Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Serbia’s Authorities Expect Clashes during Belgrade Gay Pride Parade   
15 September 2009 | The Serbian security forces expect serious clashes during the gay pride parade, which is planned to take place in Belgrade this Sunday, according to a secret police document, the newspaper Politika reported today.

Authorities expect that the clashes will leave people wounded. According to the document, football fans and ultra-right formations are getting organized to come by bus from all over Serbia and Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to take part in a counter-protest against the parade.

In addition to physical clashes with participants, fans of the football clubs Crvena zvezda and Rada also plan attacks on the policemen that will be protecting the event.

According to the document, it is expected that the football fans will incite an incident in the broad centre of Belgrade, with which to attract police attention while they clash with the parade participants.

Supporters of the nationalistic organisations Obraz, Pokret 1389 and Nashi are expected to mix with the participants in order to incite fights within the actual parade. The homophobes, it is thought, will be carrying stones, torches, Molotov cocktails and tear gas.

Authorities predict that a large number of gay activists, policemen and bystanders will be injured, and damage to property will also be inflicted. State institutions may also be attacked for allowing the event to take place.
Leaders of the organisations opposing the gay parade told Politika that they don’t intend on engaging in physical violence against the participants but also warned that they could not guarantee for the actions of their supporters.

The gay pride parade’s organisation in Serbia caused massive controversy and was strongly opposed not just by far-right formations and football fans, but also by parent organisations and the church, as reported in July.

The number of people expected to support the event is not very high, especially after the homophobic threats. About 300 gay activists and 100 cultural life activists, who support the freedom of sexual choice, are expected to march on Sunday.

This will be Belgrade’s second attempt at organizing a gay pride parade. The first one in June of 2001 was forcibly halted when opponents seriously injuring several participants and policemen, as wrote.

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