The Serbian Mob Takes the Law into Their Own Hands

Belgrade police clash with hooligans during Pride march in 2015. Photo: EPA/PATRICK GILLEN

When a group of Serbian young men were filmed punching, kicking and throwing punches at a group of women marching in Belgrade’s Pride parade on June 19, 2015, they were not trying to win the approval of the community. The men in uniform were not attempting to bring the city to order or even the pride of it.

Instead, it was a group of men who were upset about a few men who looked too happy, a group of men who seemed to be proud of being part of the crowd. Perhaps the men were unhappy with the appearance of a couple of girls with fake breasts, but that was the least of their worries. The men were on a rampage.

The video went viral on social media, and many people criticized those involved for the attack on two women who were visibly struggling in the crowd. The attack was justified, they said, because of the group’s disrespect of the men who were defending themselves from the two men in uniform who were beating them down. It was a typical case of the Serbian mob taking the law into their own hands.

In 2014, the same year the men attacked those women, it was a similar scene on the Serbian streets.

Goran Kostic and his friends on the night of the protest in 2014. Photo: Srdjan-Bente Cvijić

Kostic, an unemployed man from Belgrade who was in the crowd at the time of the attack on the women, saw the two attacks on the same day, June 19, 2015, and said he was furious. The problem was that he was furious because he was angry.

He didn’t want to be angry because of anything that had happened a few months before. But what happened in June, 2015, had happened in 2014, too, he said.

“I was angry,” Kostic said. “I couldn’t help it. All anger had to come out of me.”

Goran Kostic and his friends on the night of the protest in 2014. Photo: Srdjan-Bente Cvijić

Kostic had been active on Facebook, a social media site that allows users to post text, pictures and

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