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    Posted February 24, 2011 by
    Zagreb, Croatia

    Croatia: Protests break out to take down government


    Protestors flooded the center of Croatia's capital Thursday vowing to take down the government in a move that has attracted thousands of people to join in just less than five days.

    At approximately 4:00 pm, armed riot police used barricades to block all entrances to the government complex at Saint Mark's Square in Zagreb, where protesting has been banned since 2005.

    Led by organizer and local hero, Ivan Pernar, 25, over one thousand peaceful protestors gathered in Zagreb's city center at approximately 6:00 pm before moving in masses towards the parliament.

    Accusing the government of corruption, protestors chanted “Thieves! Thieves!” while demanding that prime minister Jadranka Kosor step down from her position. Tensions grew after Pernar jumped over barricades and was promptly arrested.

    Officers opened the barricades in an attempt at provocation, while protestors yelled “cowards” and  demand they take the Croatian crest off of their helmets. Fights broke out between both sides until police released tear gas on the protestors.

    “They are throwing tear gas on their own people, tear gas which we paid for,” one protestor said to a camera.

    Protestors were eventually pushed back by police away from the square.

    Croatia is a country of 4.5 million people, plagued by high unemployed with currently 350,000 people unemployed.

    Headed by the Croatian Democratic Union for 16 years, Croatians have seen their economy virtually destroyed by flawed policies of privatization, cronyism in government and bribery and corruption at the highest and lowest levels.

    Wednesday night Pernar posted a private message on his Facebook page which he had received from the ruling party, bribing him with a “successful” future if he was willing to call off the demonstrations. The message has been reprinted in newspapers around the country exposing the bribe.

    Only last Sunday Pernar had protested with only 3 other protestors and had a following on his Facebook group of roughly 5000 people. That number grew to over 17,000 by Thursday night. Thousands of messages of support have been flooding his Facebook page, with the next demonstration planned for Saturday at 1:00p.m.

    Ivan Pernar blog: http://zelenapolitika.wordpress.com
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/prosvjed?ref=ts

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