Protest in the Stepa Stepanovic Community ends with no Incidents
A number of tenants of the Stepa Stepanovic neighborhood in the Belgrade municipality of Vozdovac, blocked the Circular Road in that part of the city in order to express their dissatisfaction that the Serbian Orthodox Church was beginning construction in their neighborhood which they claim to be illegal and were not given an opportunity beforehand to express their opposition.
Traffic on the Circular Road was blocked for about 15 minutes. There were no incidents during the protest.
The presence of the police was visible and tenants claimed that there were also police in civilian clothes.
The citizens also stated that the police threatened to arrest them. However, they said would not give up in their intent to stop further construction on the central plot in the settlement.
The protesters say that on the eve of the protests they addressed their concerns to Prime Minister Ani Brnabic and Minister of Defense Nebojic Stefanovic, but they’ve received no response.
Church officials have not addressed the the tenants. They demand that all plans be stopped until they find a common language.
Their message is to continue protests and foresee a radicalization – their next move is blocking the traffic cirle on Slavija.
Remember, the plot next to the one belonging to the Serbian Orthodox CHurch was enclosed by a wire fence, which has private security and they claim the Serbian Orthodox Church hired them.
The controversial land is located next to the plot owned by the Patriarchate, at which the tenants claim construction began before they were given the opportunity to say whether they wanted a church nearby or not.