Maribor – For the third Saturday in a row, a crowd of more than 100 gathered in Maribor today to protest over Covid-19 vaccination and mandatory mask-wearing. Many of those addressing the rally doubted the existence of the novel coronavirus, claiming “it is all a conspiracy”.
The rally, which had not been registered with the authorities, was attended by some 130 people, said the police.
The protesters started gathering in the afternoon as police presence was boosted. Police officers issued a megaphone warning a few times, urging the protesters to observe prevention measures, but the crowd used whistling to show disapproval.
A few of the participants of the rally carried the Slovenian flag or posters. Those addressing the crowd voiced doubt over the virus’s existence, saying vaccination was deadly and demanding freedom of speech. “All of this is an experiment and we’re the lab rats,” said one of them.
The Maribor Police Department said the rally was peaceful and individual violations of the communicable diseases act and the protection of public order act were detected as a number of people were ID’d.
Meanwhile, Slovenia reported 766 new coronavirus infections on Friday as another six Covid-19 patients died.
Gatherings of up to 100 people indoor or outdoor will be permitted from Monday under a government decree adopted on Friday in response to a Constitutional Court decision staying the blanket ban on public assembly.
Gatherings must be registered with the authorities under the law, but special permission from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) would not be necessary. What will be required is compliance with prevention measures though.