Slovakia: Thousands join anti-govt protest on 30th anniv. of Velvet Revolution

Leaders of the Velvet Revolution were joined by activists, journalists and artists to demonstrate 'For a Decent Slovakia' in Bratislava on Sunday, where they celebrated the legacy of the 1989 revolution while also protesting the current political situation. «In Slovakia, things became so wrong that they wanted to silent a journalist. So they killed Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova. But they have... Еще not discouraged us. Thanks to you as well. We are not powerless while you are standing behind us,» said Chief Editor of SME daily newspaper Beata Balogova to the over 7,000 people that turned up. Balogova's comments referred to the murder of young investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in February 2018. Kuciak had been investigating alleged relationships between the Italian mafia and former Prime Minister Robert Fico's party, Direction — Social Democracy (SMER). New details have since emerged suggesting a link with state bodies. «Thank you for showing us in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels, that the post-89 generation has discovered an alternative to populism, hate-speech, corruption and violent patriarchy. Thank you also for showing us that it is complicated, to be decent,» said Dutch writer Chris Keulemans. During the event organisers emphasised the importance of the upcoming February 2020 Slovak elections, after mass protests last year forced then-prime minister Robert Fico to resign. His successor Peter Pellegrini has attracted the ire of protesters, who criticise the government's handling of the Kuciak case.

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