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Local swimming pool belongs to the people!


ACTION · Urban Guerilla in Prokuplje


Residents organize themselves to reclaim their local swimming pool.

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The local authorities want to sell the public swimming pool of Prokuplje, a small Serbian town of around 30 thousand inhabitants, to a private individual. This is not an isolated incident. For years now, The city administration of Prokuplja has been making bad decisions without consulting the citizens, selling lots of public property in obscure and illegal arrangements. Take for example the sudden closing of a sports and tourism company two years ago, which left many out of jobs and unable to sustain their livelihoods. Not to mention the fact that all organized sports activities had to be shut down, severely limiting physical activities for the youth and other inhabitants. Children in Prokuplje haven’t been able to swim for three years in a row. Selling the public swimming pool is yet another slap in the face of the citizens of Prokuplje.


Mismanagement by local authorities has been a disaster in the Serbian town. The municipality argues that it costs too much to renovate the pool, preferring to sell it instead. Their argument is hardly convincing, since only one company seems to take interest in buying the pool, raising suspicions that something shady is going on behind the scenes. Also, the majority of the public funds allocated to the public pool at the moment disappears in the pockets of consultancy firms that advise the municipality to sell it. If they would just renovate the pool, it wouldn’t cost so much.

Urbana Gerila (Urban Guerilla) is fed up. They are a group of anonymous activists pointing out the mismanagement of the city council through sticker actions, social media campaigns and sending letters to the local authorities. They want to let the municipality know that the inhabitants are well aware of what is going on and that they won’t stand for the degradation of their town. In the past, their actions have been successful in bringing attention to local issues. Now, they have set their sites on the swimming pool, which has been deserted for several years now. Grasses and weeds are growing through the cracks of the empty outside pool.

Their campaign already bore some fruit. The decision to sell the pool to the only bidder has been postponed indefinitely. Urbana Gerila plans to do more actions to persuade the municipality to renovate the swimming pool from public resources. That way, everyone can enjoy the swimming pool.

Het Actiefonds is proud to support Urbana Gerila!