Croatia | Gay Pride

100 Arrested As Anti-Gay Protesters Disrupt Pride Parade In Croatia

Violence erupted at a pride parade in Split, Croatia today, one day after the country was allowed entrance into the European Union.

The AP reports: "State TV said around 200 people participated in the pride march, while thousands of opponents lined the streets in protest. The report says riot police prevented direct clashes. Extremists threw rocks, bottles and firecrackers at the participants."

According to Reuters, of the dozen or so injured, four of them were journalists.

Watch several videos from the event, AFTER THE JUMP. A couple of the clips are from Croatian television news stations and the others are awful on-the-scene videos of anti-gay protesters attacking parade participants attacked with smoke bombs and anti-gay chants.

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  1. Thousands of bigots throw "rocks, bottles and firecrackers" at 200 LGBT people.

    Typical Eastern Europe. Sick and nasty.

    Posted by: Max | Jun 11, 2011 3:33:11 PM

  2. Brave people, they are heroes.

    Posted by: MacroT | Jun 11, 2011 3:45:54 PM

  3. More video

    Posted by: paul canning | Jun 11, 2011 3:53:46 PM

  4. @Max I think you should quit the racism, it's not too dissimilar to homophobia you know. Had a pride march taken place in the US in decades past, the exact same thing would have happened. it's not the individuals' faults that they're bigoted, it's a lack of education, and not all countries in the world are equally educated. Perhaps you should educate *yourself* about what conditions the people of Eastern Europe have had to deal with in the past. Srebrenica? The tyranny of the USSR under Stalin and subsequent despots? Ceaușescu? Bigoted regimes tend not to educate people about equality.

    Posted by: BenB | Jun 11, 2011 4:14:10 PM

  5. Five days ago, the Pope visited Croatia and in his homily lamented "the disintegration of the family". Yesterday, violent protesters attacked the Gay Pride Parade in Split.

    Anyone think that's a coincidence?

    Posted by: BobN | Jun 11, 2011 4:20:53 PM

  6. Do my eyes deceive me or do i see homophobic white people? oh wait, what else is new?

    Posted by: whatdidyousay | Jun 11, 2011 5:12:29 PM

  7. BenB, I'm half Croatian. This problem didn't start with Communism. The Croatian government during World War II was so viciously racist that their actions in exterminating Jews and Serbs shocked even the SS. Croatian nationalists still honor Ante Pavelic, the vicious collaborator responsible for most of that genocide.

    10,000 years before someone in Croatia created a mass grave with hundreds of victims who were cannibalized for their bone marrow.

    Knowing my people, I'm positively giddy that no one was murdered at the pride parade.

    Posted by: Frank | Jun 11, 2011 5:23:50 PM

  8. Angry dyke #1 in the first video is my friend Mima! :-)

    The crowd of football-fan / neo-Ustashe youth are yelling "Kill the fag" just like they did in Belgrade in 2001. They also yell "Gypsies" at one point. Equal opportunity haters! I'm not sure why there are so many young neo-fascists in Split in 2011 on the eve of entry into the EU, where they obviously don't belong.

    Most of the comments on youtube are from fellow homophobic yugoslavs.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jun 11, 2011 5:36:31 PM

  9. Benb, which race is "Eastern European?" Is a geographic region a race nowadays?

    You say "it's not the individuals' faults that they're bigoted..."

    Yes it most certainly is.

    Posted by: Max | Jun 11, 2011 6:38:03 PM

  10. Is it any wonder that World War I started in this part of the world? The people there are not normal in the sense of their personalities. They are heavily influenced by religion, in Croatia's case, Catholicism. There's also a very strong patriarchal streak but there's also a very relaxed attitude to nudity. There are tons of nude beaches along the Croatian coast.

