The parade in the
Serbian capital had been scheduled for Sunday, but officials pulled
the plug on the event fearing further clashes between police and
far-right groups, which escalated at last year's event - the first
Interior Minister Ivica
Dacic said the decision had been taken to avoid injury to those
taking part and damage to public property.
"Because of these
rallies - above all the anti-parade protests - we could expect
enormous damage to public order and peace," he said.
"We have seen reports
that indicated riots would spread in central Belgrade... to burn
cars, headquarters of ruling political parties, seats of foreign
companies and embassies."
Now, in the latest developments, police have detained six people
suspected of being far-right, anti-gay extremists who planned to
violently disrupt the march.
The arrests, which took place yesterday, are said to have
prevented a gathering of pro-Russian homophobes who threatened to
burn an EU flag and spit on the portrait of the U.S. ambassador in
Belgrade, according to the Associated Press.
Senior police official Srdjan Grekulovic says the six extremists
were detained in central Belgrade with masks and baseball bats on
Last year, equality activists marched in Belgrade on 10 October
for the first time since 2001 - when attendees were beaten by
nationalists, skinheads and football fans.
In 2009, a planned Pride march was canceled under pressure from
police and the government, who said they couldn't protect the
marchers from thousands of anti-gays who planned to attack the
Opponents of the aborted march had covered walls in the city
center with graffiti that said, "We will get you," "Death to
faggots" and "Blood will flow," and had spoken openly to reporters
about the planned assault.