Demonstration Notices of February 18,
February 16, 2011
The Socialist Party (SP) has announced its intent to hold a large public demonstration in the city of Tirana on the afternoon of Friday, February 18, 2011. The Embassy does not have specific information on the location or staging area for the proposed demonstration. Past demonstrations have affected all major incoming arteries to the city and significantly disrupted the flow of traffic. In Tirana, demonstrations frequently center around the Parliament, the office of the Prime Minister and Tirana’s main Deshmoret e Kombit boulevard. No central gathering place for demonstrators has been announced at this time. There are some indications that the demonstration planned for February 18 could last for several days.
Although large, peaceful demonstrations in Tirana have occurred frequently in the recent past, a demonstration on January 21, 2011 was violent and resulted in the death of four persons and injuries to many others, including to Albanian State Police. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent and unpredictable. You should avoid them if at all possible. Demonstrations in one city have the potential to lead to additional public rallies or demonstrations in other locations around the country. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the local news media reports regarding all possible public rallies or demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise strong caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.
U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Embassy's website and the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad," which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from elsewhere.
We encourage U.S. citizens living or traveling in Albania to enroll with the U.S. Embassy in Tirana through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website to obtain updated information on travel and security within Albania. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy in Tirana is located at Rr. Elbasanit, No. 103, Tel: +355-(0)4-224-7285; Fax: +355-(0)4-237-4957; E-mail: ACSTirana@state.gov.