Belgrade, October 12th 2010.
Labris - organization for Lesbian Rights congratulates the LGBT communitty on the held Pride Parade and the special acknowledgment for bravery to everybody who attended the first successful public walks of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in central Belgrade. This peaceful gathering of LGBT populations, their families, friends and supporters have denied the claims that the streets of Belgrade that day will be a breeding ground of immorality, sexual intercourse in the streets, naked people, and similar provocations with which opponents of the event tried to intimidate citizens.
At the same time, we state both professionally and unquestioningly that acting of police on Sunday has not only protected LGBT people and other participants of the meeting but defended the right to free and peaceful assembly. Also, we express regret for all the injured policemen and the destruction of city in horrible and violent actions bolstered by hatred to gays and lesbians. We remind the public, that these riots are a familiar scenario for years, and that the target of hooligans are not only the LGBT population but also the Roma, foreigners and others who do not think like them. It is therefore necessary to engage all of society to combat mindless violence disguised in false patriotism.
We remind that the Labris has several times, after the ban of last year's parade requested from the state to arrest and punish those who openly threaten and for years now call for violence against members of the LGBT population. Well organized violence, riots and attacks on the police, buildings and institutions tells us that behind the hordes of underaged hooligans are some politically inspirer and we wonder whether it is possible that national security didnt have evidence that thousands of thugs were about to attack the organized LGBT persons, the police and the whole town, or if those in charge knew all this - why wasnt anything of the above prevented?
Very indicative we consider the fact that in the riot 124 policeman were injured and 17 demonstrators and very reasonably doubt the existence of genuine political will to adequately respond to extreme violence. We strongly condemn the statement of Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas held after the parade, which appeals to the future "do not organize events that lead to these things," in which he has invited citizens to move away from the abusers and giving up their basic human rights and givein to the law of force and hatred.
Given all the above: