The leader of a protest intended to blockade the headquarters of the Slovak National Party (SNS) in Bratislava on May 26 was detained by police after pulling down the party’s flag from the facade of the building.
Alojz Hlina, leader of what he called “The End of Primitivism in Politics” initiative, said on Monday, May 25, that he wanted SNS chairman Ján Slota to apologise to a police officer, Ľudmila Nováková, whom Slota has allegedly called vulgar names in April after she had refused access to parliament to Slota’s driver because he lacked proper identification.
Hlina erected a ladder against the SNS building on Śafárikovo Square in Bratislava, removed the flag and gave it to an accomplice who, in turn, passed the flag on to a motorcycle rider. The third man was supposed to ride away with the flag, but all three were arrested by police. They were released without charge shortly afterwards.
“I'll give the flag back only after SNS has a new chairman,” Hlina said during the incident. He stressed the move’s symbolism, as he said that the bringing down the flag had stripped the party of its standard, or battle flag.
SNS spokesperson Jana Benková said that “the blockade of SNS headquarters, the protest and its publicity objective – that is, making SNS chairman Ján Slota apologise to the police officer – make no sense, as the event, as depicted by the media, never happened. The SNS chairman has made enough comments on the issue … so there's nothing to apologise for,” Benková added. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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27. May 2009 at 10:00