In Belgrade the rainbow procession of the Europride ended in the late afternoon, which took place under a massive police escort. The participants, some thousands, entered the stadium of the Tasmajdan park, to attend a concert scheduled until late at night. The route of the planned march has been changed, with the police blocking some passages, allowing the demonstrators to reach Tasmajdan via a different route. Many rainbow flags of the LGBTIQ movement, and signs with slogans in support of rights, diversity and tolerance. The demonstration, held in a rainy climate, was marked by several incidents and provocations, immediately quelled by the police in riot gear, and present in force throughout the city center. Numerous groups of homophobic nationalist demonstrators hostile to Europride, who chanted anti-gay slogans showing icons, crosses and religious symbols. The march was attended by MEPs, the EU commissioner for equal opportunities, ambassadors from various countries and numerous demonstrators from other countries
THE BALANCE OF THE CLASHES
In the clashes and incidents on the sidelines of the Belgrade Europride, 64 people were arrested, 10 policemen were slightly injured, five law enforcement vehicles were damaged. This was stated by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. Speaking at a press conference, the premier added that a total of 5,200 police officers were mobilized for the event. There were no incidents of particular gravity, and the most significant clashes were two, added Brnabic, who thanked police and security forces for ensuring order in the city by preventing small skirmishes from escalating into large-scale incidents. The premier said she was satisfied and proud of this, criticizing those – journalists, analysts and observers – who wanted to give her a different image of today, speaking of a chaos caused by President Vucic and the rest of the management . “The opposite is true. It was Vucic who said not to make Europride a crucial issue for the country, arguing that if this were the biggest problem for our society, then we would be a happy country, without problems. We have many more important problems – from energy to the arrival of investments, inflation, the Kosovo issue and the pressure on us “, said the premier.
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It had to be a Europride confirming Serbia’s clear and clear orientation in defense of rights and diversity, in line with the European path of the Balkan country. But the demonstration promoted by the LGBTIQ movement – the first Europride organized in a country in southeastern Europe – resulted in genuine chaos, both on the streets of Belgrade and on a political level, with an evident rift within the government. While the interior minister, the pro-Russian hawk Aleksandar Vulin, yesterday banned the rainbow parade, together with the anti-gay counter-demonstration, premier Ana Brnabic – a declared lesbian and supporter of the homosexual movement – today gave a green light to the demonstration and to the procession, which took place under the escort of a huge device of police in riot gear, and with a deviated and shortened path that brought the thousands of demonstrators quickly and almost ‘secretly’ to the park of the capital for the announced final concert. The premier, for her part, did not take part in the march having preferred, as she herself told reporters in the evening, to stay with the security forces, to give them support and to be sure that all the demonstrators were safe. In all this, the absence from the scene of President Aleksandar Vucic, the undisputed protagonist of every relevant event in the country, did not go unnoticed, but who preferred to step aside and delegate every decision and responsibility to the Ministry of the Interior on the Europride.