The residents of Slavonski Brod take their pollution protest directly to the capital.
On Saturday, the 14th of April, 2018, three bus loads of protresters arrived in Zagreb, along with twenty or so vehicles.
As was promised, residents of the still burdened Slavonski Brod have brought their protest to Croatia’s capital.
Upon arrival, Ivana Somolčić Jerković of ”Brodske mame” ([Slavonski] Brod mothers) gave a speech while protesters yelled for parliament members to step out, chanting ”Izađite van!” (Come outside!).
Having announced their arrival, they relentlessly yelled and chanted, demanding one of the parliament members to step out to listen to their list of demands. Regardless of it being the weekend, with the recent water crisis leaving residents furious, announcing civil disobedience if progress is soon not made, protesters were certain government officials would not add to tensions by not showing up.
After an hour, it was announced that the prime minister was prepared to see four representatives, armed with a list of their demands, they entered the building and were met by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the Minister of Environmental Resources and Energy, Mr. Tomislav Čorić and the Minister of Health, Dr. Milan Kujundžić, they were prestended with a book of local childrens letters and drawings requesting clean air, as well as a list of ten demands, which included:
1. The implementation of the the constitutions outlined in Article 70, which outlines the fundamental right to access clean air and water.
2. A study on the effects of air pollution on health in Slavonski Brod.
3. Open and transparent communication with residents receiving a monthly report
4. An outlined plan of when and how modernisation and gasification of the oil refinery will occur.
5. The regular monitoring of water
6. A plan by June on how the government will finance treatments, and equip facilities to help with the treatment of illnesses that can be linked to air pollution
7. A detailed strategy on how the government intends to motivate young people and families to remain in Slavonski Brod
8. Grant the city special state care status until the pollution issues are resolved
9. Use Janaf profits to purchase an apartment in Zagreb where families of children receiving treatment in Zagreb can be accommodated
10. Detailed documentation on how the government will defend itself in the lawsuit against the citizens of Slavonski Brod
As we have seen in the last nine years, promises were made again, the prime minister will have a detailed response sent on Tuesday, in writing. The difference being that tensions have never been so high, and the ”Brodske mame” initiative insist that they won’t back down.