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"Sloboda Prava" Participated in the LGBTQ March "Zone Free From Hatred"

For the first time "Sloboda Prava" participated in the march "Zone free from hatred" that took place on June 27, 2015 in Belgrade on the International LGBTQ Pride Day.

The action "Zone free from hatred" was organized for the third year in a row, and apart from its main goal to show the position of LGBT people in Serbia, it also aimed to strengthen solidarity with other social groups and to point out the existing problems in the whole society.The action was jointly organized by Gay straight alliance, Women in Black, Gay Lesbian Info Center, Association "Rainbow" Šabac, Center for Queer Studies, Association "Hestia", Committee for Human Rights and Antifascist federation of Serbia.There were about 100 – 150 participants, including politicians, who marched from the Republic Square to the monument of the antifascists hanged in Terazije.  

Serbian sex workers organization "Sloboda Prava" also joined the march, and it was the first time red umbrellas marched with their messages openly at such an action. Their banners said: “Rights not violence”, “Sex work is work” and “Sloboda Prava” (Equal rights – the name of the organization).

Mario from “Sloboda Prava” told that they decided to participate in this year's march for LGBTQ rights because it wasn't much advertised, and they had little fear from violence. Also the organizers of the LGBTQ march assured “Sloboda Prava” of safety. Mario also added that it was much ad hoc action, as “Sloboda Prava” did not have much time to prepare, as they got the information on the march rather late. They also did not include banner with a message about decriminalization, as they did not know about the possible reactions from the participants, e.g., feminist organizations, that were also present at the LGBTQ march.

Overall, “Sloboda Prava” had a very positive experience during the march. Mario told that all the participants were supportive. The organization was at the back, so some of the participants saw them at the forum just at the end of the whole action, but still they gave a positive feedback.Moreover, “Sloboda Prava” also received several positive comments from passers-by while marching, and there were no nasty words only astonished looks.

Therefore, as Mario concludes, “Sloboda Prava” achieved its first goal – a greater visibility at the  "Zone free from hatred" action. They have achieved their second goal – to meet a new commissioner for equality Brankica Jankovic who was present at the march. They managed to brief her about the violence towards transgender Roma sex workers. “We are superpleased, as this was a tremendous boost for our morale” adds the final comment Mario.