Defending Pedestrians


This February, 23 activists from Green Action and the Right to the City initiative in Zagreb, Croatia were arrested. The raid took place just hours after around 4000 people had turned out to protest against turning part of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage.

The operation aimed to remove the accommodation container which the groups had put oan a pedestrian zone as an info-point in order to block the beginning of works on the ramp, which is still under legal dispute. Activists inside of the container and on the roof peacefully resisted removal by locking themselves together using arm tubes, and were arrested after the fire brigade cut the tubes. At the same time, 50 activists blocked the road exits for the lorry carrying the container but were also removed by the police.

The police also destroyed a five-metre high trojan horse which had been brought to the site as a symbol of private interests and corruption masquerading as urban redevelopment.

“Using riot police against a small group of peaceful protesters is a disturbing over-reaction to the civil offence of failing to obtain permission before temporarily placing the container in the pedestrian zone”, said Teodor Celakoski from Right to the City. “The whole project is based on dubious legal manoeuvres such as the city authorities’ decision to declare it a project of public interest when it is clearly nothing of the kind”

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