STA, 4 December 2021 - A group of protesters against government Covid-19 measures and the new bill on additional measures for curbing the epidemic and its consequences gathered in the Ljubljana city centre on Saturday. There were some clashes with police and a few protesters have been detained.
The protesters gathered unannounced in Ljubljana's Republic square at the invitation of the Resni.ca (Truth) party and civil initiatives. The party head, Zoran Stevanović, addressed the protesters, none of whom wore face masks or adhered to the rules on distancing.
Since the rally was unannounced police were at the site, and after three hours they called on the protesters to leave the site but they refused.
Stevanović said they had invited people to a peaceful, loud rebellion in Republic Square and to a festival of freedom.
In his speech at the square, he called for elimination of Covid-19 measures and a new government. He finds attempts at legalising obligatory vaccination unacceptable and also the punishing of the disobedient. Other speakers highlighted the same issues.
After a couple of hours, the rally moved to the Prešeren Square and the old town, accompanied by police.
At around 3pm police stopped the rally in Adjovščina Square, urged protesters to leave the site and stop obstructing traffic.
Protesters clashed with the police in the near-by Miklošičeva Street, where police blocked the road. Some of the protesters have been detained while most left the site at around 3:30pm.
Web portal N1 reported that the Interior Ministry planned to demand a reimbursement of the costs of police protection from the alleged organisers of the rally.
The ministry told N1 that talks were under way with police and the state attorney's office about filing claims for reimbursing the costs of police work at unannounced rallies from the organisers.
The epidemiological situation in the country has been improving but the National Institute of Public Health estimates that there are still over 30,400 active infections in the country, while hospitals are treating over 1,000 patients, including almost 260 in intensive care.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic last spring, the government has sent several anti-Covid bills to parliament, the last one being adopted on 19 November. The latest bill envisages measures worth EUR 180 million to help mitigate the consequences of the epidemic.