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Friday, January 27, 2023

They Promised Us Freedom, But Instead, We Got Repression

By: Andrej Žitnik / Nova24tv

The basic political platform of the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) is “freedom from the anti-covid measures.” The essence of the convincing victory, apart from the demonisation of Janša and the ferocious polarisation, was to make people feel that they were being wronged during the epidemic – not allowed to go for a coffee, not allowed to go to the neighbouring municipality, not allowed to go to the shopping centre, … and, of course, being “gassed like Eichmann” by the police when they were fighting for basic human rights. The truth was, of course, that the wild mob that ravaged Ljubljana last November had to be stopped one way or another – the water cannon and tear gas were the most humane means available. In the countries of the so-called “core Europe,” police batons and even real bullets were used instead. Nevertheless, after taking office, the Freedom Movement party and the current government have followed the anarchic anti-police rhetoric that we are more used to hearing at some Antifa meetings happening in San Francisco. Their words suggested that they were going to completely castrate the police. And they did – except for when the members of “freedom” need it for its basic function – repression.

From the 1st of June 2022 onwards, judging by the statements of certain politicians, Slovenia has become a paradise for anarchists. The government has strongly flirted with the wild-eyed radical-left anarchists, and Minister of Justice Dominika Švarc Pipan even revoked all the mandated sentences given to protesters who violated the anti-corona legislative measures, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, has declared that the current government will warn against any type of police violence. This, of course, was a pat on the back and a sucking up to the left-wing political-cyclist “civil society” that had enthroned the current coalition.

Like that famous speech by Slobodan Milošević in 1987, when he told the assembled crowd, “Nobody should beat you!” In such a politicised atmosphere, the question was, how would the police ever be able to do their job? Will the police be neutered like the Portland police, who no longer dare to stop with their cars because they are afraid of being attacked by human rights activists?
Well, it seems that the Slovenian police are still very repressive. It is just that now, all cases of police violence – even if it is unjustified – are simply ignored by the representatives of the coalition.

Minors were beaten for no reason

On the 21st of November, at around 8 p.m., police officers on Cankarjeva Street in Ljubljana, according to eyewitnesses, assaulted underage boys for no reason and caused them very serious injuries. A group of under-aged boys reportedly used a piece of pyrotechnic and then ran away. The police arrived at the scene soon after, and many of the young people reportedly hid in a fast-food restaurant out of fear. The police also reportedly used coercive means (namely, the baton) against the young people – aged between 14 and 18 – and insulted them with profanities. However, the story barely appeared in the media. No government spokesperson commented on it.

The whole situation passed as if nothing had happened, unlike when the son of the Attorney General broke the anti-corona legislative measures and was taken away by policemen while he moaned, “Ouch, ouch, are you filming this?” He was also recently honoured for his “courage” by the Dutch embassy, while the police officers were still considered in public to be “robocops” at the time, and let’s not forget about the Speaker of the National Assembly’s vile comparison of the police with Adolf Eichmann. We will never know what the badly beaten minors think of such hypocrisy because they are not important enough to have a microphone put in front of their mouths.

A man was violently arrested without legal grounds for it – while defending his land

Recently, a much worse incident took place at the site of the controversial C0 connecting canal project, which is supposed to carry wastewater from the municipalities of Vodice and Medvode to the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Ljubljana – Zalog. The police brutally dealt with the landowner who did not give permission for the digging on his land. “A man had his face pushed to the ground in the middle of winter – this is horrifying! Indescribable! It is the year 2022; this is the time of Freedom (“Svoboda” in Slovenian), with two S-es before it,” the former MP of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), Mojca Škrinjar, was appalled at what was happening.

Namely, one of the landowners was attacked for not leaving his own land (!) when the contractors sent there by the Municipality of Ljubljana wanted to start digging but refused to show him any documentation to prove that they were allowed to do so. It later turned out that even the police did not check whether the procedure was legal and correctly implemented. In a public statement, they said that this was in the hands of the Municipality of Ljubljana, while they were there solely to take care of safety. And here is how they took care of safety in this case:

They arrested the owner of the land and hurt him in the process. The representatives of the authorities stayed quiet on the matter, of course, as the project is run by one of their original “new faces” in politics, the Ljubljana sheriff Zoran Janković (and keep in mind that Alenka Bratušek, Marjan Šarec and Robert Golob are all “children” of Janković’s Positive Slovenia party – Pozitivna Slovenija). The police attacked the elderly man on his own land and did not even check the legality of the procedure. But the representatives of the authorities still kept quiet on the matter. Just remember how riled up they all were when Jenull screamed, “Ouch, ouch.”

Golob’s guerrilla shot a gun in the forest and threatened public safety

The latest example of police negligence that could quickly end in death is Dušan Djogić, a staunch supporter of the Freedom Movement, who was so pleased by the party’s election victory that he fired a gun straight into the darkness. We dare not think about what could have happened to random forest walkers who accidentally found themselves in the path of his bullets in the middle of the night. A bullet from a short-barrelled weapon travels at 300 metres per second and can hit a person hundreds of metres away, fatally wounding them.

Just imagine what Urška Klakočar Zupančič would have said if a police officer from, say, Novo mesto – a supporter of the SDS party – had fired straight into the darkness outside a designated shooting range while celebrating the re-election victory of Mayor Gregor Macedoni. One thing is for certain – the story would not have been as marginal and insignificant as Djogić’s.

First- and second-class citizens

Those who were looking forward to being able to give the police the middle finger in the middle of Ljubljana and send them back to the countryside will be disappointed. Of course, such excesses will still be allowed, but only to the same ringleaders as before: to Jenull, Kovač, Ličina, Jarec, and the like. But when the time comes for the members of the Freedom Movement coalition and their supporters to have their own political or property measures, the baton will frequently be used – if not something worse.

The owner of the forest where Djogić went on the rampage must stay quiet. The young people who were beaten for no reason in the middle of Ljubljana must stay quiet. And the owner of the property on the route of the C0 canal must stay quiet, regardless of the fact that he was taken off his own land without the police even checking whether they have the appropriate legal grounds to do so. The fighters of this government will not stand up for such people. What is more, they will be further humiliated by their civil-society outgrowths. Let’s just think back to what a representative of the left-wing non-governmental organisation the Institute of the 8th of March said about the arrest of the landowner in the C0 canal case: “I am glad that he has been arrested so that he will no longer be roaming around our town.”

None of the arrests at last year’s rampage of wild-eyed anarchists and leftists were unjustified – if anything, the police should have acted earlier and more forcefully. The situation was becoming unbearable fast. However, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, one of the most important politicians and the PR face of the Freedom Movement party, dismissively compared the efforts of the police to a Nazi butcher.

Because the members of the feral mob shared her ideological views. But when it comes to the second class, there are no political or civil society protections, and the police can carry out violence even when it is unjustified. In Slovenia, civil society and left-wing politics scream “police repression” exclusively for left-wing activists. Ordinary citizens, however, are left to fend for themselves. Even if we are wrongly arrested or even beaten.

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