Increased activity of government-organized non-governmental organizations

During the nine years of ruling, the government of the Serbian Progressive Party occupied institutions, destroyed opposition parties, brought most media under control, and suffocate those who try to be professional and objective, and apparently committed itself to ruin the NGO sector and civic movements.

Such phenomena are known in the world and are carried out through government-organized non-governmental organizations,  GONGO (Government-organized non-governmental organization). These are organizations are established and sponsored by government to represent its interests and imitate spontaneous groups of citizens and non-governmental organizations to make civic activism meaningless. Many followers of such organizations and participants in their actions are not aware of whose interest they are working in, because they skilfully hide behind generalized slogans and vague criticism of certain problems in society.

This phenomenon has become more and more visible in Zrenjanin during the last year, and it is embodied in the informal association “Zrenjaninska Akcija”. This association is not registered, it does not have a statute and organizational units or legal representatives, it is unknown how it makes decisions or how it is financed. Nevertheless, the work of this “organization” is promoted by the government and local media, which otherwise completely ignore the work of the non-governmental sector and the political opposition.

“Zrenjaninska Akcija”, so far had three initiatives. It suggested to the mayor to redirect the budget funds intended for the celebration of the New Year to the medical treatment of ill children. The mayor grabbed the given chance and scored with his (alleged) care for the little ones. “Zrenjaninska Akcija” again hit the ball in mayor’s court and asked the city authorities to determine the location for “Djoletov park”. This center shot was also gladly accepted by the progressive government, which in that way presents itself as a lover of trees and an admirer of the late singer-songwriter.

The third initiative, which was the protest car drive around Zrenjanin that started two days ago, was synchronized with the termination of the contract between the city and the “water factory”. The protest highlighted the request to provide citizens with drinking water in a medical minimum of two litters per day, which does not solve the problem of water supply in Zrenjanin but creates a chance for the current government to get out of the current position and present itself as an responsible instance that respects the needs of citizens. The realization of such an idea would open new opportunities to misuse budget money and make corrupt deals with retail chains and water distributors.

Driving cars and counterproductive demands are an obvious attempt to control the justified dissatisfaction of the citizens of Zrenjanin and to prevent more serious protests with more radical demands.

Among the organizers of the car ride were those who were in the company of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić two years ago when she visited the “water factory”” as part of the reality show “care for citizens and water in Zrenjanin”, as well  as those involved in corrupted business contract between the city Zrenjanin and the Arab company Metito on the construction of a wastewater treatment plant.

“ Zrenjaninska akcija” became from the informal association “Stop Kafilerija”, which cooperated with the city government last year, and its activities were positively reported by all pro-government media, including Informer.

Gradjanski preokret calls on the citizens not to be deceived by association that is secretly directed by the current government.

Gradjanski preokret will not cooperate with individuals and organizations whose goal is to be a partner of the government, while it pretends to respect the demands of the citizens, and at the same time creates and deepens dozens of other problems. Such a government needs to be changed, and those responsible for the crimes must be convicted and punished.

Gradjanski preokret will not support populist demands that essentially do more harm than good.

Gradjanski preokret has so far filed seven criminal charges against high-ranking government officials for abuses related to Zrenjanin’s water supply  and a constitutional complaint against the state, province, city, and city Water Supply, while it considers the executive and local government formed after the 2020 elections illegitimate . Since 2014 until today, it has organized several protests, petitions, forums, and expert panels related to water supply. In the following period, he will deal with this issue in a serious and responsible way.