Ljubljana – A large group of people gathered in the centre of Ljubljana on Tuesday for a rally in support of Ukraine organised by over thirty civil society organisations. Speakers called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and the start of talks for a diplomatic solution. They also denounced increasing militarisation.
A joint statement read by the organisers condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, designating the invasion as an unlawful and outrageous intervention in another country’s territory. It highlighted the mounting civilian victims, including children, and the displacement of families.
At the same time, they condemned threats about the use of nuclear weapons, demanded an immediate ceasefire and the start of negotiations and said it was inadmissible to respond with increasing militarisation.
“Dealers in arms and death must not have the final say. We are here today because we demand consistent respect of human rights, international and humanitarian law, and the untouchability of borders and territorial integrity.”
Participants brandished banners stating that weapons are not the solution and that attacks on civilians are war crimes. They expressed solidarity with Ukrainians as well as with Russians who oppose the war.
The rally featured prominent individuals including former president Milan Kučan, LMŠ leader Marjan Šarec and members of the Social Democrats (SD) and the Left.
After the speeches, the protesters marched around the city centre. The news portal N1 reports that they wanted to get to the Russian embassy, which has been heavily guarded for days by the police, but were stopped by the officers there.
While the protesters were walking around the city, police kept warning them that the rally has not been officially registered.
The organisers said in a statement prior to the rally that some had been visited by police officers yesterday and today, which they said constituted an inadmissible encroachment on the right to peaceful assembly.
The Ljubljana Police Directorate told the STA that officers were gathering useful information to provide proper security at what was to be an unlicensed protest.
Another rally is scheduled to be held tomorrow afternoon. It is organised by the Ljubljana-Kyiv Cultural Association and has been registered with the authorities.