July 8, 2020, Belgrade, Serbia: Protests against the Government’s COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

After Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić announced lockdown measures to be put into place for his country to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of protesters marched on the parliament building, protests which became violent later that night and the next day. As the protests continued into their second day, Vučić backtracked and announced that he was softening the lockdown measure planned for the following weekend.

Several protesters were injured as clashes erupted between groups of protesters and the police, the latter supported by armored vehicles and officers on horseback who pushed demonstrators back and kept the crowds from re-entering the plaza in front of the parliament building. Clashes in Novi Sad, a town in northern Serbia, were also reported.

Serbia had an early and one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe; and then went overnight to a nearly complete reopening which was all hailed as a great success just in time for Vučić to be re-elected. He was widely accused of playing politics with COVID-19 to engineer his re-election. The example of Serbia and its handling of COVID-19 serves as a warning to those who would play politics with this virus, that such a policy can come back and bite the politicians in question. The example of Serbia also serves as a cautionary tale as to the risks involved when politicians attempt to institute hard lockdowns against the wishes of broad sectors - if not an absolute majority - of civil society.

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Protest2020! 2020 is the year of protest, ushered in on the heels of 2019, which saw numerous social explosions in the last few months of the year. Climate change, in particular, is feeding a well-founded sense of fear, particularly among the vulnerable and their activist allies whose lives and futures are highly precarious. In fact, all of us are vulnerable, and awareness is growing of the way in which we are all in this together. While in most places, most notably Hong Kong, protests have turned violent and thousands of arrests have been made, there have not yet been large numbers of fatalities, although dozens of protestors have died and continue to die in South America. In other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East – home to warfare for decades – particularly in Iraq and its neighbor and former enemy Iran, hundreds of protestors have been killed with live, military-grade ammunition. After 5 years of civil war in Syria, protest has given way to military action hand in hand with death and destruction. The numbers of people murdered by the governments of the region are not fully known, and especially hard to verify in Iran, where a brutal religious dictatorship maintains a thick cloak of secrecy over such information.

Iran and its allies in Iraq are now moving precipitously towards war with the United States, in part because the mentally ill president of that country needs to wage war in order to win reelection. Large parts of the world that are the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change are already suffering; places like the Philippines are experiencing devastating and lethal storms, one after the other, breaking all historical records.

Much of Australia has been on fire for months as we ring in 2020, accompanied by the hottest temperatures on record. This is changing Australian lives, politics, and the consciousness of the ordinary Australian who is now getting involved in the struggle to save their island, and coming to a better understanding of how their survival is linked to the rest of the world. In Japan, forces are growing in protest to push the Japanese government towards support for the Hong Kong protestors, confronting mainland China; also supporting the struggles of minority groups in mainland China, reporting on government abuses, etc. The US government has expressed its full support for the Hong Kong protestors, further escalating tensions between these two superpowers along with ally Russia. These tensions were already at their most aggravated moments as a result of the US/China trade war.

To make matters still worse, especially for SE Asia, the North Korean dictator is threatening the use of a new strategic weapon. Our world on the arrival first of 2020 and now 2021, is a tinderbox as never before. The 2020 presidential elections in the USA will be the single greatest determining factor for the survival of the planet. Given that the current president preaches a doctrine of conflict and confrontation rather than collaboration, and denies that climate change is even exacerbated by man-made actions, if he is re-elected, there will be little hope for our world in the short term.

Here at Protest2020.com, we invite you to protest, share your views, and help us all to march towards a more sustainable and peaceful world that will not totally implode, at least within our lifetimes, leaving hope for life to continue in more intelligent forms, better appreciating our planetary home. We ultimately seek harmony with nature so as to preserve life as we know it, as we dream it could be. Everything depends on how hard we are willing to fight to make it so.


Let’s get arrested, the more the merrier!