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INFO   :::  Press Release - PAGE 4 > Pride Parade and Parade of Violence


Pride Parade and Parade of Violence

Belgrade, October 10, 2010



Today's first-ever "Pride Parade" in Belgrade was staged successfully as numbers of policemen were protecting participants. However, what surrounded the event was a brutal manifestation against the Serbian government's pro-European course and its latest foreign policy turn. The violence that spread through the streets of Belgrade was well-organized and obviously thoroughly prepared. The facts that 80 police officers were among some hundred-odd injured and that premises of the Democratic Party and the Socialist Party of Serbia were devastated testify that all this was an assault against the law and order and, above all, against the government's pro-European policy.

A powerful organization obviously stands in the shadow of everything. Young people, mostly "football fans," were used as instruments as usual - and they seized for violence not only to destroy but also to plunder. Today's developments - except by their proportions and the attitude of law enforcement officers - associate the riots in the streets of Belgrade after Kosovo's independence declaration. Masterminds are the same. A part of the Serbian Orthodox Church that seriously threatens with a schism, various right-wing groups, political and other players are hiding in the background. The interview conducted with Bishop Amfilohije Radovic on the eve of the Pride Parade was most indicative. Labeling homosexuality a mortal sin, he said, "Staging the so-called pride parade in the region overclouded by Euro-American civilization forebodes its ruin."

The Serbian society is homophobic and any "different" sexual orientation is treated as disease and socially unacceptable behavior. A change in such perception is only one of many changes in the value system Europe expects Serbia to make. However, today's outburst of violence proved that origins of intolerance in Serbia go much deeper: the society has not yet broached the 1990s wars or radical nationalism that keeps undermining Serbia's normalization.

In such political context, vandalism marring almost every public event, is nothing but a constant endeavor at destabilizing the government and the country.

The Helsinki Committee demands punishment of all those who took part in violence against citizens of Belgrade and destruction of the city. And it also expects the authorities to thoroughly investigate the background of today's developments.



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