Croatia’s President and Prime Minister condemned violence at a gay pride parade on Saturday, while a party leader pointed fingers at Roman Catholic priests’ messaging during the Pope’s recent visit as a catalyst for the violence against gays and lesbians and their allies.
Just one day after the European CommissionÂ green lighted CroatiaÂ for European Union admission in 2013, violence marred Split, Croatia’s firstÂ LGBT Pride March, instigated byÂ at least 4,000 to includeÂ as many as 10,000Â violentÂ protesters, whoÂ pounced uponÂ 200 LGBT marchers byÂ throwingÂ fists, firecrackers, bottles and rocks,Â someÂ wieldedÂ cigarette lighters, threw tomatoes and tear gas by a virulently anti-gayÂ opposition, who came prepared to disrupt the firstÂ gay eventÂ in the notorious nationalist right-wingÂ stronghold of 1,700-year oldÂ Split,Â Croatia.
Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic condemned the violence and was joined by Prime MinisterÂ Jadranka Kosor,Â reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty this morning,Â Josipovic,Â the first Croatian president to formally endorse nationanl gay pride and LGBT rights last year, said thatÂ SplitÂ protesters haveÂ “shown that there are some non-European parts of our society and thatÂ the violence in Split wasÂ “not Croatia’s real face.”
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor warned that violence and hatred were “something that cannot be tolerated in Croatia.”
Last year, JosipovicÂ became the first president in Croatian history to endorse and express his support for the national LGBT Pride celebration.
TheÂ Split-DalmaciaÂ police department announced in a press conferenceÂ following the Pride eventÂ thatÂ 137Â persons were arrested, including 25 minors, and eight peopleÂ required medicalÂ attention for injuries sustained,Â mostly members of the working, press, including a RTL cameraman, who suffered a concussion when hit with a brick and called a “Jew”.
News organizations are also reporting this morningÂ in Croatia Green Party leader AljoÅ¡a Babic is calling for the resignation of Tomislav Karamarko, the Minister of Internal Affairs, “because of the shameful conduct of police and securityÂ during Split Gay Pride.”
BabicÂ added, “The Croatian tax payers do not pay the police to witness the scenes we’ve seen today in Split.Â [These] events are the result ofÂ recent homophobic statements which were communicated byÂ priests during the recent visit of the Pope.”
UK Gay News reports several “Croatian bishops have condemned what they call â€œunnatural families,â€ their term for same-sex headed households.
Babic alsoÂ criticized President Ivo JosipoviÄ‡ and PrimeÂ Minister Jadranka Kosor for not condemning the Vatican’s homophobic messages whichÂ were reportedÂ by the media, according to Babic.
Croatia, a deeply devout Roman Catholic country has historically had a nearly symbiotic relationship with with the Church that datesÂ back toÂ its darkest chapter during World War II while under occupation by the German Third Reich.Â Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, a known collaboratorÂ and supporter of theÂ Â “Ustashe,” a Croatian nationalist movement thatÂ served as brutal proxies for the Nazis.Â DespiteÂ his conviction for war crimes in 1946, Â Stepanac wasÂ beatified by Pope John Paul II, putting him on th p ath to “sainthood” (more on the Ustashe later).
Aloysius Stepanac was convicted of war crimesÂ in 1946 andÂ served 16 years in prison at hard labor.
Also condeming the violence was Amnesty International,Â who was the first internationalÂ human rights organization,who said the violenceÂ was unacceptable. “The Croatian authorities need to act to stop this happening in future,” said Nicola Duckworth, the human right group’s director for Europe and Central Asia, urging an immediate investigation and punishment for the attackers.
According to Pride organizers,Â the paradeÂ participants totalledÂ 200 people, mostly from Split, who were supported byÂ 30Â marchers fromÂ Belgrade, Serbia;Â Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Netherlands, amongÂ other European cities.
