Albanian Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Large Protest Against Government

Albania’s police used tear gas indiscriminately against citizens protesting Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government in today’s opposition-organized protest.

The protest starting at 18:00 gathered together tens of thousands of citizens in the 9 protest in two months.

Since February 16, Albanians are demanding the resignation of Rama, forming of a transitory government and free and fair elections. Weekly protests are led by country’s opposition parties which have resigned from their parliamentary mandates.

Farmers joined today’s protest and symbolically spilled their products on the street in front of Prime Minister’s Office. They have organized similar local protests in the last weeks against government policies which they claim make it impossible for them to sell farming products.

Artists also protested government policies in art and culture. They have been protesting daily for more than one year trying to protect the National Theater building which the government wants to demolish and give the land to a private company to build high-rise tower.

Opposition leader Lulzim Basha said that they wouldn’t back down until Rama resigns and a new transitory government is formed. He added that the incumbent government has colluded with crime, ruined the fundaments of democratic coexistence, freedom and justice.

Two hours after today’s protest there were scuffles between the protests and police in front of the Prime Minister’s Office. The crowd then moved to the Parliament building where scuffles led to the indiscriminate use of tear gas by the police.

The protest in still ongoing in front of the Parliament.