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Rowdy opposition protest in Skopje (photo + video)

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Over 10.000 protesters organized by the opposition SDSM and its allied NGO groups held a rowdy protest in the capital Skopje on Monday evening. Protesters pelted the Justice Ministry with rocks and bottles, and tried to bring down a statue in front of the Parliament building, but were prevented and pushed back by police.

The protest comes after daily rallies supported by SDSM were stopped last week, after more than two months of using paint to target public institutions.

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Protesters, many of whom were bused in from Kumanovo and Strumica, where SDSM holds the mayoral offices, gathered in front of the SPO office in downtown Skopje before marching toward the Government building, where SDSM deputy leader Radmila Sekerinska and others held speeches.

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From there, they marched to the Justice Ministry, which suffered the brunt of their anger. The crowd then continued to the Parliament building, which they targeted with paintballs. The most tense moment of the evening was when hundreds of protesters tried to pull down a statue which is part of an eternal flame memorial to all who have died for freedom for Macedonia just opposite of the Parliament building. Policemen moved in front of the statue, pushing away the protesters, some of whom tried to attack the officers with stones. The brief confrontation ended without serious injuries, following which the crowd dispersed.

The protest was being announced by the opposition party and the NGO groups as a moment when “the people will take justice in their own hands”, prompting concerns that broader violence can be expected. NGO organizations were counting down the days to the protest, announcing a major change in their actions is going to come after the counting has stopped, prompting warnings from the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party that their supporters too are becoming fed up with the actions of the opposition.

sarena revolucija 20.6.16