Riot Police Dispers Protesters in Zena Park in Skopje


Time: 12:14 a.m. CEST

Photography, video and text: by Aleksandra Dukovska

PrometheusStatue.JPG

It started loudly with many happy faces, shared handshakes and probably new friendships during more than two months of the protests in Skopje. Monday’s protest symbolically called, “Citizens came for justice,” ended peacefully, after the riot police entered the park to intervene and to disperse protesters.

Riot police in Skopje intervene at “Zena Park” in Skopje to protect the statue of Prometheus, build in the park as part of the controversial project Skopje2014, during the activities of the “Colorful Revolution” on the monument and its base. Earlier, large crowd of protesters, and supporters of the opposition arrived after the paint throwing at the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia’s façade.

In the moment when protesters wanted to use protective material, which they torn down from the monument, people started to say loudly, “They are coming,” “They are coming.” Seconds after the previous cheerful atmosphere of the protest of the opposition and non-governmental organizations turned to police intervention and riot officers running toward the protesters.

Then, the police secured the area around the monument and pushed people down toward the pavement of the park. The atmosphere was tense in the next hour, with police making a half-circle around the protesters. After several scuffles between the police and people in the first raw of the protest line, situation calmed down.

Previously, after throwing the enormous amount of the paint toward the outside walls of the Ministry of Justice, recently renewed with façade in baroque stile, also part of the project Skopje 2014, some demonstrators throw with materials toward the windows of the building.

At the government, protesters stopped briefly. Pavle Bogoevski had a white t-shirt written with blue words “Soros Army,” probably as a response to the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruveski’s remarks on non-governmental institutions. As an activist of the “Colorful Revolution,” Bogoevski requested of all factors in society to accept their demands.

Bogoevski, who yesterday was apprehended by the police and spent about two hours at the police station, before he was released, said that in the future, all of the processes should be transparent, and again repeated one of the key requirements; “Constitutional Court to make a decision on the initiative for the Prosecution on intercepted conversations. Even though, Nikola Gruevski to whom the protesters usually address is not part of the government since January 18, all remarks of the protesters are address toward him. For example, member of the opposition party, Radmila Shekerinska said, “Gruevski need to let go the influence on every institutions.” SDSM president Zoran Zaev participated on Monday’s rally.

NOTE: Journalism photo, no other use allowed.

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