We Want “Dušan Jovanović“ Park

A 11 – The Initiative for Economic and Social Rights appealed to the councillors in the Belgrade City Assembly to support the Initiative for Renaming “Mitićeva Rupa” Park to “Dušan Jovanović” Park. The Initiative had been submitted on the anniversary of the murder of Dušan Jovanović, on 18 October 2022, by his family and A 11 Initiative, and until the date of filing of the Appeal, it was ignored by the relevant city authority – the Commission for Monuments and Squares and Street Names.

The main motive for addressing each councillor group individually was the total lack of reaction to the submitted Initiative. We believe that there are no legal or political obstacles for renaming the park. The park is public property and the decision on its name is under the full competence of the City of Belgrade. In addition, Dušan Jovanović lost his life because of his nationality, as a victim of the most destructive neo-Nazi ideology goals, and it is important that the park in the street where he had lived and next to the school he had attended bears his name for the symbolic reasons, as a warning and a lesson that the fight against racially motivated crimes and their causes must continue.

The Initiative has been supported by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and by Dušan’s elementary school classmates. However, a consent to changing the name of the park has also been given indirectly by all our fellow citizens, since the sign with the informal name of the park “Dušan Jovanović Park”, which was placed on the anniversary of his murder, is still standing even though it is not permanently fixed. This is perhaps the best indicator of the general public opinion that the park should be named after the murdered boy, and the councillors as representatives of those same citizens and the City Assembly should certainly take this unambiguous position into account when deciding on the Initiative.

Ignoring the Initiative would render the citizens’ participation in naming squares, streets and parks meaningless. We hereby appeal once again to all the competent authorities to understand the significance that renaming the park would have in this specific case, and to consider this Initiative in the shortest possible time in both the procedural and the material sense.