Violent protests in Novi Sad against construction project on Danube shore

Security guards clashed with protesters in front of the Novi Sad Assembly in that northern Serbian city on Thursday.

The crowd was there to protest the adoption of a General Urban Plan (GUP) by the Novi Sad Assembly and demanded that at least one of them be allowed into the building to address the session.

Security guards first clashed with protesters pushing them away from a fence barrier put up before the session before police in riot gear were brought in. The reporter said that several people were arrested by plain clothes police with at least one person suffering serious injuries.

The protesters through green paint at police shields and managed to grab at least one shield, the website reported.

The website also reported said that several politicians and activists were present at the protest with one of them, newly-elected MP Radomir Lazovic from the Ne Davimo Beograd Movement, being thrown to the ground and violently pushed out of the barrier area.

The police said that two men were arrested during the protest for allegedly assaulting police officers. A press release said that police stopped a group of demonstrators from tearing down the barrier fence and breaking into the city assembly.

Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucevic said that although protests are allowed, they can’t be violent: “You can’t break through the police cordon and not expect a reaction. The police didn’t really use force,” he was quoted as saying.

Over 12,000 objections to the GUP were filed by citizens but all of them were rejected. The GUP envisages the construction of a complex of residential buildings on the Danube shores, thus jeopardizing flora and fauna there.

(Danas, N1, 21.07.2022)



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