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Croatia: Police Breaks Up Peaceful Protest in Zagreb

By Filip Stojanovski

Croatian police earlier today broke up a peaceful protest against usurpation of public space in the center of Zagreb and arrested at least 11 civic activists. The Twitter feed with the street name #Varsavska is the main source of immediate info and photos.

Civic associations Right to the City and Green Action have been blocking the Varšavska [= Warsaw] street for months in order to prevent the demolition of this public space — a pedestrian zone — in order to build a ramp for the underground garage of a private ‘lifestyle centre' [CRO] at the very center of Zagreb. Their work has been supported by thousands of citizens who would show up at numerous protests, and cultural events organized in the reclaimed public space.

This morning the Police arrested the core group of protesters to make way for construction crews to cut down the “undesirable” trees in this pedestrian zone. Protest participant tmedak tweeted [CRO]:

News from the police van: 11 persons arrested for passive resistance #Varsavska

He also posted a photo of the police moments before they started the “enforcement.” Other participants and witnesses used phone calls, Twitter, Twitpic and yFrog to share immediate info and photos from the event.

Croatian police deals with the protesters. Photo by Mario Mikic.

Twitter user topssy documented the event through photos:

Infopunkt published a video clip from the scene on YouTube

Twitter user krunovidic addressed [CRO] the selective use of force in this case:

I expect the police to do the same to the peasants when they block the roads next time, and use the same methods as with the crew of #Varsavska

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