The Belgrade-Zrenjanin Highway Near Linglong was Blocked

A group of Zrenjanin residents blocked the Belgrade-Zrenjanin highway at around 5 pm today at the roundabout near the construction site of the Chinese car tire factory, Linglong. The blockade lasted for about half an hour and caused long columns of vehicles in both directions.

Linglong blockade

The blockade, which was not announced, and which did not have political and organizational features, was carried out by activists of Gradjanski preokret, of movement Pokret Ujedinjenih Fantoma and the Party of Freedom and Justice.

Dragana Popović, opera singer and deputy president of Gradjanski preokret, presented the reasons for the blockade and the demands. According to her, it is a protest because state institutions ignore citizens and work against their interests, and the demands are that the construction inspection urgently implement its orders and remove illegal construction within the Linglong construction site, that the Administrative Court urgently decide on lawsuits filed against city and provincial authorities that enabled illegal construction. An urgent investigation is also required based on criminal charges filed against Linglong officials. Popovic pointed out that all the demands could be summed up in one thing: that the project of national importance should be  citizens of Serbia, and not the Chinese tyre industry.

Sonja Pernat from the Party of Freedom and Justice pointed out that those gathered do not agree for the city to be a training ground for corrupt affairs and for it to become a suburb of Linglong, to which millions of euros are donated from the budget, while Zrenjanin residents do not have safe drinking water.

“We do not agree that the Arab Metito, who was brought in politically, without a tender and public debate, without a single business reference in Europe, is practicing in our city the construction of wastewater treatment plants,” Pernat added.

She reminded the state authorities that according to the Constitution of Serbia, political parties cannot directly exercise power, nor subordinate it to themselves, and that is why they should work in the public interest, and not according to the dictates of the Serbian Progressive Party. We will no longer allow institutions to ignore us and work against us. If they continue with their previous behavior, our actions will be more frequent and more massive – concluded Pernat.

Both Dragana Popović and Sonja Pernat ended their presentations with the words “if there is no justice in the institutions, we will look for justice on the streets“, which was also written on several improvised banners.