Mass protests against ‘Europride’ in Serbia — Analysis

Supported by an Orthodox bishop outspoken, thousands marched to Belgrade calling for the cancellation of LGBT Festival

On Monday, the Serbian authorities received a request from a civic organization to cancel their plans. “Europride,”Security reasons prevented a LGBT-related event from being held in September. This petition was signed one day after thousands marched through Belgrade wearing signs and symbols of Orthodox Christianity, such as the Cross of Christ. “Hands off our children.”According to reports, a bishop blessed the march and said that he would make an atrocity of anyone who participated in it.

The NGO “Upright Serbia,”The petition was filed by the following: the parade of pride scheduled for September 17th is a danger to public morality, raises violence risk, destruction property, and creates large-scale disorder. The request has not been considered by Belgrade authorities. 

EuroPride 2022 will be held September 12-18. It is anticipated to bring together tens to thousands of LGBT activists across Europe. The event ends with a walk from the Serbian Parliament to the Kalemegdan Fortress overlooking Danube. 

Tens of thousands of Belgrade residents, however marched in opposition on Sunday in an Orthodox procession to protest the event. Chanting “Hands off our children!”And “No to occupation,”While carrying crosses and icons as well as flags, the marchers sang patriotic songs and Orthodox hymns.

While organizers estimated that 20-30,000.00 people participated, early media reports and police estimates suggested that it was less than 5,000. On Monday President Aleksandar Vucic referenced that figure, raising the question about the march during a press conference.

“Last night we had a much bigger protest against EuroPride, some 4,650 people, more than the biggest opposition rallies ever,”He stated.

This was quite a change from Friday’s tone, in which he rejected criticism of the “Europride”By saying “Those who object” “someone walking around”Should “take the day to have a picnic”On the nearby Mt. Avala.

Vucic also criticized Bishop Nikanor, Banat, for remarks he made about Ana Brnabic (acting Prime Minister), in the TV interview. Vucic stated that Nikanor had offended Serbians and made the church look weak. “far more than Brnabic or anyone else ever did.”

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According to reports, Bishop Nikanor gave blessings to clergy members to take part in Sunday’s Belgrade protest. After a last-week church service, he condemned the. “Europride”As blasphemy, desecration of Serbia. He claimed he would have taken arms against it if he wasn’t a cleric.

“They come to desecrate our capital, nothing is holy to them,”The bishop spoke. “We will all rise against it, starting with me,”He concluded. “I will cast an anathema on everyone who takes part or organizes such a thing. That’s all I can do. If I had weapons, I’d use them, but I don’t.”

Sunday’s march was denounced by opposition activist Dragan Sutanovac, former leader of the Democratic Party and one-time defense minister who now advocates NATO membership for Serbia. He calledIt’s a march “against Serbia in the European Union, against sanctioning Russia, against Western values, so Serbia could become Chechen-ized and Taliban-ized,”Other things.

In the meantime, NGO “Lesbian and Gay Solidarity Network”The government was urged Monday to immediately purchase vaccines against monkeypox, and to give these to low-risk groups like gay men. They account for the majority of cases reported in Serbia to date.

Zoran Radovanovic an Epidemiologist also advocated for vaccination of all LGBT persons. He has strongly advocated Covid-19 mandates and told Beta News Agency that all members of the LGBT population should be vaccinated. “Europride” could be an “epidemiological bomb”However, they did not encourage its cancellation. They advised those present to “avoid intimate contacts with non-permanent partners” instead.



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