Bratislava police detained one of the main organisers of the Gorilla Protest movement, Lucia Gallová, during a street protest on Wednesday, February 29, after she failed to respond to numerous appeals by police officers to remove herself from a buffer zone between police and protesters.
Bratislava District Police spokesman František Peczár told the TASR newswire that Gallová stood between riot police units and protesters behind metal barricades and thus blocked any potential action by the police. Aside from Gallová, police apprehended four other individuals: three for failure to respond to police appeals and one for attacking a public official. One of the detained persons had a bloodied face, but witnesses reported that he caused the injury to himself when he slipped. Another protest organiser, Peter Pčolinský, criticised the police action, as quoted by the Sme daily, stating that the police should have been softer with Gallová as she is a woman. He said he was disappointed over the low participation in the protest, which only several dozen people attended.
Later, the Gorilla protesters made their way into parliament, despite barriers being set up in front of the building. Some of the protesters reached the balcony of the chamber, which is accessible to the public. Many were let in by former defence minister, now a Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP, Ľubomír Galko, after demonstrators promised him that they would act appropriately and not interrupt the ongoing session. However, they did not make good on their pledge, catcalling and shouting at lawmakers while throwing papers at them.
"We proclaim resistance against the lawmakers of the National Council [i.e. parliament], the president and the government. We've come to deliver it to you in writing, Mr. [Parliamentary Speaker Pavol] Hrušovský. You are trampling all over our rights in an outrageous manner, denying us the freedom of movement, we don't want you on party slates," shouted one of the protesters, as quoted by TASR. "I didn't like the way they behaved," said Galko, but added that every lawmaker should be able to bear a shout or two. Police had to intervene against a protester who knocked a file folder out of the hands of Smer MP Branislav Ondruš, while others stomped and kicked it.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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