By Paul Canning
A gay pride march today in the city of Split in the EU-candidate former Yugoslav country of Croatia came under sustained and viscious attack.
This video most clearly shows the scale of opposition and the bravery of participants in the event:
As you can see in the video there are a number of heterosexual people supporting the event.
Another video from a phone, with missiles directed at participants at one point:
The participants appear well-armed with video cameras. By contrast, there does not appear to be video coming from the opposition forces.
A Croatian TV report showing smoke bombs thrown at the event and bloodied participants:
An Associated Press report said that dozens of those attacking the event have been arrested. Gay pride events in Coatia's capital, Zagreb, have not been attacked.
In order to join the European Union, Catholic Croatia has had to demonstrate its protection of free speech, including LGBT events. They appear to have shown it here with a large number of police trying to protect participants. Croatian President Ivo Josipovic had said:
"I ask Split residents, whether they agree or not with what Domine [LGBT] or other similar associations say, to respect their right to be different and that no one even thinks about being violent, because that would show Croatia in a very bad light."Attempts to hold LGBT events in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzogovina have been violently disrupted. Last year, gay pride in Belgrade, Serbia, was subject to a mass protest which descended into a riot. In Kosovo, gay people have held no events and report being beaten. Last year Macedonia failed to adopt an anti-discrimination law which covered sexual orientation.