With extensive police barricades in place along the parade route, police reportedly deployed 400 uniformed officers and unknown numbers of officers in plain clothes, although Croatian LGBT activists criticized the government agencies who were responsible for maintaining public safety.
Police in full-riot gear, wereÂ outmatched byÂ thousands of full-throated opposition,Â many of whomÂ screamed “kill the gays,” “kill the Serbs,” and “kill the gypsies,” repeatedly. Signs carried by LGBT activists said “Lesbians are okay,” Lesbians Against Fascism,” and “My Partner, My Lover,” among others wereÂ defiantly displayed by the small minority.
In a report by Croatian Nacional newspaper, Sanja Juras, of the Croatian Lesbian group, Kontra, addressed the audience from the rallyÂ stageÂ near the SplitÂ waterfront andÂ accused policeÂ of not adequatelyÂ protecting theÂ protesters, consequently peopleÂ were injured.
“State institutions have not done their job properly, and today’s rally in SplitÂ reflects that LGBT rightsÂ are not Â guaranteed legalÂ rights in Croatia,” Juras said.
Also speaking at the rallyÂ wereÂ European Parliament memberÂ Marije Coruielssen of the Netherlands,Â a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Linda Frieman, co-chair of the European divisionÂ of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, LGBT activists from Slovenia, the first and onlyÂ Former Yugoslav republicÂ to have joined the EU and, activists fromÂ Serbia, another Balkan countryÂ whichÂ has experienced at least a decade of violenceÂ against LGBT human rights activistsÂ who have yet to march, without significant violence occurringÂ in Belgrade.
The violence against LGBTÂ peopleÂ in Split, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo did not manifest from a vacuum.Â Wars were fought three timesÂ during the 20th century in the BalkansÂ which have planted seeds of deep emnity, transmittedÂ intergenerationally byÂ members of ethnic groups and religious faiths–leaving scars all around that remainÂ tangible in theÂ body politic andÂ cultural memory.
Croatia fought two wars in the 1990s, led by extremeÂ nationalist Franjo Tudjman, who merged his rule with an insurgent and nationalistic Roman Catholic Church,Â against former Yugoslavia, eventuallyÂ securing independence from Belgrade, long imagined and sought for throughout the 20th century. Croatia fought a bloody war against Serbia,Â eventually repellingÂ SerbÂ forces who invaded Croatia in 1991.
CroatiaÂ later joined forces with theÂ Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation. who had declared independence fromÂ BelgradeÂ in March 1992.Â Croatia and BosniaÂ jointlyÂ foughtÂ the Serbs who were pushed to stop the war by American diplomat Richard Holbrooke.Â The parties signed a peace agreement in Dayton, Ohio in 1995Â .Â Many horrible war crimes, including genocide andÂ crimes against humanity, rape, torture and enslavement, occurred during the courseÂ of these wars, committed disproportionatelyÂ by Serbian, Bosnian SerbÂ and CroatianÂ military and paramilitary members, many ofÂ whomÂ have been prosecutedÂ by the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
But the recent warsÂ are emotionally layered and political charged byÂ unresolved events that occurredÂ during World War II.Â Croat nationalistsÂ established the Croat Revolutionary Movement, also knownÂ asÂ the “Ustashe” who committed some of the worst excesses ofÂ World War II in its heinous and banalÂ collaboration with Nazi Germany’s ThirdÂ Reich.Â These sordid eventsÂ transpiredÂ during theÂ AxisÂ Powers occupation and annexation of Croatia (including the Split area)Â and of Bosnia and Herzegovina as far east as Banja Luka, the present capital the Bosnian Serb entity.
According to many historical accounts, Archbishop Stepanac was a partner andÂ collaboratorÂ with Â the Ustashe government.Â He supported the Ustashi Government from the beginning until the end. Indeed, even after Ustashi Croatia collapsed following the disintegration of Nazi Germany.Â Stepinac was not only the Head of the Council of Croatian Bishops and of the committeeÂ which carried out a policy of forcible conversions, he was none other than the Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashi Army, which is a major symbol of the Roman Catholic Church.
