agencies, which supply water to farmers and millions of people in Southern California, laid out their proposal in […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
More than 2,000 people rally in Belgrade against new laws