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Because of their active support for the protests during the epidemic, the Slovenian left should face constitutional charges

The left-wing political elite actively supported and participated in the anti-government protests, which were illegal. At the protests, we saw the worst of everything: from those who provoked the police officers, to death threats, and the bizarre responses from the cyclists. And because of the absence of criticism of such actions – criticism that should have happened – the whole thing escalated and resulted in the brutal violence that happened on the streets of Ljubljana. The war zone scenes and the news of a journalist that had been beaten up so badly he needed medical help, became a harsh reality and showed us all what can happen in practice if you do not condemn the violent behaviour against anyone, even those you do not particularly like. Violence is completely unacceptable, and as such, it cannot be tolerated in a democracy.

The USA is conducting proceedings for the impeachment of President Donald Trump for the second time now. Let’s not ask ourselves whether their reasons are justifiable or not. What we can say about this with certainty, is that the Slovenian left-wing politicians and the like-minded media outlets welcomed this fact with open arms and are inciting it further on a daily basis, as if they are not capable of even the slightest bit of self-reflection. What has been happening ever since the swearing-in of the third Janša government is a prime example of psychological and physical violence which, according to the American criteria, deserves constitutional charges.

When the new government was sworn in on the 13th of March, despite threats from certain leftists, which were mainly targeted at the SMC and DeSUS parties, which were aware of the seriousness of the situation that arose due to the epidemic, some people panicked. In particular, the extreme leftists and the employees of the non-governmental organisations, who are latched on to the state budget. Shortly after the initial shock, when the covid-19 virus struck in the form of an invisible enemy, the leftists began resisting the measures that the government had started working on and implementing practically hours after it was sworn in. Although the measures were developed with the help of the medical experts, they triggered the so-called protests on the balconies. These escalated, and the critics of the government’s actions were soon joined by the opposition, which, of course, also saw that it could benefit from this. They were bothered by certain measures, and in particular, by Jelko Kacin’s way of communicating, even though he has by far the most experience in communicating in situations of crisis. Marjan Šarec was the first to speak up, even though he was the one who gave up and left empty warehouses of protective equipment behind. Soon after, the others joined.

With the creating of the alleged affair, the situation only escalated
However, since criticism alone was not enough to create more tension, the left began to point its finger at the procurement of protective equipment, and with the help of the RTV Slovenija, which clearly favours the left, they began creating the affair, with the help of Ivan Gale, the now-former employee of the Agency for Commodity Reserves. On the very next day, a Facebook group was created, in support of Ivan Gale. They began calling him a whistleblower and kept repeating the phrases “I am Ivan Gale” and “We are not letting you take away Ivan Gale” like parrots. Despite the fact that their side supposedly does not support hate speech, it did not take long for the protesters’ debates regarding the protective equipment to turn into an all-out expression of anger at the ruling structure. We saw personal insults and threats. Accordingly, the anti-government protests escalated. Signs with the words “Death to Janšaism” and the shouting of “Kill Janša” by the extremists became a part of Slovenian reality. At the very moment when death threats first appeared, the left should have reacted, if it were sincere in its condemnation of any kind of violence. However, that did not happen.

The rule of law did not hold up when it came to death threats
Janez Janša’s words in the temple of democracy did not contribute to the criticism of these actions. Namely, he pointed out that he was appalled by the fact that Slovenia is a country in which even the deputies took part in the anti-government protests, and he also pointed out that the Criminal Code is in force in Slovenia, which states the following in Article 297: “Whoever publicly incites hatred, violence or intolerance based on nationality, race, religion or ethnic origin, sex, colour, origin, wealth, education, social status, political or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, or any other personal circumstance, and if the act is committed in a manner which may endanger or disturb public order or peace, or through the use of threats or insults, shall be punished by imprisonment for up to two years.” The left faked ignorance, and we all moved on. They did not even attend the national celebration, because they obviously thought that the alternative celebration was where they were supposed to be, as there were no Slovenian songs being sung there and genitals were being shown.

However, the group that supports the so-called whistleblower was far from being the only one to incite dissent and hatred. Similar sites began to emerge quickly. The protests were being held practically every week, sometimes even several times a week. As early as June, we saw how one of the masked thugs hit a police officer, who was simply performing his duty at the protests – meaning, he was keeping the protests safe. One of the arrogant protesters even tried to provoke the police officers by spraying them with a water pistol during the Friday’s protests in front of the Ministry of the Interior. In September, they indulged in a bit of a medieval inquisition and burned a puppet, representing the Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs, which seemed reminiscent of the witch trials. In spite of their inappropriate behaviour, there was still no criticism from the left, and so came the 5th of November.

As if we were in the middle of a war
In the middle of the capital, we witnessed a scene which looked like we are in the middle of a war. Antifa members attacked the police officers who wrote up one of the protesters because he was provoking them in Serbian. One police officer was kicked in the back, and the police officers on horses and a journalist were also attacked. The hooligans threw pyrotechnics, granite cubes and other objects, which resulted in destroyed property. Worst of all, they also injured people, including police officers. It seems quite logical that the events triggered a wave of criticism, so the members of the so-called Constitutional Arch Coalition decided to react in a very lukewarm manner and say that the violence is not appropriate. At the same time, they also indicated that the government was the only one to benefit from the violent protests, but of course, they were not able to admit that it was not okay that they had not spoken up earlier. Of course, they are still not able to admit that, to this day.

Despite the fact that the protest of the virus deniers on Wednesday, fortunately, ended without any major riots, it is undoubtedly interesting how the left is able to react critically to the violence in the Capitol. However, when the same should be done in Slovenia, there is no trace of criticism. Not even from the mainstream media, which continues to support the members of the Constitutional Arch Coalition, by focusing on their counting of the votes, the criticism from the anti-government protests, and the “critical” opinions of the “independent” experts, while they also diligently make sure that they continue to be critical in their reporting about the government. When they cannot criticise it, the reports are short, to make sure that no one accidentally starts to think that the government is doing something right. It is downright bizarre that the Constitutional Arch Coalition members are still trying to get to power with everything they have got, even though in reality, they themselves deserve to be constitutionally charged. With their absence of criticism and participation in the protests, they have contributed to the deviant behaviour, which should have no place in our country. Namely, it poses a serious threat to peace, coexistence and democracy in our country.

Sara Kovač

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