Policija trenira strogoću….

…perhaps best translated as LJPD Blue in action. The entire gallery by Dnevnik daily is located here

To those who have been on this Earth long enough to have at least heard of the student movement in former Yugoslavia and the continuos battles and hide-and-seek games between (mostly) students and the fearsome socialist police, the above title of the song by Leteći Odred will sound familiar.

This time around, there is a twist, though. The po-lice used force against the majority population of Ambrus and Ivančna Gorica (remember this post?). As the Strojan family (the Roma) tried yet again in vain to return to their land in Ambrus near Ivančna Gorica, the local populace gathered yet agaiin to prevent that from happening. They set up roadblocks and baricades, forcing the police to intervene. Soon the special police forces were deployed (the so called Robocops) and as things grew tense an order was given by Chief of Ljubljana Police Authority Branko Slak to disperse the crowd which by now had reached hundreds of people.

Punches flew and a person apparently took two blows with a baton in the head (the bald man with a bloody head in Dnevnik’s pictures) and another woman injured her arm.

As I wrote some time ago, the State (the govenrment if you will) is the only institution authorised to use force and only when law and order are disturbed. Not only that law and order were disturbed in Ivančna Gorica, they were down right mutilated, trampped upon, spat at and humiliated. On top of that the minority population was denied due process, denied freedom of movement and evicted (to name but a few human rights violations) thus bringing about the inevitable violation of the rule of law.

The people of Ivančna Gorica took the law into their own hands, so naturally the law took them into its hands. The law in this case being the cops who should have in my opinion beat the shit out of the protesters, not just sprain a wrist and schratch a bald head.

Had the law used all its powers then people would get arrested, severely beaten, questioned, tried and sentenced for violating countless counts of law. Not only that – the actions of the police in Ivančna Gorica on Saturday night was highly disproportionate to its own actions on November 17th, when a pro-Roma rally took place in downtown Ljubljana, where two people were arrested and later released. One of them was Marko Brecelj from Koper, a songwriter and an alternative rock musician (think band Buldožer) who also wrote the legendary song Parada (Parade). That particular protest was peaceful – the protesters were on vallium compared to the Saturday’s events, and yet two people were arrested. On Saturday noone was arrested, two people were hurt in a clash with the cops and another man took a kick in the groin. What Ivančna Gorica needs right now is a bit of police brutality – the kind one sees at footbal matches, so the people would bug out and go home, rahter than get drunk on weekends and have a party WHILE “defenfing” their Vaterland

I agree with Pavle Čelik (the former Top Cop): the po-lice should have kicked some ass the first time around. Now the local populace feels emboldened by the fact that not only they drove out the Roma, even the police can’t really touch them. If it does, heads roll. The first head to roll off the stage was the already mentioned Chief of Police Authority Ljubljana Branko Slak, who allegedly failed to follow protocol and gave the orded to disperse the crowd without ordering the people to disperse over the megaphone and warning them of immediate police action. I doubt that it would have helped, but if he really failed to follow proper procedues, reprimand him. Don’t destroy a man’s career a month before his retirement. But he was removed by Jože Romšek (the current Top Cop) to head the Slovene version of Police Academy, while a new guy is coming to take over for Slak. And while this new guy gets his bearings the fascists in Ivančna Gorica will do as they please.

Seeing Janša in today’s Odmevi on state television I was amazed to see him actually talk some sense. What he obviously failed to realise is that moving the Strojan family was the catalyst for this sad saga as people suddenly felt that they can get whatever they want, all they have to do is to take it one step further than the othe guy. At this stage this already means killing somebody. And that will be blood on Janša’s hands, as he has played an an active role in anti-Roma protests in 2004 (unfotunately the article from Delo daily is in Slovene only and yes, I know I’m infringing copyright).
Janša is right on one thing, thouhg: This thing has gotten out of controll. When roumor spread that the Strojan family will relocate to Kočevje, the mayor of the municipality went on the local radio an allegedly called people to the baricades. “Alegedly” because I can’t even find Radio Univox on the net. But knowing as I do the Roma situation in Kočevje this call to arms seems quite probable. The fun part is that the mayor Janko Veber (who is also a deputy in the parliament) belongs to opposition Social Democrats. This only proves that stupid people are thick on the ground in Slovenia and are not confined exclusively to the political right.

Oh, and my favourite statement this time around… A redneck who was handled roughly by a cop was shocked that the cop didn’t speak Slovene. Supposedly the cop said to him “Najebat ćeš” – which is “you’ll get fucked for this” in Croatian. Or Serbian. Or anything else – point is that it wasn’t Slovene…. Don’t you get it?! We’re being infested by all these foreigners who came to steal our identity and our way of life, the Gypsies , the faggots, the goddamn Jews….Eeeek….

Borat, this country needs you!!!!!

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

22 thoughts on “Policija trenira strogoću….”

