During the previous government’s term, we constantly heard about how terror was supposedly being unleashed on the people. Today, however, things are allegedly completely different than they were before, as the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda) coalition is in power now. Everyone is dancing freely, and nobody feels constrained. Or so they say. But it is more than obvious that to claim and believe this is nothing more than throwing dust in our eyes. This is undoubtedly also evidenced by the events that happened over the weekend when true police terror against minors apparently took place on the streets of the capital.
On Saturday at around 8 p.m., according to a Facebook user Žiga Novak, police officers assaulted two underage boys on Cankarjeva Street, causing them very serious injuries. “It started with some underage boys throwing some pyrotechnics, and then the boys ran away with the pyrotechnics in hand. After that, a large police reinforcement arrived, and a large crowd of young people ran to the nearby McDonald’s out of fear. Out of anger and inconvenience, the police started to use force against the minors, aged between 14 and 18, and also used coercive means against them (the baton),” the account reads.
While taking their anger out on the minors, the police officers allegedly also used several inappropriate words, such as: “You mother f*ckers,” “Hit them, hit the stupid monkeys, who gives a f*ck,” “Do you want us all to f*ck you up,” and others. Novak, who wrote about Saturday’s events on Facebook, criticised the work of the police. He believes that the police should deal with such things calmly, as they are the ones who people should turn to in difficult situations. He also asked his followers to spread the news about what had happened.
If something like this had circulated at a time when the centre-right government was in power, it would have caused an uproar in our country. Namely, outraged “independent” non-governmental organisations would have spoken out, it would have been the “prime time” news in all of the mainstream media outlets, and it would have been condemned in the strongest terms by the entirety of the political left. All this, of course, because it would have cast a dark shadow over the left’s political opponents. However, if something like this happens while the Freedom Movement is in power, it is quickly swept under the rug, and nobody talks about it, even though police violence was often blamed on the Janša government. So much for equal criteria for all.
At this point, it is also important to note an important difference. When the political cyclers protested against the so-called “repression” of the authorities of the time, the protesters were mainly members of NGOs and representatives of the bourgeois elite. We probably all still remember Jaša Jenull, who was at the forefront of the anti-government protests most of the time. From the very beginning, Jenull tried to play the card of portraying the police as thugs in the service of the existing authorities. He was subsequently arrested during various of his actions, such as jumping the fence in front of the National Assembly, despite the repeated instructions from the police to not do it. By shouting “Ouch, ouch, ouch,” he tried to create the impression among his followers and the viewers of mainstream media (which were very faithfully covering the protests) that he was somehow a victim of police violence. Of course, he never actually was the victim of police violence, even though he acted arbitrarily and protested at a time when that was not allowed. But after all, Jenull is the son of the Chief State Prosecutor, Hinko Jenull. However, in the case of this past Saturday, we are talking about minors who do not have influential dads, moms, aunts, uncles or grandparents.
We are witnessing the use of different criteria for the same things in our society, even though they say we are all supposed to be the same before the highest law in the country, the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. But the reality is very different. We also clearly saw this in the recent cases of the handling of violence in the case of Nika Kovač and MP Branko Grims of the Slovenian Democratic Party
(Slovenska Demokratska Stranka – SDS). In the case of Kovač, the mainstream media reported it as a fact, but in the case of MP Grims, the situation was completely different. They immediately sowed a hint of doubt when they reported on what happened, in the sense of “MP Grims claims that…” Although all violence must be condemned, regardless of who it is against, this is something that the ruling parties, together with the media and NGOs, have been unable to do. We are thus becoming a society of first- and second-class citizens. Is this really what we want?