Belgrade Pride Parade — Hooligans set trash bins on fire

Belgrade police clash with hooligans during Pride march The police clash with hooligans during Pride march in Belgrade in May. Photo: Belgrade Police

Thousands of police, armed with tear gas, responded to the Belgrade Pride Parade on Sunday as hooligans tried to disrupt the event.

More than 50 people were detained and later released by police, the police said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a video of what happened appeared to show police using excessive force.

Police were responding to disturbances after a police vehicle hit a man.

Belgrade Pride 2018 march:

The Pride parade began peacefully, with police standing and in riot gear at the head of the line. The march went forward through downtown Belgrade with the police escorts and rainbow flags in a sea of blue.

Protesters took to the streets with the intention of blocking the Pride Parade. The main route was followed by hooligans, who set trash bins on fire.

Police tried to push back the rioters, using tear gas.

Onlookers filmed the incident, including the police.

The video is from Facebook user Aleksandr Vaskovic.

“I was walking along the streets, and that’s when I saw one of the rioters setting his trash bin on fire. It was really hot and it was a good, fresh smell,” Vaskovic said.

“I said to myself, ‘what are you doing?’ I turned around and saw him throwing more rubbish on the fire to prevent the fire from extinguishing, and at the same time, he is pouring a bottle of water on it.”

“The policeman is standing, and he is waving at the rioter, telling him to stop and telling him that it’s a fire. The rioter turns pale and starts to run away. The policeman pushes him away and says, ‘I am going to beat you’ and knocks him down. Then he starts to push him down, in a really violent way, and the rioter is crying,” Vaskovic said.

“Then the policemen started beating him. They pulled his hair and pulled his nose, and then they just started to hit him with their shields. I was scared. I stopped filming, I stopped recording.”

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