Workers clashed with the police in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, protesting a new Labour law. Around 5.000 workers were present at the height of the protests. Despite the protests,Assembly passed the law.
Protests were held in front of the Parliament building of Republika Srpska (RS), an autonomous Serb entity of BiH, and clashes started when Prime Minister of RS Zeljka Cvijanovic refused to talk with the president of Workers Union Ranka Mišić.
Mišić was told that Cvijanović will talk to her, but only in the break, which was unacceptable for her, after which she came out and told the news to the protesters.
Just minutes later workers tried to break trough the police cordons protecting the building and at least several of them were injured in the clashes and needed medical assistance. Clashes lasted for about 10 minutes, after which Misic called for workers to raise their hands in a show of peaceful intentions.
After the clashes started, protesters started to dissipate, and few hours later protests were ended.
Misic was called back in the building to address the parliament, but after her speech she refused to leave, and security forcefully removed her from the building.
Video of the incident
“We came here to ask for our rights, I just wanted to hold a speech. Lawmakers are not working for the benefit of the citizens, but so their financiers could profit”, said Misic.
Similar protests were held in July in Sarajevo. Workers then were protesting against a similar law for the other entity of Bosnia – Federation of BiH. Despite the protests, Labour law was passed.