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Serbia: 'Terrorists not welcome' - Anti-migrant demo met with counter-protest in Belgrade03:23

Serbia: 'Terrorists not welcome' - Anti-migrant demo met with counter-protest in Belgrade

Serbia, Belgrade
October 25, 2020 at 21:50 GMT +00:00 · Published

Several hundred anti-migrant protesters were met by counter-protesters in Belgrade on Sunday while police kept the groups separate.

Over the last months right-wing groups have been organising so-called 'Peoples' patrols' of vigilantes to force homeless migrants to leave the city centre for the temporary reception sites, with the organisers also stating that the patrols are to protect locals.

The same groups were behind the protest in the park, with right-wing demonstrators holding banners reading "Terrorists not welcome" and waving Serbian flags.

"We came here today to put pressure on authorities so they could react and defend citizens. It shouldn't be us, ordinary people defending citizens against various sorts of criminals who came here without any valid documents," said Damnjan Knezevic, one of the organisers of the patrols.

Some locals expressed their support for the vigilantes, with one man saying "Simply, those people who are from a totally different culture then ours are bothering us and prevent us to live normally and peacefully."

Left-wing organisations held a counter-protest, with demonstrators holding banners decrying racism and imperialism and chanting anti-racist slogans.

"We want to show solidarity with refugees, we want to show that no one is illegal, everybody has a right to free movement, everybody has a right to look for a better life, to flee from war, to flee from poverty," said Srdjan Atanosovski, one of the counter-protesters said.

"They sleep and spend time in the parks just because they have no other option for accommodation and for the roof above their heads," he added.

Serbia: 'Terrorists not welcome' - Anti-migrant demo met with counter-protest in Belgrade03:23
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Several hundred anti-migrant protesters were met by counter-protesters in Belgrade on Sunday while police kept the groups separate.

Over the last months right-wing groups have been organising so-called 'Peoples' patrols' of vigilantes to force homeless migrants to leave the city centre for the temporary reception sites, with the organisers also stating that the patrols are to protect locals.

The same groups were behind the protest in the park, with right-wing demonstrators holding banners reading "Terrorists not welcome" and waving Serbian flags.

"We came here today to put pressure on authorities so they could react and defend citizens. It shouldn't be us, ordinary people defending citizens against various sorts of criminals who came here without any valid documents," said Damnjan Knezevic, one of the organisers of the patrols.

Some locals expressed their support for the vigilantes, with one man saying "Simply, those people who are from a totally different culture then ours are bothering us and prevent us to live normally and peacefully."

Left-wing organisations held a counter-protest, with demonstrators holding banners decrying racism and imperialism and chanting anti-racist slogans.

"We want to show solidarity with refugees, we want to show that no one is illegal, everybody has a right to free movement, everybody has a right to look for a better life, to flee from war, to flee from poverty," said Srdjan Atanosovski, one of the counter-protesters said.

"They sleep and spend time in the parks just because they have no other option for accommodation and for the roof above their heads," he added.

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