Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that September’s EuroPride parade in Belgrade will not go ahead would be “postponed or cancelled. Vucic’s announcement comes after thousands of marched in protest organized by the Serbian orthodox church against the event earlier this month.
Vucic in s statement blamed the cancellation on “recent tensions with its former province Kosovo”, as well as issues around energy and food. “Simply, at some point, you can’t handle everything,” he said. “In an another time, a happier one [the event could take place].”
Russian Orthodox priests, nuns, and protesters displayed pictures of Jesus, crosses and banners in the Serbian capital city of Belgrade in a a bizarre ceremonial attempt to “purify” the city after a gay pride parade.
It was the third consecutive year that the event has been successfully held in the city.
The demonstrators said they needed to “purify” the city after the “Sodom and Gomorrah” of the Pride Parade.
They said prayers, gave speeches and displayed banners with slogans including “Gay Shame Never in Public Life”, “Shame on You”, and “Nevermore”.
One priest said: “Why do they have to go public and parade? Why? I’ll tell you why. They want to recruit and to spoil the next generations.”
In 2010, the parade triggered an anti-gay riot in which right wing protesters fought with police, throwing petrol bombs and bricks and setting buildings and vehicles on fire. This is only the third consecutive year that the event has been successfully held in the city – in 2009, 2011 through to 2013, the marches were banned as the authorities said they could not protect the participants.
For the third year in a row the Serbian government has banned Belgrade Pride, citing security concerns over threats of violence by neo-Nazi groups who battled hundreds of riot police at Belgrade Pride 2010.
After Prime Minister Ivica Dacic announced the ban on state television, LGBT activists and straight allies of that country marched in unity on his office.
After a long discussion on whether the march would pass without severe consequences, the security assessments indicated severe threats to public safety,” Dacic said after a three-hour meeting with security chiefs. “This is not a capitulation to the hooligans,” he said. But as night fell, around 200 gay activists waving rainbow flags and banners that read “This is Pride” gathered outside Dacic’s government office before walking to parliament flanked by riot police. They chanted “This is Serbia” and “We have pride”. “Tonight we exercised our right to gather peacefully, and I don’t believe we bothered anyone in Serbia,” said Goran Miletic, a human rights activist and the organizer of the gay pride march.
“Not a capitulation to the hooligans,”? Of course it is and to bigotry and hate.
But admiration must go out to our Serbian brothers and sisters for standing up and taking to the streets.
In the real sense of the term they had their Pride March.
*Serbian activists sit on the pavement outside the hall holding signs with the date set for next year’s parade (AFP, Andrej Isakovic)
Gay rights activists in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday staged a brief protest and held an indoor gathering attended by hundreds of gay rights supporters after a pride march was banned by police over far-right threats of violence.
Activists had announced plans to hold an event in early September 2013, saying they hoped it would give authorities enough time to allow the march. But Serbian police refused and banned the parade drawing criticism from around the world stating that they feared a repeat of the violence from 2010 when more than 100 people were injured in daylong clashes with fascist extremists.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said that security forces had gathered intelligence that suggested there would again be ‘bloodshed’ if the event went ahead this year.
However human rights group Human Rights Watch said that the Serbian government had a responsibility to protect its citizen’s political rights.
‘The government of Serbia should protect the freedom of assembly and expression of the Serbian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and their straight allies instead of forbidding them to assemble and march.”
“The pride parade is not a circus, we are not going to disappear, we will not give up and we will remain visible,’ Belgrade Pride organizing committee member Goran Miletic told AFP.
Activists at the indoor event on Saturday said they will put pressure on authorities to pass a declaration in the parliament against homophobia and amend the criminal law to include hate crimes.
After the event and amid heavy police presence, about two dozen flag-waving activists briefly appeared outside an office building in central Belgrade and sat down on the sidewalk for what they described as a “small, silent, nonviolent and motionless protest.”
Serbian Police have banned is weekends Pride march scheduled to take place over the weekend “saying” it’s because they fear a repeat of the violence in 2010, when right-wing groups attacked such an event in Belgrade, triggering day-long clashes with the police that left more than 100 people injured. But this move comes after Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia’s Christian Orthodox church, urged the government to prevent Saturday’s march calling it a “parade of shame” would cast a “moral shadow” on Serbia.
Last year hundreds of participants successfully Sunday what became Serbia’s first-ever Gay Pride parade through central Belgrade but with severe incidents of violence from anti-gay protesters. Before , during and after the short march, hundreds of thugs with bricks, flares and even Molotov Cocktails (Petrol bombs) were thrown at police protecting a gay pride march Sunday in Belgrade. Chanting “death to homosexuals Anti-gay thugs also trashed the seat of the ruling Democratic Party, setting one part of the building on fire. And at one point the anti-gay protesters hijacked a bus, ordered all of its passengers and the driver out, and pushed it down a steep street before hit an electric pole on a main Belgrade square.