Police Pressure on Activists in Zrenjanin

During the past week, the police sent letters to the owners of the vehicles that blocked the Belgrade-Zrenjanin highway near the construction site of the Chinese car tire factory Linglong on August 24 this year, asking them to state who drove their vehicles, and informing them that they will have to pay a fine for improper parking.

The people from Zrenjanin who blocked the road submitted their answers to the Police Administration today. They demand the suspension of the misdemeanor procedure because they acted as a last resort, after they used all legal means, to eliminate the dangers and illegalities that arise with the construction of the Linglong car tire factory.

In their answers, they point out that before the road-blockade, during the previous two years, independently or in association with other citizens, they pointed out in an institutional way about the danger and harmfulness of building that factory, addressing the city and provincial administration, inspections, prosecutor’s office, and court.

They reminded that due to the interests of Linglong, the Law on Granting State Aid, the Law on Nature Protection, the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, the Law on Planning and Construction have been violated so far, as well as the criminal offence of construction without a building permit.

They added that the Administrative Court did not decide on several lawsuits, that the prosecutor’s office did not react to criminal charges, and that the order of the provincial construction inspector to demolish 47 thousand square meters of illegal construction on the Linglong construction site was not carried out.

Due to all this, the people of Zrenjanin who blocked the road believe that their fear is that Linglong, which violates many regulations during construction, will not start respecting them even after the start of tire production, but will pollute nature and endanger the health of the population and even then, the institutions will not react adequately.

In their appeals to the Chief of the Police Administration in Zrenjanin, Slavisa Lakicevic, they expressed hope that it was clear to him “that the rule of law and a well-ordered society cannot be achieved by rigid legalism in the field of traffic regulations, while far greater offenses with unforeseeable harmful consequences are tolerated in the same place “.

They also pointed out to Lakićević the harmfulness of selective application of traffic regulations, which is reflected in the fact that participants in other traffic blockades in Zrenjanin are not prosecuted, which gives the impression that the police exert targeted pressure only on those citizens of Zrenjanin who point to damage and danger caused by construction of the Linglong car tire factory.