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SERBIA - Huge Protests against Lithium Mining

In rejection of a new law and against the harmful lithium mining, tens of thousands of people have been protesting for about two weeks in various parts of the country. It is one of the largest mass movements of the last few years that Serbia is experiencing. The Serbian government has been partially brought to its knees by the protest, and for the time being the new law and agreement are on shaky ground.

As early as 2004, a large deposit of the precious metal lithium was found in Serbia. This metal is indispensable for the construction of accumulators and batteries and is also becoming more and more important for the automotive industry - especially for the imperialists of the EU!

The imperialist contradiction is getting worse and the EU imperialists need this mine to be more independent from China. Germany in particular, as one of the largest car manufacturers, is interested in mining lithium, as former Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her last state visit to Serbia: "If the whole world is interested, we are also interested, that is clear," adding, "We all know what lithium means for the development of battery cells and future mobility. In this respect, this is also the topic of our talks. Serbia has a high value here."

Among the interested parties is the British-Australian mining group RIO TINTO. They plan to invest $2.4 billion in the planned Jadar project in Serbia to produce up to 58,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate, among other things, probably starting in 2026.

In addition, in recent months the Serbian government has approved an amendment to the mining law that gives the company a free hand to mine the lithium. Criticism from the masses is that the law allows the "sale" of the state to foreign companies like Rio Tinto. But it is against this imperialist project that the masses in Serbia are taking to the streets to fight against the mining of lithium in their region.

Thousands of people have already taken the streets, and on December 4 alone, over 50,000 took to the streets in Belgrade, blocking the highway. Protests took place in more than 50 cities in Serbia, protesting against the referendum law, the expropriation law and Rio Tinto's plans to build a lithium mine near Loznica. The following weekend, there were again protests, demonstrations and blockades.

The rulers, above all the faction representing the loyal puppets of the EU imperialists, also promptly sent provocateurs and thugs against the protesting people. In Novi Sad, a group of about 30 young men attacked the demonstrators. However, the demonstrators banded together, fought back and chased away these anti-people elements. Attacks like these were also reported from Belgrade, Stara Pazova, Vranje and Valjevo.

Rio Tinto's project is one of the most hated projects in Serbia.It means "expropriation", deepening of national oppression and also enormous environmental pollution!


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