Slovenia’s Cycle Protests Enter 7th Week Despite Bad Weather

By , 06 Jun 2020, 10:26 AM Politics
Slovenia’s Cycle Protests Enter 7th Week Despite Bad Weather Photo: Matija Nose

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STA, 5 June 2020 - Despite the stormy weather, anti-government protesters on bicycles hit the streets of several Slovenian towns for the seventh consecutive Friday, the biggest crowd rallying in the capital Ljubljana.

Even before the protest, a dozen gathered in rain in the square in front of the parliament building in Ljubljana to draw slogans on the ground with chalks.

This has become a new form of protest after a group of protesters were subject to a misdemeanour procedure a week ago for drawing a slogan on the pavement and face fines.

In a public letter signed by more than 100 individuals, the Forum for Democracy condemned what they described as "growing police repression" targeting "citizens and their constitutional right to a freedom of expression".

Despite the police taking steps against individuals drawing slogans last week, the streets in the centre of Ljubljana were today covered in new chalk slogans such as Stop corruption, Nature is not yours, and calls for PM Janez Janša and his government to resign.

Protest organisers called on participants to draw on the streets and pavements exclusively rather than on the walls or facades of buildings.

As every Friday, the protesters doing rounds of the streets surrounding the parliament and government buildings shouted slogans and clanked their bicycle rings, played music or made some other noise.

Coinciding with World Environment Day, the protest also heard loud opposition to the efforts to exclude environmental organisations from investment approval procedures.

The protests are being organised by several groups and initiatives, who have been inviting people to join in the cycling via social networks.

At an assembly on Wednesday, several of the initiatives decided that the demonstrations next Friday will be held on foot rather than on bicycles to allow everyone to take part in a protest against authoritarian politics.

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