the situation

Belgrade Pride: 47 Police Officers Among The Injured As Rioters Firebomb Cars + Vandalize Stores

On Saturday “thousands” marched in Belgrade to protest the next day’s gay pride rally, making their fascist hand gestures and calling for the execution of homos (see bottom photo). And on Sunday (that’s today!), the Serbian parade still went on, a far cry from last year when the police said they wouldn’t be able to protect LGBT supporters. No wonder: This year’s event, the first since 2001, was not without incident.

Thousands of police officers sealed off streets in the capital where the march took place, repeatedly clashing with rioters who were trying to burst through security cordons. The rioters fired shots and hurled petrol bombs at the headquarters of the ruling pro-western Democratic party, setting the garage of the building on fire. The state TV building and other political parties’ headquarters were also attacked, with many of the windows shattered by stones. Several parked cars were set on fire or damaged, shop windows were broken, rubbish bins overturned and street signs destroyed.

The protesters, chanting “Death to homosexuals!” hurled petrol bombs, bricks, stones, bottles and firecrackers at riot police. Police responded with teargas and armoured vehicles to disperse the riots in the heart of the capital even after the brief pride march ended. The protesters hijacked a bus, ordered passengers and the driver out, and pushed it down a steep street before it hit an electric pole on a main Belgrade square. Several shops were looted. Belgrade emergency hospital said 57 people were injured, including 47 policemen, one seriously. Police said several rioters were arrested.

An estimated thousand revelers took part in the, uh, “festivities,” with some five thousand police officers on hand — in riot gear, on horseback, and in the air in helicopters — to keep things kosher. It didn’t stop protesters from hurling rocks and bottles at officials.

Though the parade was only a 10-minute walk (which required clearing three security checkpoints to enter), organizers ruled it a success — despite reports that one Swiss attendee was attacked in the hours after the parade.




[photos: UK Gay News, AFP]

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  • CHIP1218

    Notice how there are hardly any women at the Saturday Anti-Gay Pride Rally? It’s more of a sausage fest than a gay bar!

    It looks like there were over 100 injuries, mainly to police officers, a few million euros in damage, the ruiling party’s headquarters were set on fire, and a bus was hijacked and used as a weapon by the protesters at today’s event.

    Perhaps the silver lining in all this, that Serbian seeking asylum in the USA who got his denial overturned on appeal (because the immigration judge said he didn’t look gay) should have no problem getting his asylum application approved now…

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  • california_one

    Its pretty incredible that this event even happened when you have 1,000’s of “bullies’ on the street shouting for your death and violently rioting.

    Congrats to the LGBT community and their supporters in Belgrade for being incredibly brave! You are paving new ground and you have all done us honor..

    The slogan here in the US in regards to the gay youth suicides has been “It Gets Better”… For the gay citizens of Serbian and all the Balkans..we’d like you to know that this too will get better..

  • Gary B.

    *removes Siberia from his travel list*

    seriously though, sometimes i’m really amazed that with all our millions of years of evolution that the human race still has so far to go to truly distinguish ourselves from animals.

  • Soupy

    Serbia, not Siberia

  • Gary B.

    oops, I knew it was Serbia, but my fingers messed up – i blame them.

  • Doot

    Totally disgusting.

    I live in Belgrade and I have no idea where these knuckle-draggers come from. You don’t see them normally. Belgrade is normally a safe city.

    Serbia has some pretty elementary problems with diversity. sheesh.

    I will say one thing, though. I don’t see anyone making “fascist symbols” in the bottom picture. Though I have no doubt that many in that crowd are fascist and would smash a fag’s face the first chance they got, there’s really no need to sensationalize something that’s already pretty much at rock-bottom.

  • Doot

    weird, many of them are in this cock-sucking pose.

  • Max

    Orthodox Church is a reason of this fantastic homophobia!
    In Russia, Belarus, Ukraine also…

  • tallskin2

    @GaryB -“seriously though, sometimes i’m really amazed that with all our millions of years of evolution that the human race still has so far to go to truly distinguish ourselves from animals.”

    Yeah, until we drop religion then we won’t be more highly evolved.

    But take heart that religions only started around 10,000 years ago with the start of farming, class division, private property, kings and queens and priests.

    That is a short time compared to our total evolution.

  • Gary B.

    @tallskin2: I believe in God, so I don’t think religion should be thrown out wholesale, just the erroneous misconceptions and lies that have been perpetrated down through the centuries that exist within many religions. If people stuck to the core principles of love and acceptance and compassion, we’d be in great territory.

    It’s interesting to watch how society evolves. Even with things like gender and racial equality, that have been generally accepted for decades in many parts of the world, there are still neanderthals dragging their feet who refuse to catch up with the rest of us.

    With gay rights in the U.S., we’ve come a long way, but obviously we have a tremendously long way to go. Some countries are ahead of us, and unfortunately, many are behind us. Can you imagine if something like these marches were permitted and attempted in the Middle East? It would probably make the Belgrade event look positively peaceful by comparison.

    Yes, many people get their homophobia from religion, but also their families and society at large. And as far as I’m concerned, it was man who added to religious texts in ways that encouraged homophobia in the first place, not God. So I’m not for abandoning religion or God, in fact, I’m into praying for people to embrace love and acceptance, compassion and understanding, to realize where they’ve been led astray and to embrace peace and equality.

  • AdonisOfFire

    There’s still too many muslims and extremists in Serbia.

    Serbian guys are really sexy though, sadly they live in a shit hole of a country.

  • tallskin2

    @GaryB -“Yes, many people get their homophobia from religion, but also their families and society at large.”

    With all due respect, you’re putting the cart before the horse on this. Their families, and society at large, gets its homophobia FROM religion. Religious bigotry feeds into social values. Not the other way around. You remove religion and the moral, ethical and intellectual grounding for homophobia is removed.

    I would suggest that this is the reason that godless, atheistic Europe is far ahead of the US on gay rights, abortion, the death penalty, social welfare etc for this reason.

    And is the reason why the muslim world is so backward when it comes to gay rights.

    On a related note: “Several EU diplomats came out in support of Belgrade Pride on Sunday (10 October) as nationalist gangs battled police and vandalised property a few blocks away in the Serb capital.

    The head of the EU delegation to Serbia (French diplomat Vincent Degert), the Dutch ambassador to Serbia, the German deputy ambassador and diplomats from the Austrian, Spanish, Swedish and UK missions all turned out to join the crowd of between 1,000 and 1,500 Pride marchers.

    ‘We are waiting for you’: Anti-Pride graffiti appeared in Belgrade streets ahead of the event (Photo: anjči)

    Mr Degert opened the event in the Majek park with a short speech. “We are here to celebrate this very important day … to celebrate the values of tolerance, freedom of expression and assembly,” he said.

  • Ken S

    Note to self: fuck Serbia.

  • Gary B.

    @tallskin2: I understand where you’re coming from, but really it sounds like another person using homophobia (that IMO man has added into religions) as a way to validate their atheism.

    Let’s practice the tolerance for different religions that we wish they would practice towards LGBT people.

    There are a LOT of people who believe in God (like me) who aren’t part of an organized religion, and there are a LOT of people in organized religions who don’t believe every word of every book and are very loving and accepting of LGBT people and want equal rights.

    So yes, obviously there is a long way to go, but just because you don’t (understandably) approve of homophobia, it doesn’t mean that the solution is atheism. That might work for you and many others, but that’s certainly not for everyone.

  • Doot

    who needs homophobia to validate their non-belief in some magic sky-man?

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