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.”
Members of United Action Roof Over One’s Head and Efektiva groups, joined by their sympathisers, held a protest gathering in front of Hotel M in Belgrade, where an assembly of the Chamber of Enforcement Officers was taking place.
Activists belonging to the United Action Roof Over One’s Head and United Action Roof Over One’s Head Novi Sad groups prevented three evictions in one day.
The Serbian state undertook action to evict refugees from their homes in Ustanička street and the Bristol hotel in Belgrade. In the first case the results of an open call for residency in the apartments used by the Commissariat for Refugees are used as justification for the evictions. In the second it is the whim of private investors.
Rory Archer: Leftists should not shy away from assessing the defective aspects of the socialist Yugoslav project
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.
Evictions are an increasing threat to indebted citizens of Serbia. Thus they are marking the final phase of the transformation strategy which led to the privatization of Serbian housing fund.