For the last 4 weeks, we have all made it clear that we will not be silenced and we will not give up nature or democracy. Here is a summary of our recent actions, from 29.05.20-18.06.20.
Narave Ne Damo Petition
Friday May 29th 2020
After 11,000 emails in each MPs inbox, after hundreds of nature supporters stood in the rain in front of the parliament, after people with potted flowers peacefully walked around Parliament, after thousands and thousands of people ride bicycles around Slovenian Parliament every week, the collective pressure we put on the MPs had an effect and caused them to postpone the vote for the 3rd destructive anti-corona package.
And Friday May 29th we handed in the Narave Ne Damo petition to the National Assembly, with over 35,000 signatures of people demanding that MPs of the Slovenian Government vote against the third anti-corona law which would abolish almost all nature and environmental safeguards in the construction of large facilities.
During the bicycle protest that same evening, a number of organizations and individuals including Youth for Climate Action created 200m of banners, telling why nature is important and why we won’t give it up!
We wonder how it felt to be a Slovenian MP sitting thought another all-night parliamentary session where outside thousands of citizens could be heard chanting, NARAVE NE DAMO…
In the early hours of the morning, the MPs voted and approved this third anti-corona package. This means from now until the end of 2021:
– Investors can build without a valid building permit
– Competent public institutions are disabled when it comes to decisions and review of infrastructure projects
– Organizations or individuals (who can point out discrepancies) are removed from the proceedings, meaning the decisions of the Ministry of the Environment cannot be flagged and taken to court.
The names of those MPs who voted for concrete and for the destruction of nature and those who voted for nature and for common sense, can be seen here.
Peaceful Protests in front of Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and the interesting Police response
Tuesday May 26th, 2020
Since decision makers were not willing to listen to us shouting, we decided to use silence to get our message across.
With the protest, we wanted to show that they will have to step over people if they want to continue stealing nature.
From 8am on Tuesday May 26th, each employee entering the Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning had to step over protesters – step over the people of Slovenia – in order to destroy nature. People walking in and out both of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning buildings – as well as people walking by on the street – made comments of encouragement, approval and support.
The protesters remained seated in front of the buildings until police were called and physically removed 4 protesters who all received charges as the local police station. Supporters rallied together to pay the fines using crowdfunding, and all major Slovenian media covered the story, further spreading the word about the issues of the protection of nature and the disregard of the Ministry of the Environment to listen to the voice and actions of the people.
We did not do wrong. We have broken the law, but if necessary, we will do what is right, again.
Vizjak is getting angry, so our efforts and actions must be working
Wednesday June 6th 2020
In response to the media attention and positive momentum being created by those who value, respect and protect nature, the Minister for the Environment Andrej Vizjak’s anger boiled over into a Delo newspaper article (10.06.20) where he published personal financial information about Balkan River Defence’s NGO Leeway Collective as well as financial information and direct accusations at BRD’s founder Rok Rozman. It is clear his attacks are aimed to change the public opinion of Balkan River Defence’s work, but in fact, if you look at the numbers closely it really only strengthens our position as an organization working in the public interest.
If you have the patience, read Vizjak’s attacks here and then for the real details, read Rok’s response here. Balkan River Defence has nothing to hide, and it’s interesting to see that Vizjak thinks attacking an small nature conservation NGO based on financial information is an acceptable action of a national Minister.
Here is the currency nature lovers deal with:https://www.facebook.com/100010640806264/videos/1116335128731170/
The Ministry of the Environment is hiring! No experience necessary!
Wednesday June 10th – Friday June 26th
Mr. Vizjak is looking for a secretary general! And anyone can apply!
The job of Secretary General is well paid, and given that the Minister is an electric engineer, no special competences are required for these positions too! There 6 positions in total which are described here, with links to apply: https://balkanriverdefence.org/news/minister-za-okolje-in-prostor-isce-generalnega-sekretarja/
It would be nice to show that we care about nature and the environment by applying for these jobs and showing our constructiveness and willingness to participate in co-decision under the new conditions, especially now since the majority of NGOs acting in the public interest have been disabled.
All information on how to apply for tenders and where to send the application can be found at the link below: https://www.gov.si/zbirke/delovna-mesta/?status=ongoing&title=&org=31&date=&nrOfItems=20
Upcoming Event Across Slovenia!
To the Sava for Nature (Za naravo ob Savo)
Saturday June 27th 2020
This whole movement is bigger than just a fight for nature.
So, we are joining forces and getting everyone out of the city and into Slovenian nature!
We are acting…
For the health of us all.
For our homes.
For social justice.
For a more equal society.
On Saturday June 27th will connect and walk, paddle, cycle and swim the entire course of the Sava River in Slovenia (258 km); from the springs in Bohinj and Podkoren, all the way to the point where the Sava continues its journey through Croatia.
You can join us on 25 different sections where we will draw attention to harmful encroachments on nature, enjoy the beautiful river-side surroundings, and examine the many species and environments threatened by destruction. We will organize clean-up actions, bird watch, and get together and show decision makers how many of us there are who respect, enjoy and will fight for nature!
Although the corona virus has seemingly separated us as a community, more than 36,000 of us have connected to nature in recent months. Our purpose is clear: to protect nature from the harmful interference of the authorities and capital, and to build solidarity, tolerance and a green society.
The government did not hear us. It has indifferently passed a law that removes the voice of the public from all proceedings all those who could oppose the interests of the government and capital in environmentally controversial projects. So this event is our reaction and sends clear message; we are united and we will continue to protect nature.
HOW CAN YOU JOIN US?
– ORGANIZE | You can become the coordinator of one of the sections.
– JOIN US | On the interactive map you choose a section of the route and join us there.
– SPREAD THE WORD | Share and follow all the info about the action from our Facebook Event
– SIGN AND SHARE | The petition www.naravenedamo.si
If you missed any of our recent videos, check them out here:
Stunning Slovenia, and the petition to keep it that way | 25.05.20
Walk with Flowers around Parliament | 25.05.20
Birds, Song and Nature | 22.05. 20