Participants in the 2010 Belgrade Pride march.
(Pic: UK Gay News)
Serbia’s police chief has warned that participants in Belgrade’s Pride march on Sunday could be attacked by right-wing extremists, reports the Associated Press.
On Thursday, Ivica Dacic warned of “bloodshed” and buildings being set alight, and urged organisers to cancel the event.
Nevertheless, he said that if the parade went ahead police would do their best to protect participants, despite claiming to have limited resources and broken water cannons.
The government itself seems committed to allow the event to go ahead despite the police chief’s opposition.
Right-wing groups are planning to hold counter demonstrations against the Pride parade and there has been talk that some extremists are planning an operation dubbed “Belgrade in flames”.
In 2001 Belgrade pride ended in violence and, as a result, the LGBTI community in Serbia only attempted to organise another pride event in 2009. That year’s event was cancelled as the authorities could not commit to protecting the participants.
In 2010, a Pride event took place with heavy police protection. However, around 6000 members of right wing organisations clashed with the police, injured about 150 policemen and caused several thousands of Euros in damage.