When Ustashi Croatia fell in 1945 as a result of the defeat of Nazi Germany and Ante Pavelic,Â the leader of the governmentÂ ran for his life, Archbishop Stepinac, in aÂ futile effort to save the regime, succeeded him as leader of the Ustashi Croatia. Stepinac ordered special ceremonies in all the Catholic churches on Pavelic’s birthday, and he frequently invoked prayersÂ for the Ustashi.
Marshall Tito, whoÂ led the Partisan communisistÂ in aÂ civil war against the Croats and the Serb Chetniks,Â of the Serbian Renewal Movement, eventually defeating both parties andÂ supported efforts byÂ Allied Forces whoÂ invaded Italy and drove the Nazis from the Balkans.Â Tito formed the Federal Socialist Republic of YugoslaviaÂ that he governed until his death in 1980.
Since 1995, Croatia has been working its way towardÂ achievingÂ peace,Â interrupted at timesÂ onÂ its pathÂ to Europe, which took a considerable leapÂ when TudjmanÂ diedÂ in 1999.Â Â Through a seriesÂ of good fortune and electingÂ less nationalisticÂ governments (although corruption remains an endemic problem for Croatia and throughout the region)Â that rid itself of the hardlineÂ political party Croatian DemocraticÂ UnionÂ and hasÂ worked assiduously during the pastÂ six years toward achieving required legal and financial reforms necessary for European Union accession.
EU accession requires the decriminalization of existing sodomy laws and adoption of anti-discrimination laws, includingÂ employment anti-discrimination protection. This leverage over the accession process has advanced LGBT organizing throughout hte Balkans to mitigated success.
But it has alwaysÂ been two steps forward, one step back for Croatia, whose efforts to arrest war criminals has been resisted by manyÂ inÂ theÂ populace, who view some of these generals as “heroes”.Â In AprilÂ two former Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac were sentenced for war crimes committed in 1995.Â Gotovina hadÂ been a fugitive for many years when he wasÂ arrested in Spain in 2006, although thousands turned out in Split in protest over his extradition toÂ ICTY.
ThusÂ last Friday, the European Commission President Jose ManuelÂ Barroso announced that “today is a special day for CroatiaÂ and for the European Union.“Â Barroso also said:Â “At this significant moment, I would like to applaud the Croatian authorities for their hard work over the last years. Even more importantly, I would like to congratulate the people of Croatia. Joining the EU family of nations is first and foremost your success!”
Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than aÂ decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), sat down for a freewheeling hour-long interview with Donald Trump Jr., the son of the one-term twice-impeached ex-president currently under multiple criminal investigations including for absconding with hundreds of classified intelligence documents.
McCarthy, who had to battle his own Republican caucus 15 times before finally being granted the Speaker’s gavel, is now tied even more to Donald Trump. Trump reportedly was “working the phones,” making calls to House Republicans for days – and even hours before the final vote – strong-arming them to support the weakened McCarthy.
In one segment of the interview, McCarthy tells Trump Jr., “you know what? I’ve been around you guys privately. It is a real family that has real love for one another. And really, it stems of what [Donald Trump] did as a father.”
Don Jr., a bit choked up, comes out and says point-blank he wishes his father would “show some of that” love.
“I appreciate that, ya know, I want him to show some of that.”
Kevin McCarthy talked about the love in the Trump family. Don Jr. replied he wished his dad would show it more. pic.twitter.com/8r5V8rilLG
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) January 27, 2023
Just before those remarks, McCarthy, again praising Donald Trump, says he’s a great father and grandfather, claims none of the ex-president’s children are “into drugs,” “have problems,” or “laptops” – presumably a dig at Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.
“I’ve watched him too, the pride he has [in] his children – and this is what I’ll say to you: Look, raising a family is not easy. You know – you’re a great father. But they don’t see him as a grandfather – I see your kids walk up.”
