People gathered in the city center on Sunday afternoon to protest against a pan-European international LGBT event, scheduled to be held on September 12-18 in Belgrade.
Thousands of people gathered in Belgrade city center on Sunday to demonstrate against the international LGBT event Euro Pride that is scheduled to be held in Belgrade in September.
According to local media reports, there were between 5,000 and 10,000 people present at the protest. The demonstrators began walking from in front of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarchate offices and, after passing through city center streets, ended up in front of Saint Marko Church.
The gathered crowd wore signs saying “We don’t want a gay parade and occupation by the West!”, “We don’t give up holy places”, and “Keep your hands off our children”.
Some local media reported that the protest organizer was an informal association under the banner “To protect the family”, while Danas reported it was organized by the Association for the Preservation of the Cyrillic alphabet ‘Dobrica Eric’ and other “groups that declare themselves Orthodox and Saint Sava”.
Bosko Obradovic, leader of the Serbian right-wing opposition party Dveri, described it as “the largest opposition protest in the last few years held in Belgrade that is not controlled by anyone from the [Serbian Progressive Party] SNS or former government”.
“And not only against Euro-NATO-Pride, but also in support of Russia and the preservation of Kosovo and Metohija as part of Serbia. A new patriotic (op)position has been born and is yet to come,” Obradovic wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Euro Pride is a pan-European international LGBT event hosted by a different European city each year. This time it will be held in Belgrade from September 12-18.
All far-right political parties have condemned the event, urging for it to be banned. In a video uploaded to YouTube last week, The Bishop of Banat, Nikanor, of the Serbian Orthodox Church, is seen standing in front of a church and addressing several believers. He claims in the video that Euro Pride participants “will come to Belgrade and flaunt and desecrate the city of Belgrade, the holy Serbian city”, and that “we raise our voice against such [people]”.