Proteste und mögliche Absage der EuroPride in Belgrad
Interview: Joanna Bostock
In der Woche von 12. bis 18. September sollte die EuroPride 2022 zum ersten Mal in Südosteuropa stattfinden, genauer gesagt in Belgrad, Serbien. Der Höhepunkt der europäischen Pride wäre der Protestmarsch am Samstag 17. September, bei dem Menschen aus ganz Europa zusammenkommen, um für die Rechte der LGBTQI+ Community zu protestieren.
Serbiens Regierung will die EuroPride jedoch verhindern und begründet das mit „aktuellen Krisen im Land“. Präsident Aleksandar Vučić hat die Parade im Einvernehmen mit der Regierung von Ministerpräsidentin Ana Brnabić, die selbst mit einer Frau zusammenlebt, abgesagt. Die Organisator*innen wollen die Demonstration trotzdem durchführen und alle Programmpunkte wie geplant abhalten. Einen Tag nach der Absage vom Präsidenten haben tausende orthodoxe Christ*innen auf der Straße protestiert, um die Regierung in ihrer Entscheidung zu unterstützen.
Wir haben Goran Miletic, einen der Organisatoren der Belgrader Pride Parade, interviewt.
FM4: I’d like to start with the protests earlier this week agains EuroPride. What’s your response to that?
Goran Miletic: The protests were unusual compared to previous years, since there were some groups that are not happy with pride, and there were some religious groups and some extremist groups. We never had protests like this. According to rumours in Belgrade at the moment these protests are funded or supported by Russian money. We cannot confirm such rumours, but definitely there is something different in those protests and it’s very interesting that a lot of political parties also participated in this protest. They are very focussed on EuroPride. They are also supporting Putin in this protest because there was a big photo of Putin and Russian flags and so on, but also a lot of hate speech towards the LGBT community.
FM4: So you’re saying that this is something that hasn’t happened before on this scale and of this nature?
Goran Miletic: Yes, that’s something completely new, we didn’t have such protests in Serbia before. We had attempts to organise protests or some smaller protests in previous years before and during Pride Day, like last year, when we had a protest for a family, but we never had such a large protest that different groups were participating in.
FM4: When it comes to the current debate about holding EuroPride in Belgrade and President Vucic talking about it being called off because of security concerns, if he’s saying it’s too dangerous, how do you respond to that?
Goran Miletic: Well, I mean, there are no security concerns around BelgradePride and around EuroPride this year. In the last eight years, we have had successful pride weeks and a successful pride march and we never had a single incident during the week. There are police and private security around us, we have that every year. The police successfully protected all participants and we have never seen incidents. So that means that there are no security concerns and the state here can guarantee safety if there is a political will. So everything is related to politics and not to the real security and unrealistic security concerns.
FM4: So even though there has been this march, which you said had a much different feel to it than any anti pride protests in the in the past, you still have confidence in the authorities in Belgrade to keep everybody safe?
Goran Miletic: Yeah, of course I have confidence in authorities. That’s definitely what I want to say, that police can secure a peaceful protest and, you know, safety for everyone. I know that they can do this because I’m working with them for almost a decade and I know that they are capable of doing this. And all of them told me they are capable, so it’s absolutely not the question if they can do this. Another point that is very important for Serbia is political will, political will of president Vucic, he is the one who is deciding if something will happen or not. That’s the reality in Serbia, because he’s the president of the leading party. So the decision will depend on him and not on the capability of state institutions or any police officer because they can do this.
FM4: What are the next steps, then, for you and your colleagues in the EuroPride Organising Committee?
Goran Miletic: I think what we now need to focus on is continuing preparations because we have EuroPride, we have concerts, we have all the events that we planned. There are no changes when it comes to the original plans. On the other hand, we want to hear reasons and arguments and everything from the state, we want to hear why we have such a statement from the president or from the minister of police and many, many more. So we want clarification. And if there is any ban, we want to get that document, we want to have it documented because at the moment, there is no document of a ban, so there is no ban, there is only our application that has been accepted. And we don’t have any bond yet and we hope we will not get it. So this is the situation right now and definitely if there is a ban, we will be on the streets.
FM4: So the issue hasn’t been resolved and it’s a matter of waiting to see what President Vucic says and does, and whether the authorities come up with the goods to make sure that the Pride parade goes ahead.
Goran Miletic: Yes, exactly. We only have statements from the president president and foreign minister and so on, we don’t have a clear decision from the from the police, the only authority who can approve, who can actually ban the parade or any other public gathering? So when they issue that decision, if they issue that decision, we will use all legal means [at our disposal]. That means a complaint to the police and then to the administrative court. And that that’s something what we will use. We really hope that Serbia is still a country that is democratic, where institutions are respected, including the courts. However, the situation at the moment, as you mentioned, is very unclear and we don’t know how what will happen in the coming days.
Publiziert am 01.09.2022