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SHOCK: Belgrade Pride Canceled Amidst Violent Threats

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Today was supposed to be a joyous day for Serbian’s gays. That was until anti-gay opponents made the chance for a civil gay pride parade in Belgrade so unlikely, the government urged organizers to call things off. So they did.

Tomorrow’s parade would have been the first since 2001; the last one ended in violent outbursts as LGBTs and extremists clashed on the streets. But even with the cancellation, there seems to be some modicum of progress: Last year government officials refused to help protect the parade from antagonists. This year, they said they would help, and even President Boris Tadi got behind demands for a peaceful event.

But by today, it didn’t matter. Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic told organizers there was no amount of police (and they planned to send thousands) that could protect parade marchers in central Belgrade. The alternative — moving the march to a field — wasn’t good enough for organizers like Dragana Vuckovi, so they axed it. AFP:

Vuckovic said organisers cancelled the event, planned for Sunday, after police suggested it could instead take place in a field.

“That would be unacceptable for us. As a result we decided to cancel” the event, she told AFP.

The Beta news agency said police had proposed a large open space across the Sava river from the city centre, to host the event. It had been planned for outside the philosophy faculty in the middle of Belgrade.

“The message of equal rights is transmitted symbolically when a group on the margins is able to parade in the centre of the capital,” Vuckovic said.

She said the organisers were calling on the government to open an investigation to determine who had threatened the march.

Meanwhile, the Serb Popular Movement 1389 was celebrating, calling the cancellation a victory — and still planning to go ahead with its own planned anti-gay rally, taking place three hours before the pride parade was set to begin. So much for an appeal to the Serbian Orthodox Church to demand opponents stay calm during the parade.

By:           editor editor
On:           Sep 19, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 21 Comments
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      From: http://news.id.msn.com/topstories/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3598093

      In March parliament passed a law banning discrimination against homosexuals despite opposition from nationalists and religious leaders, but gays and lesbians are still blocked from marrying, adopting children and other rights enjoyed by heterosexuals.

      Belgrade Pride organisers had also called on the Serbian Orthodox Church to make an appeal for calm. But the Church said it could not accept the event, calling it a “Shame Parade, Parade of Sodom and Gomorrah”.

      I can’t wait for all of the religious apologists and protectors to arrive on this site, who will inform us that this is the work of atheists and communists, not the Church!

      Sep 19, 2009 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • paulied
      paulied

      I’m certainly no advocate for violence, but I sure as fuck would be bringing rocks and bottles to the 1389 rally.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      Religion, you know that organization that has “made homosexuality wrong” for 2,000 years, now cancels Pride Parades, too?

      Wake up LGBTQ – Religion keeps making us “wrong,” and if we don’t fight that we will never be equal. We are Not Wrong.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79
      tavdy79

      I think this could cause serious problems for Serbia long-term. Serbia has made EU membership a key goal – it really has little choice given its location as otherwise it will be surrounded by EU states. But with the ongoing problem of Lithuania’s “Section 28″ style anti-gay/anti-free-speech law, I don’t think the EU will be rushing to admit states who aren’t completely committed to the EU’s human rights agenda. Serbia clearly can’t fulfil it’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Until they do there’s no chance of the country joining the EU.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Hey … look at the cancellation of Belgrade Pride from the “gay” angle, please! I spoke on the telephone to an English gay journo who is in Belgrade (to cover the Pride). He said that the authorities BANNED the Pride in the downtown area where it was scheduled to be held and swears that he has seen a copy of the written police ban. OK, so the organisers were offered another location miles away in an almost rural surrounding on the banks of the Danube River. The view of the Pride organisers was that if the cops and government feared such a level of violence that would be uncontrolable in downtown, how the hell could the authorities provide adequate policing for the Pride against the maurauding skinheads, neo-facsists and neo-Nazis, who take no prisoners, in what is effectively a rural surrounding. The crazy thing is that the thousands of scum ingtent on stopping the Pride in the city do not believe that the Pride is cancelled. They think it’s a ploy to make them not to go to the area. So don’t take too much notice of the news agencies, who are reporting Government “spin” so then don’t loose any face in Brussels (see post #4 by tavdy79 who sums-up the political aspect well).

      Sep 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      Common sense and public decency has prevailed, congrats to the people of Serbia – we look to you with admiration.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Robert

      If Brian and Schulkitz criticize you for your post, feel free, feel encouraged in fact, to quote their own anti-religion hate speech at them. There is no shortage of it at Queerty, in any thread even remotely related to religion.

      Bigotry is wrong, no matter who the target is, and your bigotry is no worse than theirs, nor is their bigotry any less vile and degrading than yours.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 11:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @David:

      I don’t know what you are up to, David or what shit you are attempting to stir-up here, but Robert and I relate to each other very well, thank you.

