Protests in St. Mark's Square

SDP: 'We don't fear the people'

04.07.2012 u 12:55


Most parliamentary parties on Wednesday endorsed a final bill of amendments to the Public Assembly Act, welcoming the lift of a ban on protests outside the parliament, government and Constitutional Court buildings in St. Mark's Square.

"We are showing that as those in power, we don't fear the people like those in 2005 who passed the law that is still in force," said Gordana Sobol of the ruling coalition's Social Democratic Party.

She accused the former ruling party, the HDZ, of banning public assembly in St. Mark's Square only for political reasons, "to ensure peace under its windows."

The opposition's Labour Party endorsed the bill but warned that its restrictions would not make it possible for rallies of protest or support to have an impact.

Milijan Brkic said the HDZ would abstain from voting for the bill, calling it political and its amendments insufficient to provide citizens with the basic right to express their opinion without their safety being brought into question.

Igor Cesek of the opposition's HDSSB said the amendments were a step forward but an insufficient one, adding that citizens should be allowed to assemble without limits on the time when rallies could be held or how many people could rally.