STA, 15 September 2021 - Police used a water canon and tear gas to disperse a group of several thousand protesters rallying against the Covid pass mandate in front of Parliament House on Wednesday.
The protest started out peacefully in the afternoon, but towards nightfall the crowd started to push against Parliament House and several signal torches were thrown at the building.
Police in riot gear reacted by firing gas canisters at the crowd, which soon dispersed into the surrounding streets.
Smaller groups returned to the square and started throwing more torches, prompting the police to deploy a water cannon. Stones were also thrown at police.
The protest was organised by several groups opposing vaccination, masks and the Covid pass mandate that entered into force today.
Pred parlamentom je vroče! pic.twitter.com/G94xgXWoQA— Radio Študent (@radiostudent) September 15, 2021
Razbita flaša. pic.twitter.com/UywetezwpF— Radio Študent (@radiostudent) September 15, 2021
The groups are active mostly on Facebook and their spokespersons today decried the latest restrictions and called on the government and MPs to resign.
Ljubljana police estimate the crowd numbered 8,000 people and described the rally as "a mass violation of public law and order".
It said officers were pelleted with torches, granite pavers and other objects.
The police was still in the city around 10pm to disperse individual groups that scattered around the centre.
Police Commissioner Anton Olaj called for tolerance and said on Twitter that violence at protests was "inadmissible".
Interior Minister Aleš Hojs pointed the finger at leftist parties, saying their "offshoots" had organised the rally.
He said on Twitter that this was how "left fascism was implemented in practice".