Slovenians take their freedoms seriously. The small mountainous nation in Central Europe has a population of less than one-third of New York City and they’re highly objectionable to outside authority meddling in their affairs. Now, for perhaps the first time ever, they’re objectionable to their own government trying to meddle in their private lives.
Chanting “Freedom, Freedom,” roughly 10,000 anti-vax protesters attempted to block a major highway in the capital city of Ljubljana, and this has been the second such protest to erupt in only a matter of weeks.
The latest protest comes on the heels of a 20-year-old otherwise healthy girl dying from an injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Authorities in Slovenia are investigating the incident and have temporarily halted the use of the J&J vaccine. But, this has done little to squelch the voices of the citizens.
The girl died from a stroke just two weeks after receiving the vaccination, so until it can be determined if the vaccine had something do to with this, Health Minister Janez Poklukar suspended its use. A second young girl had previously suffered a serious condition after her J&J injection, but the results remain unclear as to the specific cause.
One protester said the girl who died had only gotten vaccinated as a way of “buying her freedom.” Others carried signs that read, “Stop Corona Fascism.” They’re angered at being denied the same rights enjoyed by vaccinated people.
Another of the protesters, Katja Zupan said, “I am here for the future, the future of my kids, future generations because this craziness needs to be stopped. If we don’t stand up for ourselves and for mankind, then we are done, we are lost.”
Due to clashes at previous demonstrations riot police were called to the scene as helicopters hovered overhead for dramatic flair. The 10,000 or so protesters marched through downtown on their way to the highway, gridlocking traffic. To keep the crowd from jumping on the highway and really causing a tie-up, they were fired upon with water cannons mounted to firetrucks.
Somewhere around 48% of Slovenia’s citizens have been vaccinated which is a lesser amount than found in many places throughout Europe. But, just like here in the U.S., people were forced to vaccinate or quit their jobs. And, in a nation as small as Slovenia, there isn’t an excess of opportunity.
It just goes to show that no matter where you may travel, people are people, and holding to whatever rights they may have is of the utmost importance in every language.
The government of Slovenia is expecting more protests to erupt throughout the country in the coming days, especially if it’s determined that the J&J vaccine was responsible for the girl’s stroke and imminent death.
If this is truly the case, word will leak across their border and we’re likely to see similar anti-vax marches going on elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. where identical reports of strokes have been made.