SDS News


SDS International Bulletin, February 2013

On February 8, the Slovenian Cultural day - Prešeren’s day, two mass rallies took place in Slovenia's capital city Ljubljana. For a fleeting observer somehow similar on the very first glimpse, one calling for and one against the government if we simplify. But an insight in the day they took place reveals unimaginable differences.

The Zbor za republiko (Assembly for the Republic) organised its rally with a rich cultural program on the morning of the Slovenian Cultural day. The rally full of patriotic emotions started with 12.000 participants singing the Slovenian National Anthem, Prešeren’s Zdravljica and the Anthem of Europe, the Ode to Joy. The Kongresni square was covered in Slovenian and European flags. There were few banners with positive and encouraging words destined to the Prime Minister Janez Janša and the Government and no offensive ones calling for intolerance and violence. 

The rally entitled »For Slovenia« with the subtitle »For Everyone who mean well in their hearts« was addressed by several prominent politicians and enriched with a cultural program. In their addresses the speakers offered their support to the Prime Minister, the government and the undertaken measures and policies aiming to direct Slovenia on the way of recovery by boosting economic growth and implementing the much needed reforms. Many words of encouragement were destined to the recovering EU and many thankful ones to the OECD and IMF for their support to the efforts of the current Slovenian government. A famous Slovenian actor, Bine Matoh presented the Zbor za republiko five-point Declaration entitled »The country to its citizens!«

Also Prime Minister Janša delivered a speech from Brussels, where he was defending Slovenia’s interests at the final negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework. He started by saying that there's no place he would rather be in this moment that at Kongresni square at Zbor za republiko rally. »Not every time is such that requires rallies. But today is such a time. They pushed us into and we have no choice,« he said. He called to stop the spreading of hate speech, threats in front of councillors and constitutional judges homes, hanging puppets of well-known persons and calls for violence which pave the way to the revival of totalitarian praxis that are finding their place in Slovenia again. What is offered to us is pure left fascism. In the end he pointed out: »They say there are few of us. And that we are second class citizens. We are not few and we are completely equal, we have a lot of friends across Europe and worldwide. But we are subtracted, despised or hushed many times at home. This is why we will have to gather more and show our strength. This is only the beginning. The Slovenian and European flags will continue flaring and the Slovenian songs will resound louder every day«.

The rally concluded peacefully with Slovenian music. No material damage was made, no one got injured.

In the afternoon it seemed like Slovenia make use of the time machine and returned into some other times. At nightfall on the same square people begin to gather for the so-called third People’s Uprising. The Police forces reinforced their presence in Ljubljana city centre and prepared for a new violent evening.

The square got overflown with Yugoslav and Communist flags, participants were shouting slogans against those who think differently and support the government, the government itself, the European Union and the USA. With the accompaniment of some state budget fed cultural workers the protestors went on a destructive march on the Ljubljana streets. The darker it was getting the more the protestors become violent. They started by setting flags and banners on fire and ended with attacks to the police officers and tried to avoid the security fence to damage the state property. The Police was forced to use the tear-gas to preserve its own safety and the safety of other participants. As a result of riots some protestors were detained for the infringement of the public order and few for criminal offence.

The difference is evident.

This is why we will stand against left fascism, against threats, violence and chaos, who are the biggest enemies of freedom and justice. These are the fundamental freedoms we fought for 20 years ago.