Gorilla Protests 2012 Bratislava

Every Slovak knows the Gorilla scandal. You probably have no idea.

In short: The Gorilla file describes monitoring of Jaroslav Hascak, one of the founders of Penta Investment Group during the 2005 – 2006 timeframe. It’s stated in it, that he was meeting top politicians of Slovak Republic to discuss bribes and commissions. Almost all parliamentary parties should be involved. 10 years passed. The investigation lead nowhere. Most of the evidence is supposed to be shredded in 2008. Nobody believes today, that there will be a court or that somebody will be accused. It could and would hurt the most influential people in Slovakia. And we all know that people in these positions are untouchable.

The file leaked in late 2011, even though some of the newspapers had it for years. They didn’t pay attention to it. We can guess if on purpose or accidentally. Media played a major role also in the protest. They were cutting down the numbers, making the protests look like something not even worth to talk about. Anyway, government fell in late 2011 and new elections were coming. People started to read the file as it leaked also uncensored and was all over the Slovak internet and the blood pressure rose. It culminated in late January / early February in the form of Gorilla protests.

The first took place January 27th, 2012 in Bratislava. It was attended by several thousand people, which were led by anti-government activists. After the speeches on the SNP Square, the crowd moved to the front of the presidential palace. From there they marched to the National Parliament. Police barricades were already set and heavy armoured special forces were waiting. People broke through the barricades and were stopped right in front of the entrance to the building. The crowd yelled but despite a few symbolic attempts to penetrate inside, it dissolved peacefully. The building suffered serious injury in the form of dozens of eggs thrown on the facade.

The second wave of Gorilla protests was held on February 3rd simultaneously in several Slovak towns. Over 30,000 people attended, half of them in Bratislava. Police was prepared for anything as there were over 4.000 people signed in to protest on Facebook. Nowadays you have 4.000 Facebook attendees and less than a half in reality. This protest was powerful as a degree 7 Richter scale earthquake. Everybody hoped to achieve something real. The crowd moved to the Government Office. But then all got out of hands. Flares were thrown over the fence into the courtyard of the Government Office. People tried to make a hole in the fence and storm the premises. This didn’t happen, so the frustrated part made their way to the National Parliament. Police with water cannons was ready and after a shower of cobblestones and bananas they hit the protesters with water. It was freezing cold btw. I wasn’t present at this part so my gear didn’t get wett. Assumptions were that police provocateurs were within the rebelling radicals pumping up the heat.

But the Gorilla won. The second protest was the last successful. Several followup events were organised, but the attendance fell dramatically. The ultimatum set by the crowd during the 2nd protest was ignored by both the politicians and courts. People understood their powerlessness. If you want more insight, T. Nicholson wrote a book about the Gorilla file.

It’s four years since the protests. Nothing has changed. We have a lot of causes. Aunt Anka, the massage therapist, PM’s assistant, CT procurement and others. Millions and millions moved from the government budget through weird processes into the pockets of a few. On the other hand, underpaid teachers and nurses protest for higher salaries. What’s sad is that the vast majority of the population doesn’t give a f…. They don’t fight for a better future. If there’s nobody to fight, a collapse of the civilisation looks inevitable. Or is it already in progress?

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