    Posted by: adam | Jun 11, 2011 6:39:03 PM

  11. I wish the EU would demand a high standard of human rights and peace be achieved BEFORE the most backward countries of Europe are allowed into the club.
    What are the schools in Croatia teaching kids about gay people, bisexuals, transgendered people, Gypsies, Jews, Serbs, agnostics, etc.? What does the criminal code do about people who advocate violence? How seriously will these thugs be dealt with, or will they be out on the streets and free to continue attacking people next year?

    @BenB: I might be able to pass off the actions of a kindergartener who attacks kids on the playground as being due to a lack of education and role modeling. But in the case of adults who endanger others' lives, there's no excuse.
    Croatia desperately needs education, but in the meantime, it also needs consequences (both from Croatia toward the thugs and from the EU toward the Croatian government) to send the message that violence will no longer be tolerated in society.

    Posted by: Gregv | Jun 11, 2011 7:53:40 PM

  12. BENB: "it's not the individuals' faults that they're bigoted"

    Actually, yes it is.

    This isn't the dark ages. Information is available. Yet this isn't entirely an education issue. Simple compassion would prevent these actions. These people have freely chosen hate, and taken time out of their day to express it face-to-face. It absolutely IS a personal moral failure, that they alone are responsible for.

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 12, 2011 12:08:43 AM

  13. Be brave and proud my brothers and sisters!! The world is with you!

    Posted by: Tigger | Jun 12, 2011 12:50:08 AM

  14. KevinVT, Split is a stronghold of Croatian nationalists with a particularly neo-fascist bent. Many of them are originally from Herzegovina. And EU membership doesn't exactly have 100% support in Croatia. In fact, I think it's under 50% at this point so I don't think these people care too much about how this might affect EU accession. As for the Yugoslavs commenting on Youtube, gotta love the Serb and Croat nationalists uniting in homophobia!

    Posted by: Vlad | Jun 12, 2011 2:18:36 AM

  15. Croatia is not Eastern Europe. It is geographically just south of Austria and across the Adriatic from Northern Italy. It has been been under the ancient Romans, the Venitians and the Austrians then the Nazis and then communism. My mother's family is from Split. They are open minded. Not fascists.
    The Pope is stirring up that hate by spreading fear and ignorance. Beautiful scenery and men there. Things will improve. They are behind on gay rights but will catch up. There is a larger gay scene in other cities.

    Posted by: ganymeade | Jun 12, 2011 2:18:44 AM

  16. I'm from the UK and recently moved to Croatia. I think the attacks at the march were completely outrageous but unfortunately no matter where you are you always get ignorant people. I'm also very shocked by some people's insulting comments about Croatia. Yes perhaps people here have lived a little behind closed doors and may not be quite so liberally minded as other nations, but on the whole the people here are very considerate, caring, family-orientated people and would be equally dismayed about what happened in Split. You might want to stop and think about the crime that takes place in the so called "western" worlds - someone mentioned violence in society, so what is the UK going to do about it's murderers, rapists and paedophiles, being such a civilised EU member. People are very stupid to condemn a whole nation based upon a few hundred idiots.

    Posted by: RFlynn | Jun 12, 2011 8:14:23 AM

  17. If you are commenting on a US-based gay blog and try to defend a people as caring and FAMILY ORIENTED, you just used code for ANTI-GAY. I'm sure that's not what you intended but FYI, in the USA, the words Family Values, Family Oriented, Family ... in the context of same sex topics always excludes LGBTs.

    Posted by: galore | Jun 12, 2011 8:35:46 AM

  18. BenB - You need to learn the difference between racism and bigotry before you start throwing the words at other posters.

    Posted by: Commeca | Jun 12, 2011 10:58:03 AM

  19. It's quite sad to see all the hateful comments in Croatian on the YouTube videos. Not only were they posted, they had thumbs up from people. I lived in that part of the world for quite a few years, and homophobia is so damn ingrained in the culture. I wish there would be true advocates in the government to start pushing for progress.

