The Slovenian capital Ljubljana Prešern Square and the surrounding streets were crowded on Friday afternoon with several thousand citizens making claims against the government of Prime Minister Janez Janša and demanding early elections. Organizers unofficially estimated that about 40,000 protesters gathered in protest.
Many of them carried banners with the inscription “Predčasne volitve zdaj” or “Early elections now”. Some of them had the big Janez Janša doll with the text “Slovenian Patient”. All the speakers in Prešern Square called for the resignation of the government because “it is not the government of the people”.
After gathering in Prešern Square, the crowd went to Republic Square where the main part of the event took place. The increased police presence is evident in the streets and the Parliament building, including about half of Republic Square, was guarded by a fence. More police officers than usual seen in front of the government building.
“Death to fascism! Death Janism! “was the most repeated motto during the protest march through Ljubljana. One of the organizers, Jaša Jenull, called on the police to close several streets to allow a large number of citizens to gather.
The news that the ruling coalition failed to remove Parliament Speaker Igor Zorcic from office was greeted with particular excitement. “They have no majority!” shouted Jenull supported by the protesters.
“We are here because it must be said that we can no longer assert workers’ rights after the negotiating tables,” said Lidija Jerkič. “The authority does not listen when we draw attention to the dialogue. Authority hears and sees only itself. She also warned that “sooner or later” there will be another government, but the damage it will do – will remain, and will be paid by all citizens.
Protests in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana began more than a year ago with “Friday rallies” of cyclists traveling around the city demanding changes. They are supported by trade unions, academics, opposition parties and more and more citizens. In some cases, meetings were violently interrupted by police. The latest case of unrest was seven days ago when Palestinian supporters joined the protest, demonstrating against a government decision to wave the Israeli flag in the building.