The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana Rally Attracts Thousands


Gathering in the afternoon at the central Congress Square, the protesters weaved their way through the centre of the capital before reaching the square in front of parliament just after 6 PM.

The square had been cordoned off from Parliament House and a strong police presence put in place to create a buffer between the protesters and the building.

No major incidents have been reported, although police were forced to act to prevent several individuals from trying to get over a fence that has been placed around parliament.

Two persons were arrested for having folding knives on them, according to a tweet by the police force.

The Second All-Slovenian Uprising, as the event was called by the anonymous Facebook organisers, is part of a wave of protests which began in Maribor in late November against political corruption and cronyism as well as the general situation in the country.

The demonstration were heavily influenced by a damning corruption report by the country's anti-graft body, which singled out the leaders of the two biggest parliamentary parties, PM Janez Janša and Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, for failing to properly account for their assets in recent years.

Many of the protesters called for the pair to step down, with numerous banners containing versions of the "Gotovi ste" (You're Finished) phrase synonymous with the protest movement and images of Janša and Janković.

Banners also said that the protesters were not discriminating against any politicians, calling for all corrupt politicians to leave and return the country to the people.

Some of the protesters also donned zombie costumes in a reference to critical remarks made by the ruling coalition SDS on its Twitter account during the last protest in Ljubljana on 21 December, when it compared protesters to zombies.

Protesters also responded to news that police have begun misdemeanour proceedings against the Party for Sustainable Development and a local journalist from Novo mesto for allegedly organising the previous demonstration, with one of the banners saying "We Are All Organisers".

The protest was accompanied by a cultural event featuring various performances and was reportedly joined by several well-known local acts.

Several supporters of the event also spoke up. Igor Koršič of the Coordination Committee for Culture (KOKS) urged the politicians to "get their hands away from referendum, universities, schools, banks, police, prosecution, courts, parliament and the Square of the Republic".

The head of the Slovenian Writers Association (DSP), Veno Taufer, pointed out that there was no need for a new constitution or a second republic.

Mateja Kožuh Novak of the Association of Pensioner Societies (ZDUS) called on parliamentary Speaker Gregor Virant to "clean up the parliament". She also believes that those who unlawfully benefited from privatisation should be held accountable and pay for the damage they have caused.

Most of the people have already left the Square of the Republic and only about 2,000 people is reportedly still persisting there.

Protests were also held today in Koper, Ptuj, Kranj and Nova Gorica, where between 50 and 200 people gathered, most in Koper.


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