The beginning of the campaign ParaDA! – Bomb threat stops the session

The assembly which began the collection of 10 thousand signatures for holding the Pride Parade in Belgrade was stopped today because of a false bomb threat.

The police have established that the warning about the bomb in the City Council building on the Square Nikola Pašić, where the session was organised, was a false alarm.

At the moment when the participants signed their support for the holding of the gay parade and when the discussion about the Resolution of the Council of Europe on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was about to begin, the session was interrupted because of a bomb threat.

The participants then had to leave the building on the Square Nikola Pašić 6.

Boban Stojanović, from the non-governmental organisation Kviria (Queeria), sees the today’s incident as another indicator of the society’s attitude towards the LGBT population.

“It is really another clear indicator in what kind of society we live, what the state is and the attitude towards LGBT people, and now it is confirmed, what is for me maybe even more frightening than when something happens on the street, and that is that we cannot even work in a closed space”, he said.

“And if we think about how all this is happening at the time of the beginning of a petition of 10 thousand citizens for the Pride Parade, it is a clear sign that somebody has a problem with it”, Stojanović added.

A similar opinion was expressed by Lazar Pavlović from Gay Straight Alliance.

“This is actually the image of our society today. Through this campaign we have started today, we simply wish to show that there is that other part of the citizens of Serbia, the other part of society, a much larger part of society which will actually support the right of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people to freedom”, Pavlović said.

The first to support with his signature the Pride Parade in Belgrade was the head of the EU delegation in Serbia, Vincent Degert, and then another 350 citizens, including numerous public figures and representatives of political parties.

Today’s assembly in the City Council building was also attended by members of the Serbian Parliament Nataša Vučković (Democratic party), Elvira Kovač (Association of Humgarians of Vojvodina) and Željko Ivanji (G17 plus).

After signing the petition to support the organising of the Pride Parade, the MPs jointly concluded that organising such an assembly was the question of basic human rights and liberties.

MP for G17 plus Željko Ivanji expects that there will be political support for the rights of LGBT people.

“This step is a step backwards, but I feel that the responsible politicians who are present in Serbia will manage to make a two-step and lead Serbia – but truly, not only by simply fulfilling norms and requests of EU, but by changing the system of values and accepting european values – into a brighter and better future”, he said.

As the organisers state, collecting the signatures unofficially began yesterday, and so the support for the petition was already given by the head of EU delegation in Serbia Vincent Degert, the state secretary for the Ministry of human and minority rights Marko Karadžić and the director of the Agency for cooperation with NGOs and european harmonisation of the City of Belgrade Danko Runić.

The petition was also signed by the painter Biljana Cincarević, actors Irfan Mensur, Srna Lango and Lena Bogdanović.

Holding of the Pride Parade is also supported by directors Janko Baljak, Maja Uzelac and Mladen Đorđević, as well as the TV show hostess Suzana Zlatanović-Luna Lu.

The campaign which has been launched today will last for the next three months during which LGBT organisations will collect signatures in several cities, while those who are interested will also be able to give their support via an on-line petition.

LDP condemns the bomb threat

The Belgrade Board of the Liberal-democratic party has called on the city and state organs to identify and punish those responsible for today’s threat of a hidden bomb.

The threat was issued during the presentation of the organisation GSA, and therefore the reasons for endangering the safety may be sought for in the general atmosphere of intolerance and violence which is being manufactured against this part of the civic society, it is said in the statement by LDP.

The party’s statement also adds that the bomb threats are again becoming frequent, but that this time the chosen targets were the City Council building and city institutions.

Sources: B92, GSA, News Agencies
Photos: Agency for Cooperation with NGOs and for European Harmonization of Belgrade; FoNet News Agency