Small Anti-Vučić Protest Ends on Zagreb's Main Square

By 12 February 2018

ZAGREB, February 12, 2018 - The protest rally in Zagreb's main square Trg Bana Jelačića against Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić's visit to Croatia on Monday ended without incident after about 1,000 veterans and widows of the 1991-1995 Homeland War told the Serbian leader that he was not welcome.

The protesters were angry that they were not allowed to demonstrate in St Mark's Square, the seat of the government and parliament, shouting "treason, treason".

War widows said they were in favour of dialogue and good neighbourly relations with Serbia but based on the principles of truth and justice.

The head of the association of war widows, Rozalija Bartolić, said that all heads of state, including the Serbian president, needed to earn state honours and a red carpet. "I am asking you, does Aleksandar Vučić deserve them?" she said, to which the crowd responded, "No."

"We are here to tell him loud and clear: we know who you are, Aleksdandar Vučić, we know how much bile and poison you spilled in this country, the seeds of hatred you and your followers sowed all over Croatia. Our children don't have their fathers," Bartolić said.

War veteran Vjekoslav Magaš said that it was not some irrelevant individuals in Serbia that were demonising Croatia, but that it was Serbian government ministers. He said that the meeting should have been held somewhere abroad rather than in Zagreb.

The demonstrators played a recording of a war-mongering speech Vučić had made in Serb-occupied Glina in 1995. They held banners saying "Serbia must answer for the genocide in Croatia and pay war reparations" and "Remember Vukovar", and waved Croatian flags and flags of the right-wing HSP party and its armed wing HOS with the inscription "For the homeland ready".