So we headed to Zagreb, Croatia for the city’s 9th Pride. Earlier Prides had been met with extreme violence from right-wing Fascist groups, but this year there were around 300 police in riot-gear to protect the marchers. I have to say with each country we have visited, I have gone away with a huge sense of respect for the organizations that run their local Prides, and Zagreb is no exception.
A meeting is held by Pride organizers. The problem is a familiar one. The local police are trying to change the route of the parade to make it less visible to the public. A second concern is that the city has granted a right-wing group the right to protest along the Pride’s route.
Participants meet at a local square and prepare for the start of Zagreb Pride. Croatian actor, Rade Serbedzija, shows his support for the local LGBT community. Do you want to disagree with Boris the Blade?
The group of protestors, which seemed to be made up mostly of under-aged boys, did everything from Nazi salutes, to anti-gay songs, to showing female participants their sexual organs. Several arrests were made. During this arrest, one of the police officers kicked this young man in the head. It was broadcasted on the news over and over again. Not one Pride participant I talked to took any joy in the scene. Instead, they each expressed concern for the boy. This is even after several of the Pride participants were attacked by groups of young men as they walked home after the march.
We then head back to the artist compound for a great after-party. We had an incredible time in Croatia and thank everyone there for making it such a remarkable experience.