A third protest was held near Loznica city against a lithium mine that the British-Australian company Rio Tinto intends to open in Jadar Basin in Western Serbia. Hundreds of citizens protested on October 27 in Brezjak settlement, in front of the branch office of the second largest mining corporation in the world, which plans to exploit world-class deposits of lithium ore – and, according to experts and activists, destroy everything around it. Their concern is heightened by the company’s unwillingness to inform the public about the project and negotiate its details with the local community, as well as by the examples of Rio Tinto’s destructive actions across the planet.
Six years ago a wave of demonstrations broke out throughout Spain. What started as a protest against the widespread political corruption and the lack of “real” democracy soon spread to millions of people challenging the current political and economic order. This movement will have later come to be known as the Indignados, or the 15M movement. The main three slogans of the May 15, that were supported by almost 80% of the population, were: “You call it a democracy – but it’s not”, “It’s not a crisis, it’s a scam”, “We are not merchandise in the hands of the politicians and the bankers.”
Rory Archer is a historian who researches social history of the Balkans in the 20th century and currently works at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College London. Archer explores the ways in which “ordinary” Yugoslavs interpreted economic, political and cultural tensions in late socialism and reacted to them. Since 2014 he has worked with Goran Musić on a research project titled Between Class and Nation: Working class communities in the eighties in Serbia and Montenegro. In 2015 he completed his PhD in Graz with a dissertation on the (in)affordability of housing among the working class in Belgrade, and in 2016 co-authored the book Social Inequalities and Disaffection in Yugoslavian Socialism.