  1. So this blog is going down in English after all?

    Here’s something that’s been bothering me. The police move into the crowd. Two people get hurt. One has a wound on his head and is all bloody. The other, a woman, has got (according to Dnevnik) a broken leg and arm. All the prime time teevee exposure goes to the first person, a man who two days later shows no sign of even a scratch on his bald head. The woman with the broken limbs is never even mentioned, less alone shown. What’s that all about? Does the bald guy “deserve” tv time for having a more graphic injury, even if it’s much more innocent than the woman’s? Now, two or three days later, the bald guy is, with no marks of a wound, just another one of those bland, round-faced bald guys with a mustache that for some reason Slovenia is full of, and that look indestinguishable from one oneother (bug people, that’s my nick-name for them – in my mind’s eye, the bug people from 1984 looked exactly like that – round-headed, bald, roundrimmed glasses, mustaches). The woman, on the other hand probably has limbs in plaster to sport and would make a much stronger tv appearance. Yet she is nowhere to be seen. Hm…

    Oh, and don’t even get me started on the heimatland ideology that’s been spewed around lately – protect our identity, the Slovenes are going to get lost in a sea of other nations, our precious language is going to dissapear, yet we allow abortions to be performed and all that crap. Laws against the use of English? That’s just too ridiculous. You’re right, Pengovsky – them steenking foreeners and Jews and Gypsies and Negroes and ragheads and what not are gonna be our undoing, mark my words! We should purify our holy vaterland while there is still time! The end is nigh!

    Sigh. I wonder how many defenders of our country out there would accuse you and me of high treason and/or linguocide for being Slovenes and communicating in English like this…

  2. Cornelius, about the language part of your comment: with such emotional issues, people talking about them (media, politicians, all other directly or indirectly involved persons) tend to use similar, at some later point often identical expressions to depict those issues, to express their opinions and also feelings – soon, we have a number of typical, more or less emotionally charged expressions and the story tends to evolve around them. Which is not right, is it. If everyone is busy pushing around stereotypes, no work gets done.
    Now, if you use a foreign language, an international one, you put it into a more global, general perspective (linguistically) and thus you show that it is an issue of a general concern. Maybe you lift some stale air from it, remove some heat, show a direction?

  3. Well, actually… I chose English for this post because this way I can actually speak my mind. I started writing in Slovene but then found myself toning down the language – much as I would do in a piece for the Firm™ So I deleted it and rewrote it in English as not to make it sterile.

    Funny thing, how reflexes kick in… Also, when I start writing in Slovene on such issues I tend to beat around the bush, give theoretical backgrounds and stuff, which can kill the flow of the text. So I tried to avoid that as well.

    As far as the “bugperson” is concerned: I was wondering about that too: 24 hours later all he has lefft is a band-aid on his forehead, while the woman who allegedly broke her arm is nowhere to be found. Why of course, she wasn’t the victim of police “brutality”. Instead she most likely fell as the crowd pushed forward and backward. I’ve been in crowds of thousands and yes, it can be dangerous.

    The bugperson was most likely a provocateur of the lowest sort, highly useful in any regime. And the thouught crossed my mind only after seeing him on TV, giving a highly eloquent interview, as if per script.

  4. @Cornelius: as far country defenders go (my personal favourite expression for them is “branitelji slovenstva”)… Have you ever noticed the problems they have with speaking, let alone writing proper Slovene? Things like “genitive” and “dual” seem to be way above their reach….

  5. Well I really just brought up the subject of language defenders because I’m a linguist/translator and feel strong about it, is all. I just think that laws prohibiting English names for companies are, to put it bluntly, stupid and are basically based on all the wrong reasons – they don’t spring from love of one’s mother tounge but from fear of foreign languages. If the Slovene language is to survive (and I’m very optimistic about that, unlike many), then Slovenes have got to learn to love their mother tongue, not fear foreign languages. For me, being fluent in a foreign language does not make me think less of my mother tongue, quite the contrary.
    But this is all way too OT. It does have one common point with your post, though. Fear mongering. The brave new tool for control of the masses. Wanna be a good, “contributing” (the closest I can think of for that ridiculous neologism, državotvoren) citizen? Be afraid of something alien, that’s the first step.

  6. Exactly! We fear what we don’t understand. And to quote a line from my very first post: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    Marx got it wrong: Ignorance, not religion is opuim for the masses.

  7. Stateworthy? That’s excellent. It also retains a fair proportion of the absurdity of the word 🙂

  8. Jeez! Two in a row?! What’s next? Me proving that black is actually white and then get run over on the next zebra-crossing? (courtesy of Douglas Adams) 😀

  9. Well I hope you are not afriad of praise? You shouldn’t be, as a Sagittarius, anyway. 🙂

    It simply a good feeling to read intelligent things is all – so don’t worry.

  10. Thanks! Not afraid of praise – just that I fear losing the edge, so I musn’t let it go into my head. Happened all too often. But hey, now that I’m older and wiser… 😉

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