Protests in Podgorica

Protests in Podgorica

 

By Adnan Prekic – Podgorica

Inspired by the protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the citizens of Podgorica started with the same protests on Saturday. Gathered around the Facebook group “Revolution in Montenegro. All on the streets”, were about 300 protesters expressing their dissatisfaction with the situation in the country.

Through social networks, members of the informal organization urged citizens to take the streets and like their fellow neighbor BH, challenge the state power. The protest, which was initially peaceful, turned into a confrontation with the police. At one point the group of young protesters clashed with the police, who fired tear gas braking the demonstrations. The police arrested 20 people who were among those who were causing the episodes. During the protest nine police officers were injured.

The demonstrations in Podgorica began in front of the Parliament, when about 300 people blocked the traffic on the street. They later moved to a nearby government building in front of which there is a protective fence. Then a small group of mostly young demonstrators tried to tear down the security fence. What followed was a brief confrontation with the police who subsequently intervened and used tear gas. The protesters then fled to a nearby park, from where they threw stones at the government building and police officers.

When things calmed down a group of ten people who were the organizers of Saturday’s demonstrations, started eating on the street blocking traffic. The police tried to persuade them to move from the street, but they were not convinced. Subsequently, the police arrested a dozen of them normalizing the traffic in front of the Government building of Montenegro.

The police, announced after the protest that they had arrested 20 people who were causing a disturbance. Police claimed to have arrested the aggressors who had hurt the nine policemen. Among the persons arrested were four minors.

Informal groups like “UDAR”, which was one of the protesters, said that police brutally  arrested free citizens, who expressed dissatisfaction with the current situation of the society in a non-violent manner. They stated that the police arrested those who were protesting peacefully, while the persons who launched the destructive actions remained largely unaffected. This group suspects that in the ranks of the protesters were insert people who were instructed by the regime to provoke conflicts with the police.

The Mayor of Podgorica, Miomir Mugoša, announced that he will file criminal charges against several unidentified people, who during the protests, caused damage to public facilities.