“But you know what? You think of your life, okay? He was successful,” McCarthy continued, praising the disgraced ex-president. “He comes from a successful life. I’ve watched all you kids, as brothers and sisters love one another. You’re not into drugs. You don’t have problems. You don’t have laptops. You don’t have these other things,” McCarthy claimed.
Trump Jr. interjected, saying, “According to the press I’m really into drugs.”
Kevin McCarthy called Don Jr., “a great father,” and said all of Trump’s kids “are not into drugs” and “don’t have problems.” pic.twitter.com/FhIbzcRSQZ
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) January 27, 2023
Also in that interview, McCarthy admitted to “flipping cars” (buying for one price, quickly selling at a higher price) when he was in college, only to say it was illegal.
“I didn’t have the athletics to get a scholarship. I went to junior college, which was a great school,” McCarthy says. “But while I’m going there, I meet this guy that owns a liquor store but has a car dealer license – I’ll let you figure out how I met him,”
“But one day I say, ‘I’ll give you 100 bucks if you take me to L.A.,’ because L.A. has these car auctions – you got to be a dealer to get in there.”
“So I started going down there, I start flipping cars, to pay my way through college. I find out later it’s illegal but I don’t know why I do it, I’ve been an entrepreneur, right?”
Don Jr. again interjects, telling the camera, “By the way, just just so you understand. We may have to cut this. Nancy Pelosi is gonna try to figure out how to impeach you for doing something like that.”
In his recent interview with Don Jr., Kevin McCarthy admitted to paying a man to use his car dealers’ license to illegally flip cars while in college. pic.twitter.com/eBQIZB5i99
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) January 27, 2023
Trump Jr. also criticized most members of Congress who he said don’t have the same “hustle” as he does. He claimed his father made him work minimum wage jobs and he worked “for tips,” which both agreed was important.
“Like, no one’s ever had to make payroll. No one’s gonna sign the front of a check as opposed to the back,” Trump Jr. complains.
Don Jr., the son of a billionaire, implied his experience having “worked minimum wage jobs” and having “worked for tips” made him who he is today. pic.twitter.com/zwMJB5jrnp
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) January 27, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos
The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.
“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.
But NBC News goes one step further.
“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”
“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.
The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.
DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.
“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.
Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the former Speaker of the House, told reporters she has no intention of watching just-released video of the almost fatal, brutal attack on her 82-year old husband, allegedly by a hammer-wielding, far-right conspiracy theory promoting extremist.
DePape had “posted antisemitic screeds and entries defending former President Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper formally known as Kayne West who recently made antisemitic comments,” CBS News reported one day after the attack.
Earlier Friday, before the video had been released by a judge’s order, Rep. Pelosi said did not know if she would watch the video.
Later, Friday afternoon, Pelosi said she would not.
“As you know, today there was a release of some information. I have not heard the 911 call. I have not heard the confession. I have not seen the break-in, and I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”
Prosecutors have described the attack as “near-fatal.”
She also thanked “people for all of their prayers,” and for “asking about the progress my husband is making, and he is making progress, but it will take more time.”
Apparently choking up, she added that she would not be making any more statements about this case as it proceeds, except again to thank people and inform them of Paul’s progress.”
Watch below or at this link.
“I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters after video was made public showing her husband, Paul Pelosi, fighting with his assailant during a brutal attack last year. pic.twitter.com/CGo0s0Ayho
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 27, 2023
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted
- MELTDOWN2 days ago
Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax
- 'GASLIGHTING'1 day ago
‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
‘X-Rated’: Christian Nationalist Mastriano Promises Bill to Ban Public Drag Shows After High School’s ‘Queer Prom’
- News1 day ago
Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law
- BREAKING NEWS2 days ago
Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
‘Moral Turpitude’: Trump Coup Memo Author John Eastman Now Facing 11 Counts of Alleged Ethics Violations – and Disbarment
- 'THIS ISN'T GOING TO END WELL'2 days ago
‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is