Friday's Ljubljana Protest Calls on Individuals to Resist Govt

By , 12 Sep 2020, 11:07 AM Politics
Note: MAO is short for Mladinska Aktivistična Organizacija, a youth activist organisation, and not Mao Zedong Note: MAO is short for Mladinska Aktivistična Organizacija, a youth activist organisation, and not Mao Zedong Photo: Jasa Jenull

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STA, 11 September 2020 - The 21st consecutive Friday protests in the centre of Ljubljana placed the people's power in the focus as the organisers evoked the provision in the Slovenian Constitution that says power is vested in the people. They urged both individuals and the civil society to stand up to the government.

Gathering in Prešeren Square - there were an estimated 3,000 protesters according to the Ljubljana police - the protesters rose up torches and banners urging the people to defend democracy on the street.

From there, they bicycled or walked to the square in front of Parliament House, where they displayed a flag with the symbol of the Friday protests and lit a "flame of protest" as a sign of resistance.

Speakers were critical not just of the government but also of opposition parties, accusing them of "caving in to Janšism" because they are afraid of fresh elections.

One speaker highlighted "abhorrent processes" going on, including weapons purchases, changes to media law, inadequate care for the elderly, and contradictory measures to combat coronavirus.

They publicly asked the opposition what they will do to make sure the Janez Janša government is brought down. "If your answer is no, we will remember that," said Jaša Jenull, one of the leaders of the protests.

"Z nami so bili pripadniki ljudstva, ki simbolizirajo pravico. Pravico, ki ima zavezane oči in v rokah drži bakljo......

Posted by Jasa Jenull on Friday, 11 September 2020

Some of the speeches evoked domestic violence and reports that Poland is supposedly inviting Slovenia to join it in withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, a European treaty aimed at preventing violence against women.

Vesna Leskošek of the Faculty for Social Work said that a policy based on domination erodes solidarity and justice, not just in the public sphere but also in private, where violence is becoming an acceptable method of subordination.

Smaller protests were also held in Maribor, Velenje, Celje and Nova Gorica.

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