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Belgrade Pride 2011 Banned! – Statement Queer Beograd

Belgrade 2011 was banned by the Serbian authorities 2 days prior to the event, showing again the strong fascist structures LGBTIQ*s and alternative people have to face every day in Serbia.

Two days ahead of Belgrade Pride, Serbian State banned the march planned for 2nd October 2011, along with another three announced counter-rallies by clerofascist groups. This again shows how strong fascist structures, including the state body, are in Serbia. The positions of minorities are not supported, but rather seen as antagonizing with “national interests”.

In the last couple of weeks the public debate around Pride was, unlike in 2009 or 2010, not addressing the importance of freedom of speech, but using the current financial crisis and Kosovo conflict as an argument against the rallies for “individual rights”.
Together with threats of violence aimed at LGBT population, a situation of fear has been created, in which the government’s lack of interest in supporting minority rights was ever so blatant.

Ivica Dačić, the minister for internal affairs has stated that, if he would be in a position to decide, he would cancel the pride. It is not the fascist groups and their threats that are addressed, but the ones fighting for their right to free speech and the right to gather.

The union of policemen together with the clerofascist group Dveri, adviced their members to refuse duty on the pride day.

The Serbian Orthodox church appealed to the public to ignore the sick homosexuals who bring shame to the nation.

The state did not give in to violence, the serbian state is a part of the structure which creates a society where it is considered normal that the LGBT persons are attacked and discriminated against on daily basis.

A few days prior to Belgrade pride parade, the alternative cultural center CK13 in Novi Sad was a target of a Molotov cocktail attack during night while people were sleeping in the space. Fortunately, the fire in the entrance and along the wall could be put out in time.

This again shows that not only LGBT community, but every subculture, initiative, space and all alternative ways of life are under constant attack by Serbian fascists.

We want to express deep solidarity with and support for CK13 crew.

The ban of pride raises the question of the form of actions needed in the future. Pride seems to be only one piece in the struggle against fascism and homophobia. At this moment we need a variety of different kinds of direct actions, to push the borders within our society. Direct activist actions along the lines of the stencil action in Jagodina a few weeks ago prior to the banned pride, showing two women kissing, saying ”Lesbian scene, do not cross”, or the graffiti action in Niš whose aim was to show that the other, the LGBT community is not a threat, or the enemy, drawing viewers’ attention to greater ills of Serbian society like, the tycoons, the Kosovo conflict or the state itself. Latest in the series of genial Niš actions, was the graffiti action done last night on the walls of the Dveri premises in Niš. The graffiti shows Dveri logo turned into ‘Zveri’ (dveri, an archaic serbian word for door after which the clerofascist group got its name, turned into ‘beasts’) and another graffiti saying ” Get out of Niš, you fascist sect”.

Today in the afternoon hours, a group of friends and activists spontaneously got together in Belgrade’s central park called Studentski, for a picnic. Around 25 of us in a joyful mood in lovely September sun, with food, baverage and dogs, performed our right to freely gather, despite the ban. At one point even a rainbow flag has been produced. No incidents took place despite the suspicious patrols by young men in the park at various times during our stay. The police were also present at different points in the park.

Queer Beograd Collective

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