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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Serbian Pride parade to go ahead

Source: B92

Analyst Zoran Dragišić believes that the Pride Parade would be held because of the clearly expressed political support which was missing last year.

A year after the parade was canceled due to the authorities’ inability to protect the gathering from hooligan threats, a plan for this year’s Pride Parade would be announced today.

B92 has unofficially learned that the parade will be held on October 10. The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and Queeria Center for Promotion of Culture and Non-Violence, this year’s organizers, will today announce a location and a program for the manifestation.

The parade has already been supported by a number of government members, among others Interior Minister Ivica Dačić and Human and Minority Rights Minister Svetozar Čiplić, as well as by the majority of parliamentary parties in Serbia.

“Now we hear main political actors not disassociating themselves from the LGBT community, there are no more statements such as ‘let them do it inside four walls’, this year, support to the LGBT population is undoubtedly stronger and it explicitly came from all political parties except from the DSS (Democratic Party of Serbia),” Dragišić said.

He assumes that police would react seriously this year and protect the participants.

“There won’t be that nonsense from last year when hooligans said they will attack the Pride and those hooligan groups chased away the state,” he explained.

Dragišić, who did a security study for the Pride Parade last year, thinks that there are also political reasons behind the support of the state and some political parties.

“It seems to me that politicians last year underestimated the people in Serbia, believing that they are as homophobic and xenophobic as they are. This year they realized that if they protect the participants of the Pride Parade they would get a lot more political points and that’s what raises hope with me that the gathering will be held without any problems,” he concluded.

This is the third attempt to organize the Pride Parade. The first manifestation in 2001 was stopped after a wave of violence against the participants broke out, while last year’s parade was prohibited at the last moment since the state could not guarantee the safety of the participants.

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