Friday protesters announce new mass anti-govt protest for 12 November

Ljubljana – Bicycle protesters, who have been protesting against the government every Friday for 80 weeks, gathered for another rally in Ljubljana this evening, this time to address the issues of green infrastructure, green mobility, public transport and housing. The protest’s organisers announced another “mass, pan-Slovenian protest” for 12 November.

Some government representatives “attempted to divert attention” from alleged corruptive practices and inability to do their work by focusing on “highly suspicious mail” in the past week, said the organisers, adding that “extremely questionable ‘threatening letters’, which according to the mail security protocol could not have reached the addressees in the first place, will not prevent people from being justifiably critical of the government’s work and expressing their views”.

The protesters marched from Republic Square, where they gathered first, to a post office to send letters to Prime Minister Janez Janša and Defence Minister Matej Tonin, noting that the mail did not include death threats but a firm request backed by arguments for resignation and a snap election.

This was in reference to the developments of the past week as a number of coalition officials, including Janša and Tonin, reported receiving death threats via mail, some of them also received a live ammunition round. A special police task force has been tasked with the investigation of these incidents.

The organisers said in a press release that they would send a letter to the police as well, as they believe that there was police repression present at last Friday’s protest and the right to protest was restricted. According to the organisers, a number of Friday protesters were ID’d because they were standing in the street where the Culture Ministry building is located.

Today, the protesters called for setting up green infrastructure, building 30,000 non-profit flats by 2030, amending Article 78 of the Constitution to enshrine decent living conditions for all citizens, banning “extortionate rents”, and providing more bike lanes.

The organisers announced that on 12 November there will be another “mass, pan-Slovenian protest” to unveil the protesters’ guidelines for reforming politics and society and their key demands.

The largest Friday protest to date took place in late May when what is likely to have been tens of thousands of people protested against the government’s actions. The rally, dubbed Pan-Slovenian Uprising for Early Election, included various groups and movements and was supported by trade unions and part of the opposition.