Belgrade. Serbia. March 8. A white supremacist, anti-refugee rally in Belgrade on Sunday had it all: the motto “You will not replace us”.
Some participants stoned the “Miksalište” building and the site of the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration.
This rally is just one example of global fascist solidarity that has solidified around Greece this past week. The symbolism on display also shows the international nature of the fascists attacking people on the move. In addition to chetnik symbolism, marchers had Confederate flags and carried signs referencing The Great Replacement Theory. Some participants were identified as perpetrators of anti-LGBT violence in the past.
However, coalitions in solidarity with people on the move are just as international and are not standing down in the face of injustice. Belgrade-based organization Info Park strongly condemned the march and questioned the police’s motives in approving it even after President Vučić himself said such manifestations were fascist.
Info Park’s Press Release on the Extremist Gathering Targeting Migrants in Belgrade on March 8
The migration center Info Park strongly condemns the decision by the Serbian Ministry of Interior to allow the anti-migrant meeting held in Belgrade on March 8, 2020 in spite of the fact that the organizer’s invitation contained elements of serious criminal acts against the constitutional order and the security of the Republic of Serbia.
In their invitation, the organizers disseminated fake news and disturbed the citizens by inciting religious and national hatred against migrants. The Facebook event page claimed that the migrants are predecessors of an army of ISIS and issued a call to the citizens to illegally arm for their own “self-defense”.
Several civil society organizations have delivered a timely caution to the municipal police department in Savski Venac, providing all necessary information indicating the risk of possible confrontation and violence and therefore calling on the Ministry of Interior to comply with the Law on Public Gathering.
Info Park is especially surprised with the decision of the Ministry of Interior to allow the gathering, since the decision was made after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic publicly denounced such initiatives as “fascist”. The messages sent from this event are essentially identical those heard at neo-Nazi gatherings across Europe, validating Info Park’s call to ban this, and all similar events in the future.
This modestly attended gathering was a fiasco for the promoters of racist, xenophobe and anti-migrant stances and has proven how unpopular the ideas of hatred and racism are among Serbia’s citizens. Unfortunately, not even the unconvincing number of gatherers, nor the strong police presence managed to prevent those gathered in attempting attacks on organizations that are part of the systematic support to refugees and efforts to get them off Belgrade’s streets and into reception centers.
Info Park strongly condemns the attempt to stone the state institution “Miksaliste”, run by the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration. Among those present at the rally were persons prosecuted for violence against LGBT citizens, Roma and other minorities. Major incidents and violence against migrants have been averted only by the action of state bodies and civil society organizations that have been issuing warnings to refugees for days to stay away from the city center on the day of the rally.
We particularly emphasize that further tolerance of such activities will certainly lead to a decrease in general security in the country and possible collapse of a migration management system that has proven to be functional, as well as physical attacks not only against refugees but also against reception centers and the civil society organizations operating legally and in accordance with the law.
Due to this evident danger, Info Park appeals to the Serbian Ministry of Interior to urgently implement preventive security measures in all facilities of this type in the Republic of Serbia.
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