BELGRADE – The Belgrade Pride Parade was held on Sunday, joined by of a large number of politicians and ambassadors and with heavy police presence, and there was no major incident.
The police were involved only in minor clashes along the edges of the city centre.
The Parade took about 30 minutes, with the participants carrying rainbow-coloured flags and banners saying: “Justice for all victims of violence in Serbia.”
Officials from the Serbian government and foreign embassies joined the Parade. These included Minister without Portfolio Jadranka Joksimovic, State Administration Minister Kori Udovicki, head of the Serbian team for the accession talks with the EU Tanja Miscevic, head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport, US Ambassador Michael Kirby, Commissioner for Protection of Equality Nevena Petrusic, Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali, Liberal Democratic Party leader Cedomir Jovanovic, officials of the Democratic Party and various public and cultural figures, like writer Biljana Srbljanovic and film director Srdjan Dragojevic.
The Ascension Church bells rang as the Parade passed by, at a time when bells are not normally heard. The Serbian Orthodox Church was among those who opposed the Pride Parade in the runup to the event.
The centre of Belgrade was closed for traffic since early morning on Sunday.
The incident that drew the most attention happened at the Slavija square. where members of the Gendarmerie used force against Andrej Vucic, brother of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, and three members of his security, which was confirmed to Tanjug from two separate sources.
According to unofficial sources, Vucic tried to go through the police cordon at Slavija together with his security, but the gendarmes assaulted him and his security and beat them.
Around 50 young men bearing nationalist insignia tried to break through to Slavija at the intersection of the streets Beogradska and Njegoseva. They threw rocks at the police, but were driven back.
The police arrested two men in the street Svetozara Markovica after negotiations that lasted about 10 minutes, since one of them threatened the officers with an assault rifle.