Serbia: Rival pro and anti-LGBTQ street rallies likely in Belgrade on September 17 despite protest ban
Rival groups of activists are likely to gather for opposition protests in Belgrade on September 17 despite authorities banning rallies, ostensibly to avoid violence. The European Association of Pride Organizers has announced that members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community will meet in defiance of the ban. Participants will gather in front of the Constitutional Court before marching around 5:00 p.m. towards Tasmajdan Park via Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard, Beogradska Boulevard and Ilije Garasanina Street. Given the ban on protests, likely turnout levels are unclear; however, several hundred activists could participate.
The conservative ‘anti-globalist’ activist group said via social media that their supporters would come together in opposition to the LGBTQ rally. Organizers of the counter-protest did not immediately clarify details about the rally, but it will likely take place near the LGBTQ event.
Authorities will likely put in place heightened security around protests. The Home Office has strongly warned against attending either event, warning that fines and arrests are likely. Localized transport and business disruptions are likely in areas affected by the rally. Clashes can occur if authorities attempt to forcibly disperse protesters. Violence is also possible if groups of opposing protesters come into contact.
Avoid the September 17 protests due to possible clashes. Expect localized traffic and business disruptions. If there is violence nearby, leave the area immediately and seek refuge in a safe non-governmental building. Heed all official safety and transport notices.