STA, 28 November 2020 - After a break of a few weeks, the Friday anti-government protesters hit the streets of Ljubljana again today, this time in cars and not on bicycles as usual, as public gatherings are banned under a government anti-coronavirus decree.
The protesters were circling the streets around the National Assembly building, and the police have beefed up security in the area, the public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported.
The drivers were honking horns and one of the cars had a bicycle affixed on its roof rack and a slogan saying "Attention. A falling government!". Some of the protesters were IDed by the police.
"Z dveh koles na štiri" - petkov protivladni #protest se je zaradi ukrepov med epidemijo s koles preselil v avtomobile. Protestniki vozijo po ljubljanskih ulicah in svoje nezadovoljstvo tokrat izražajo z glasnim hupanjem. @rtvslo @InfoTVSLO pic.twitter.com/1XZdmlQ0Zw— Tina Hacler (@TinaHacler) November 27, 2020
Na današnjem protestu zoper vlado Janeza Janše se je ponovno pokazalo, da ukrepi proti protestnikom nimajo nikakršne...Posted by Protestna ljudska skupščina on Friday, 27 November 2020
In an announcement of the protest, the movement said it would take a drive around Ljubljana to "massively, loudly and visibly express criticism of the current authorities".
The protesters believe that the government has again proven that it "takes advantage of the epidemic for dictatorship, repression and violation of fundamental human rights, such as the right to expression".
Among other things, they are bothered by the latest anti-coronavirus legislation under which fines for organisers of gatherings in public places for the duration of the ban were raised to between EUR 1,200 and EUR 12,000.
The protesters argue that these are disproportionately high penalties which come as a result of distinctly political, and not expertise-based decisions.
They said they would not let the government silence the people and the increasingly loud and bitter criticism against it, and would not let the government put the blame and responsibility for the epidemiological situation on anyone but itself.
"The Friday protests never endangered people's health and there is no evidence whatsoever that infections were spread at the protests," the protesters said, adding that this was virtually impossible among cyclists who wear face masks.
They also announced that protests in cars would be held every Friday from now on until the ban was revoked.