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Activists blame unprepared police for escalation of violence in Split

Croatian Times

Some 10,000 people came out to protest against the first ever gay pride parade in the Dalmatian town of Split, leading to 137 arrests amid the violence that ensued.

Crowds of thousands gathered to shout insults and throw stones at some 200 peaceful paraders, who were guarded by the police who activists say did not prepare properly for the unrest. Four hundred policemen were officially designated to guard the parade, although in reality 600 of them were on the streets, daily Jutarnji List writes.

About a dozen people were injured, including several reporters. At one point, protesters also threw tear gas at the parade. All of the participants had to be evacuated by the police later on.

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor have both condemned the violence. Josipovic said incidents in Split were not the "real face" of Croatia and they show that there still exist some "non-European" parts of society, Radio Free Europe reports.

Former Minister of Interior Sime Lucin said that police did not heed the warnings that abounded in the weeks leading up to the parade, such as anti-gay graffiti and hateful messages on the internet.

"It is hard to believe that 10,000 people gathered spontaneously," said Lucin. "With secret and other services that police have at their disposal, to make such a wrong estimate is awful."

The organisers of the parade have asked for the resignation of the current Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko.

"The public gathering ended in violence. The route that the parade was supposed to take was not secured, and aggressors were allowed to throw explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, stones, ashtrays and other objects during the parade," organisations Kontra, Iskorak and Domine wrote in their statements.

They say the police permitted the protesters to narrow the passage for the participants of the parade and had encouraged the paraders to pass through the narrowed area even though they were being stoned.

Write your comment to this article here

  • Mate wrote on 14. 06. 2011 from Berlin

    What happened in Split last week at the Gay Pride does not only show the 'real face' of Croatia but also the country's unreadyness to join EU. It will still take some time for its citizens to awake from such medieval nighmares.


  • Kyproleon wrote on 14. 06. 2011 from Cyprus

    I already wrote to the ambassador of Cyprus in Croatia to do whatever they can to prevent Croatia entering the EU. Obviously democracy is lacking in Croatia but most importantly there is something terribly wrong there if 10,000 people gathered chanting death threats. I definately do not feel safe with allowing this kind of people traveling freely to Cyprus and threaten violence. EU accesion of Croatia should be placed on hold until society there proves they are not a threat to any EU citizen. When and if Croatia is ready, accession process can restart. For now I am against dangerous people roaming Europe free of scrutiny and make there way to Cyprus.


  • Drina Bilic wrote on 14. 06. 2011 from Australia - Queensland

    Oh dear, I found it hard to believe that so many croatians got together in an attempt to create violence against a group of people who were peacefully marching to highlight social injustice and inequality. Surely croatians in Split did not assume in their primitive heads that gay people did not exist amongst the croat peoples?? Unfortunately I'm suspecting that it is not only the splitacni that have such intolerance but is inherent in other parts of croatia too. It's bewildering because I come from a country where anti-gay sentiment was vocally applauded by the masses back in the middle of the last century...I really love croatia as a country and the people, but I would imagine it will take time for medieval attitudes to change until it is accepted in the mainstream.


  • Ivan Juric wrote on 13. 06. 2011 from Melbourne

    The true Splicani would not behave like this. Split is mostly populated by inland peasants who have not moved with the times, hence the xenophobia.


    • Ivan wrote on 14. 06. 2011 from

      One step forward on June 10 and 5 steps back on June 11. Shame on us Croatians. This cannot be tolerated. We need to cherish diversity. After all, our origins are diverse. The government has to make as a priority an information campaign to educated our fellow peasants who still live in the stone age.


Tag cloud stones  Josipovic  participants  violence  spontaneously  gathering  resignation  police  gathered  protest  Minister  Croatian  Tomislav  European  leading  Lucin  abounded  parade  graffiti  Karamarko

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