Anti-EuroPride protesters assaulted an N1 TV crew, injuring a cameraman and hurling insults at reporters in front of St Mark’s church in central Belgrade.
The cameraman was hit in the stomach by a bottle thrown at him by a man identified as disrobed monk Antonije who was arrested later. Others in the group of some 30 protesters threw bottles at parked cars and grabbed a pride flag. The Nova.rs portal reported that two of the group were arrested adding that the protesters also hurled verbal abuse at the police. A police cordon is in place around the church and adjoining Tasmajdan park. The protesters are reported to have tried to push through the police to get to the church.
The incidents took place around noon. EuroPride organizers said that they would assemble in front of the nearby Constitutional Court building at 4 pm to start the pride parade an hour later.
Media reports said that EuroPride opponents have been assembling in several places in central Belgrade in anticipation of an anti-globalist gathering which the police banned.
The EuroPride parade is expected to be joined by a number of European officials, reportedly including the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell who was said to have arrived in Belgrade on Friday evening as well as a number of Belgrade-based ambassadors.
A Blic daily police source said that at least 3,000 uniformed officers would be deployed in an effort to keep the two gatherings apart.
The conservative Dveri movement said earlier that if the EuroPride parade goes ahead, Serbia will be proved to be under colonial administration and not an independent state.