Progressive International and the European Green party congratulated Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own for holding the electoral assembly on the day of Liberation of Belgrade during the Second World War.  Two significant guests made an appearance during the assembly – the philosopher Srećko Horvat and the European Green party’s Thomas Waitz had a chance to address the attendees via a video message. They admitted that there are serious difficulties ahead and pointed out positive shifts in the Balkans and the world.

More about Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own Annual Assembly 2020 you will find here.

“Allies, I wish you a happy Belgrade Liberation Day. It’s an important day not only because of our shared past but also our shared future. What you are doing here today is not any struggle; on any particular day, it’s standing on the shoulders of giants that came before us and those that will come after us. Your fight is our fight. At the same time, your local struggle is part of a greater international effort, “ said Horvat in the name of the Council of Progressive International,  of which Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own is a part.

“A delegation belonging to this organization is currently in Bolivia monitoring the local elections,” he added while reminding that former president Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism is back in power.

“Your success is our success, and only together, with the help of radical internationalism, which includes both local and national struggles, can we triumph against what our ancestors fought on this very same day: both fascism and capitalism,” Srećko Horvat stated.

Thomas Waitz, the European Green party’s co-chair and a member of the European Parliament, highlighted the movement’s involvement against corruption and citizens’ right to participate in political decisions. In his words, Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own is protecting workers from the government’s acts that serve only the rich’ particular interests.

“You’ll face plenty of resistance. As we all know, the media in Serbia isn’t quite independent. In your political system, the personal interests of certain individuals are very strongly advocated and protected,” underlined Waitz.

He applauded the efforts to actively engage civil society organizations and concerned citizens in the political sphere. He added that it is “ very courageous” to be a part of the opposition here. It’s necessary to establish the rule of law, meaning that people can rely on the institutions regardless if they are poor or rich. Moreover, it’s essential to advocate for urbanistic solutions to ensure a healthy lifestyle, free from pollution and frequent traffic jams, said Waitz.

The European Green Deal, which began its implementation, envisages environmental protection and overcoming climate crisis, vital for countries with high unemployment rates and low to medium personal income, he explained. It’s essential that this endeavor goes hand in hand with just transition integrating social needs, concluded the European Green party official. He added that he is counting on Don’t D(r)own Belgrade to fight for residential building owners to install solar panels to produce electricity themselves.

Furthermore, the measures like proper heating insulation instigate the local economy and create jobs, and lower energy costs, he noted. Referring to the controversial projects regarding hydroelectric power plants in the region, Waitz asserted that they destroy the environment while not producing the expected amount of electricity and urged to defend the natural heritage.

He stated that the rise and success of new horizontal movements in Croatia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro indicate that positive change is possible.

The electoral assembly of Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own was organised on the Belgrade Liberation Day, during which the plan for the city’s betterment was presented. During the assembly, the members elected a new leadership tasked with further developing the movement’s inner structure and the membership’s expansion, which has doubled this year alone.

Check out the atmosphere from Annual Assembly 2020 in this short video: The Liberation of Belgrade begins [english sub]

Pročitaj i ovo:

Pressures on Ne davimo Beograd and independent media in Serbia

The construction company Millennium Team is suing Ne davimo, asking for almost 100,000 € for material damages. These are supposedly caused by our publishing of a text on changes to the Belgrade urban plan. This change allows Millennium Team to demolish the Goša Institute for research and development and build a residential-business complex on the lot.

Robert Kozma for VOA: Election conditions still need to be improved

“We participate in these discussions because Serbia has an undemocratic regime. Unfortunately, the ruling government has transformed some form of democratic elections that had existed into an undemocratic hybrid regime. This has been assessed in several recent reports, such as Freedom House’s or the European Parliament’s. This is why we have these discussions, and not because we are asking for some political concessions. No, we only ask that citizens’ rights be respected”, Kozma said.