Belgrade mayor Sinisa Mali claims he was attacked with a pole when he was involved in an altercation with Don’t Drown Belgrade (Ne da(vi)mo Beograd) activists on the morning of July 18. The small group of protesters had gathered in front of the Belgrade assembly to hand him and city assembly president Nikola Nikodijevic symbolic letters of dismissal. The Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic said that policement were wounded and announced filing charges against those responsible.
The supporters of the initiative tried to deliver the letter of dismissal of Sinisa Mali and other Municipal Assembly representatives following “the destruction of property and ill-treatment of people during the night of 24th April”. Mayor Sinisa Mali was greeted by boos, while letter requesting his resignation was glued to the entrance to the Municipal Assembly.
“Around 50 people, who attacked me with a pole, who want to beat me up, are asking for my resignation. I will not resign because of people like that, for the sake of the majority of citizens who voted in the local elections in favor of this policy,” said Mali.
Mali said that he had invited the protest organizers to meet with him and talk but it seems that the invitation was declined. In addition, the mayor said he was ready to take responsibility if needed, but only after the investigation by the competent authorities and police was completed. “This is not the true image of Belgrade and young people who live here. Most of the Belgrade citizens support the city government’s plans, as well as our investment policy and creation new jobs, particularly with projects like “Belgrade on Water”. This project will change our capital city and the whole country for the better, and it demonstrates that we are fighting for every new job, “said Mali.
However, Dobrica Veselinovic, a representative of the initiative, denied that its activists had attacked Mali. “No. That did not happen. We didn’t attack him, we were staying there to hand him the dismissal letter. He was protected by the police and private security. There wasn’t violence,” Veselinovic said, Tanjug reported. According to Veselinovic, Mali refused to accept the letter so protestors had to glue it on the door of the building. However, the initiative won’t give up its demands, Veselinovic said.
Another representative of the initiative, Marko Aksentijevic said that it was unacceptable that persons responsible for the committed crime were walking freely around the city, adding that it would not be productive to discuss this issue at a Municipal Assembly session, because the local authority representatives were the organizers and instigators of the crimes that had been committed.
This post is also available in: Italiano