Belgrade Hub

Serbian Interior Minister Wants to Call Off Gay Pride Parade So the Police Will Be Safe


You may recall that last year Belgrade was host to Serbia's first Gay Pride parade since 2001. It was a nightmare. Hundreds of nationalist and religious right-wing protesters attacked and injured more than 100 people, including many of the 5,000  police officers who were present to protect it.

Dacic Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić said this week that this year's parade should be called off in order to protect the police force:

“Police always pays the highest price, not only financially but also when it comes to injuries. Many police officers were injured last year,” he pointed out.

The minister stated that if police operated in accordance with the security assessments, the Pride Parade would be declared a high risk event and they would think about calling it off.

“It is not up to police to make such decisions whether some gathering should be held or not,” Dačić stressed and called on state organs and society to voice their opinion about the parade.

The European Commission and the European Parliament are closely monitoring activities in Serbia related to the Pride event, the minister noted.

Intoxicated Amy Winehouse Gives Blitzed Concert in Belgrade: VIDEO


Amy Winehouse gave a concert in Belgrade over the weekend. Actually, more like slurred on stage, stumbled, forgot lyrics, and had to, at one point, get support to stand up from a back-up musician.

This was Winehouse's "comeback" performance. She was eventually booed off the stage, Radar reports. The singer canceled several subsequent shows, but wants payment for the mess you'll see below.


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Watch: Anti-Gay Serbs Riot at Football Match, 17 Detained

Far-right nationalist groups who were behind the violence during Belgrade's recent gay pride march rioted at a football match on Tuesday:

Bogdanov "An Italy-Serbia European championship qualifier game was abandoned Tuesday in Italy when Serbia fans threw flares and fireworks onto the pitch, burned a flag and broke barriers. The Serbian fan groups are known to be infiltrated by neo-Nazis and other extremists with a staunch anti-Western agenda. The rise of the extremism in Serbia is attributed to the economic crisis and a lack of jobs in the wake of the Balkan wars in the 1990s."

Some outlets reported that the riots were spurred by police protection of last weekend's gay pride march, at which more than 100 were injured, including many police officers.

The AP adds: "Police found the alleged instigator of the riot in the trunk of a bus that was due to take the Serbian fans home from the European Championships qualifier. While his face was covered by a mask during the violence, police identified him by his tattooed arms and found explosives material with him. Of the 17 people detained, 16 are Serbian fans and one is Italian, Genoa police official Sebastiano Salvo told The Associated Press. Salvo identified the ringleader as 30-year-old Ivan Bogdanov, who climbed onto a barrier separating fans from the field, used a wire cutter to slice apart a mesh fence and launched fireworks onto the field." 

Watch video of the riots, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Anti-Gay Serbs Riot at Football Match, 17 Detained" »

Despite Violent History, Serbs Plan First Gay Pride Since 2001


Threats from ultra-Orthodox and nationalist groups, like the one (above) hung at a football game last year, have prevented Serbia's LGBT community from holding a Pride March in the years since 2001. In 2001, marchers were beaten in a violent attack by anti-gay groups.

Last year, despite anti-gay graffiti all over Belgrade warning gays to stay away, police said they would protect marchers, but got cold feet at the last minute and said the parade was canceled.

This year it's on again, the AP reports:

"Marchers plan to parade past the Serbian government building on Oct. 10 under the slogan 'Let's walk together.' Police did not immediately respond to Tuesday's announcement."


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