Sunday, 23 December 2012

Thousands protest in Zenica over air pollution

Protesters against local air pollution march down Zenica's
central strip, Dec 22, 2012.
(Source: Mia Dujmovic)
Around 3,000 people walked through Zenica on Saturday in protest against ongoing air pollution across the city.

The demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction over the current state of the environment by marching towards the local offices of steel company ArcelorMittal - who they blame as the main culprits of the pollution.

Wearing gas masks and carrying banners such as, 'We survived the war, and we will survive you,' the crowd also ventured past the local city council building, where they pasted a list of demands before continuing on to their main destination.

The protesters were met with just a doorman once they finally reached the steel company's offices.

Speaking to the crowd prior to the march, one of the organisers of the protest, Samir Lemes, told the attendees that the demonstration was merely the beginning.

"Let all those who are guilty for this to know that this won't end with these protests," said Lemes, Vice-President of the Zenica Eco-Forum. "The culprits for this bad situation must answer to the courts.

"We showed that there is more of us and there will be even more as this goes around the world. The French are revolting against Mittal, as is Zenica.

"We showed who we are and what we are, and if nothing improves after this, I suggest to (ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal) to open his wallet and prepare lawyers - as we will see each other on court."

Some key demands by the protesters include: asking the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism to provide a mobile measurement station; as well as the regular publication of ArcelorMittal Zenica's emission reports.

The demonstration was peaceful and reportedly passed without incident.

* More photos available from ZenicaBlog and Klix. *

Video (courtesy of ZenicaBlog):

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