Feature 11 Jun 16

Belgrade Protest Movement Takes to the Streets

A growing protest movement, originally organized against the Belgrade Waterfront project, is spreading, fuelled by frustration with much larger grievances.

Natalia Zaba
BIRN
Belgrade
Protestors carry a banner reading ‘Resignation.' Photo: BIRN/Natalia Zaba.

It took a long time to find the right name for Serbia’s most prominent protest group but when organizers finally landed on one it perfectly captured the nascent group’s stubborn fighting spirit: Ne Davimo Beograd, "Let's not drown Belgrade". The leaderless group was originally founded by an anonymous collection of people of diverse backgrounds, profiles and interests opposed to the controversial Belgrade Waterfront project in Savamala.

Now, after two years of low-boil dissent, "Let's not drown Belgrade" is morphing into a larger social movement fuelled by resentment towards the current government’s autocratic tendencies and frustration with the country’s direction.

Later this month, the group is organizing its sixth mass protest against the waterfront project. In its call to action, "Let's not drown Belgrade" cited the “haughty behaviour of government” and “violence against the law, the city and the citizens.” It is a call that is striking a chord. 

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