    Posted by: James | Jun 12, 2011 1:27:55 PM

  20. I just finished reading an article about the pride parade in Indianapolis, Indiana and it struck me how the many many many ignorant and hateful comments were identical to those I read in Croatian or Serbian media. The main difference is that the rule of law in the U.S. is stronger when it comes to defending certain civil liberties. By the time gay pride parades began to be held in American cities, the state had already established that it would not tolerate these types of mobs attacking whatever unpopular minority gathering. This idea that any society is naturally tolerant is bogus. I just don't see it. While some cultures seem more laidback about certain things, I don't see that as automatically ushering in universal tolerance. It seems to require a strong state and judicial system that establishes tentative minority rights not to mention freedom of speech and all sorts of other rights. Only after years of activism does the battle begin to be won and the majority either begin to accept or at least realize that all they can do is stay home and wallow in their hatred and frustration since they cannot take this to the streets. The fact that these parades are even being organized in Split or Belgrade is in my opinion a sign of progress. It's all part of a very difficult and unfortunately sometimes bloody process but it's still years ahead of say Uganda or Iran. Most of the world is not like the West. While I'm utterly horrified each time I see this happen, I am not at all surprised and I don't automatically jump to condemn and insult whatever culture or country with some nasty racist type of comments. Everyone who does that shows themselves to be as ignorant and provincial as those they are attacking.

    Posted by: Vlad | Jun 12, 2011 3:09:39 PM

  21. I have been to croatia and it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, particularly the coast. The people are so friendly and warm. But yes, they are homophobic. I wish it wasn't that way. But they also lack tolerance towards Muslims, Jews, even other Slavs, like the Serbs. Intoleance towards one groups usually hints an intolerance in general towards any thing that is different.

    Posted by: James | Jun 12, 2011 8:15:45 PM

  22. The upside is that the governments of Croatia and Serbia now protect the gay marchers and arrest the homophobic hooligans. The first parades are always the worst -- I think even Ljubljana's had some violence, as did Zagreb's first back in 2001.

    There are lots of enlightened people in all of the successor states, especially the educated ones.

    Vlad: yes, the homophobes are united, but so are the yugo-queers who regularly travel between Zagreb, Beograd, and Ljubljana for events. There were some 10 Serbs at the parade in Split. Ajde da se družimo: ja sam Kevinvt i na facebook-u!

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jun 12, 2011 8:46:23 PM

  23. From World War Two on Croatia has been infested with fascists.

    After the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia the Ustaše, catholic fanatics, aided the Nazis in their fight against Stalinist insurgents led by Tito. Modern descendents of the Ustaše are for a racist state that excludes non-Catholics, Serbs, Jews and Romani people.

    Since they're trying to join the EU they're downplaying their Nazi past, their ongoing racism and concentrating on violence against gays. That's similar to the right in this country from Dixiecrats to Republicans. When racism became less popular they simply switched their bigotry to women and GLBT folks.

    Anti-gay violence will probably not get them excluded from the EU. It certainly had no effect on the applications of Poland and other former Warsaw Pact states.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jun 13, 2011 3:01:10 AM

  24. In fairness now it's only recently that the gay rights movement has taken place in the eastern European country's. It's only in it's baby stages. Were I'm from homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993 and in those short 18 years we have come on leaps and bounds in our attitude and acceptance of gay people. Now over 70% of Ireland want gay marriage when in the 80s Ireland's first gay center was targeted on a regular basic. This is what I call a true gay pride. In country's like Croatia it still has a strong meaning!

    Posted by: Joseph | Jun 13, 2011 12:06:37 PM

  25. This is why our movement in the US has gone so astray - because we braved crowds like these 35 years ago. Of course, we didn't have police protection. Nevertheleess, as things improved here, we forgot about our Siters and Brothers in other parts of the world - 40 years later and look at what they have to deal with. We need to stand-up for them. They are courageous people who risk their lives for liberation.

    Posted by: Ted | Jun 13, 2011 2:54:04 PM

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