On Friday, Serbian authorities banned the the Belgrade Pride Parade for the third consecutive year because there are some violent ultranationalists and Orthodox fundamentalists out there still running the show. But for the first time, people responded to news of the grim ban with a protest.
And they didn’t just protest anywhere: They protested in the middle of a major street, in front of the government, and at the entrance to the parliament. In defiance of the ban, the protesters essentially held a Friday night Pride Parade in central Belgrade.
The gathering was entirely spontaneous, with information passed along largely via text message. People tweeted information about the plan but used fake meet-up places in other parts of town to confuse any hooligans. The crowd met in front of the government building, and marched with handmade banners and giant rainbow flags all the way to the parliament. They stopped Friday night traffic as they walked down a city street. In just a few hours, some 200 people gathered for the unplanned, unauthorized event.
We interviewed several people about the Pride ban and the spontaneous protest, and made a short video (our first) with a broken iPhone.
Have a look if you want. (In English and Serbian with English subtitles.)