      We have nothing but the highest of respect for each other and neither of us have ever felt the need to criticize or denigrate each other.

      So, why don’t you just buck-off, okay. You constant preaching is really becoming one big pain-in-the ass on these threads.

      You’ve worn your welcome out with just about every poster on these threads. Take a hint.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • akhenaton
      akhenaton

      the biggest problem here is the word PONOS in Serbian (translated from Pride). “Ponos” in Serbian holds an explosive meaning with strong historical connotations and never should have been translated. Pride should have remained pride or “prajd” (Serbian prounciation), and it was a big mistake that “ponos”, for being proud, as an emotional and psychological concept, was the central point in promoting the event, with videos based on that very word as a concept.

      The central point should have been in promoting diversity (as the rainbow flag suggests) and the event should have been called in serbian “Povorka raznolikosti” instead of “Povorka ponosa”. In that case it would have surely caused less negative emotional effect on those not approving it, and the whole situation might have been very different.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • V
      V

      @schlukitz:

      Actually, maybe YOU ought to leave.

      After all, it is you who seem to have a truly gargantuan amount of free time to comment almost endlessly on everything, always predicatbly, but never very intelligently.

      At least David’s view that Robert’s “bigotry is no worse than theirs, nor is their bigotry any less vile and degrading than yours” is at least thought-provoking as a minority view on a site which, as David observes, does not lack loudmouths like you and Brian, whose animosity toward religion borders on psychopathy.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sebastien
      sebastien

      They will never access European union if they don’t change their attitude. So when they ‘ll nneed the money and the protection of the european umbrella, they’ll change. Money tops religion usually!

      Sep 20, 2009 at 4:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @V:

      There, there, now.

      I hope getting that off your chest has made you feel better. Do have a lovely day.

      Oh, btw, I am retired so, yes, I do have a gargantuan amount of free time.

      Eat your sweet little heart out. ;>)

      Sep 20, 2009 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @V:

      After thought:

      Since you and David are so into quoting scripture and verse, I thought the following might be appropriate.

      if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out

      Sep 20, 2009 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      Serb FAIL.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @Brian: As a card carrying atheist I agree. I see a dangerous trend to our community not only in Belgrade but here in America. We are hated enough already due to our LGBT struggle for civil rights.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • epluribusunumjk
      epluribusunumjk

      while I think religion definitely plays a role in this, I believe Serbian nationalism is more like a cause of what went on here.

      In all honesty, a lot of Serbs don’t like “others.” It’s not necessarily a religious thing, but if something doesn’t fit into the mindset of what it means to be a “Great Serb” or worthy as a member of the fictional “Greater Serbia,” he or she is usually rejected.

      Just think back to all those people who were starved and raped in Serbian concentration camps in Bosnia and Kraijna and you get my point. Religion was there (i.e. the Serbs were Orthodox, Bosnians were Muslim and Croats were Catholic, to simplify things horribly), but the wars in the Balkans had very little if anything to do with religion and more with establishing a “Greater Serbia” for “Great Serbs.” It’s really difficult to argue anything else or that it was just a run-of-the-mill religious conflict.

      On a side note, some of my best friends are Bosnian – so I might be a little biased. The shit that went on over there in the early 1990s was a disgrace to humanity.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chance
      Chance

      @Robert: Don’t listen to David. Your bigotry (if sincere) is, in fact, among the worst I’ve seen on this site. After all, the bigotry he’s accusing others of is entirely fictional. David, we’ve learned, is like a cartoon character. Comical and adorable, in a laughable sort of way, but nauseatingly irritating in anything larger than tiny doses. And just like a cartoon character, he never seems to have anything productive or substantitive to say. Like a Simpson, he always seems to fall back on the same tired old catch phrases, in his case “Yeah, we’ll you’re an atheist!” this, or “Anti-religion” that. You just have to learn to change the channel.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @epluribusunumjk: But consider the history of Islam in Bosnia during the second world war taking the side of Hitler against the Jews. The roots are religious and Islamic fundamentalism is out to take over the world. Christian orthodoxy in Serbia and Islam in Bosnia. Either way, we LGBT’s are despised. Maybe politics now, but the roots and mindset were in religion.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donnie Sanders
      Donnie Sanders

      What a piece of shit country. They make Alabama look like Berkeley, CA.

      Sep 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • VegasTeaRoom
      VegasTeaRoom

      Where do I get one of those T-shirts?

      Sep 22, 2009 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • killdils
      killdils

      Thats great no gay parade .you guys are very lucky to be walking the street of belgrade the mafia there doesn’t muck around

      Oct 11, 2009 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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