The Ultra Right is Ultra Wrong

From Belgrade, Serbia, Mirko Ilic (below, bottom) corresponds from a violent anti-gay demonstration fronted by Nationalists and skin heads took place last week. He was there, in anticipation of the threatened violence, to show support for the gay groups involved, for whom he has also created graphics.

From the Sydney Star:

Police protected participants in a pride parade in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Sunday.

Serbia’s first attempt at a pride march was broken up by skinheads in 2001, while an event planned for September last year was effectively banned by the Government in response to threats of violence from far right groups.

But this year the Government deployed 5000 police and armored vehicles to protect the pride march.

The  Obraz far right group and soccer fans physically attacked pride participants. The police made 207 arrests. 124 police officers were injured by rioters throwing rocks and bottles. The rioters destroyed 11 police cars and looted stores before being fought back by police using tear gas. Ilic had to be removed from the mass attack in an armored vehicle.

In the aftermath, Serbian president Boris Tadic condemned the attacks, reports the Star:

“Serbia will guarantee human rights for all its citizens, regardless of the differences among them, and no attempts to revoke these freedoms with violence will be allowed,” Tadic said.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Serbia in 1994, and an equal age of consent set at 14 introduced in 2006, while anti-discrimination laws protecting people on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity were enacted last year.

See BBC coverage here.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I was there with Mr. Ilić. It was surreal, to say the least.
    I was freshman at the Faculty of Architecture when I faced police cordons for the first time, almost twenty years ago. They were not on my side. They were protecting newly founded fake leftist regime of Slobodan Milošević. From that moment on facing police in the streets was part of the regular routine of my life in Belgrade. This time they were on my side. I think. But I felt really old.
    I had to go through three rings of the police in order to get to the rally point. At the entrance I met film director Srdjan Dragojevic. He told me he came here to film some documentary footage for his new movie about gay pride.
    A big chunk of the center of the city was completely blocked off and fairly silent. It was like aliens have landed.
    1000 people have gathered, and 6000 policemen were protecting them from 6000 hooligans. Only one politician joined us.
    Speakers talked, we walked (in silence) and paraded for the cameras. My friends who didn’t manage to get in sent me text messages. Reports looked like 3rd World War. We heard/saw nothing.
    After a party where few people danced we were transported in police vans outside of the ring and far away from the waves of hooligans. That was a part of the whole security scheme. We were squeezed into metal boxes, in total darkness with ventilation holes in the roof where I expected Zyklon B to start seeping.
    I took a cab, went home and turned on the TV. And I saw something completely different. Media coverage deserves a separate analysis. Roughly, fags shouldn’t have provoked. It’s their fault.

    I was snapping photos all the time. You can check them out here http://picasaweb.google.com/macasev/BelgradeGayPride#

    PS. This morning I got an email from a boy who was with me in a police van. He has got beaten up with another boy who ended up in hospital with a concussion. They were attacked in a full restaurant. No one intervened.

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