Hundreds of Serbian gays defy Belgrade Pride ban

Hundreds of Serbian gays defy Belgrade Pride ban

Hundreds of LGBT activists descended on the streets of Belgrade last Friday in the city’s first ever Pride parade – hours after the event had been banned by the authorities


The original Pride march in the Serbian capital had been planned for 28 September, following a week of LGBT events across the city.


However, the march had been banned after the Bureau for the Coordination of Security Services deemed the event unsafe, citing homophobic threats from local thugs as the reason.


Speaking at Friday, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić tried to stress the cancellation ‘did not mean a capitulation to hooligans’.


Speaking on the issue, he said: ‘The only limitation that will always be there are security reasons, when it comes to any [public] gathering’.


Upon hearing about the ban, the organisers of Belgrade Pride quickly organised a new protest, and within hours hundreds of LGBT activists marched on the Prime Minister’s office, taking place at 11 PM.


Despite a heavy police presence, the protest went ahead uninterrupted, with activists chanting ‘We won’t give up!’


One of the protestors said: ‘There are no more workshops and conferences inside! This is the real activism!’


According to those involved, the protest was ‘the most peaceful and original pride parade, very similar to the time of Stonewall’.


They also questioned the absence of threat from right-wing thugs,saying: ‘It is important to ask [Serbian PM Ivica Dačić] now: where were the extremists when the activists marched and stood enough time in front of the symbolic building of the Parliament?!’


Threats were made against the participants of Belgrade Pride in the local press.


Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ivan Ivanovic of Serbian right-wing group Naši said: ‘Although we have nothing against them, we do not want them on the streets, spreading LGBT propaganda’.


‘People are deeply unsatisfied, and are telling us that they will go onto the streets in vast numbers to protest. If that happens again, we all know that Belgrade streets will see bloodshed, and that’s in no one’s interest.’


Despite the threats, no violence has taken place at any of the Belgrade Pride week events.



Source: Gay star news