Celebrating Independence By Beating Up Gays

As most of you know, pengovsky has, time and again warned against rise on neo-Nazism and its various offshots in Slovenia. Be it government pogrom against a Roma family, nationalistic marches on the border aimed at creating border incidents, nationalistic anti-Croatian rallies with a clear superiority agenda, boneheads trying to intimidate a round-table event on intolerance or a (called but cancelled) fascist rally in downtown Ljubljana, modus operandi which is usually associated with shitheads who think that Der Führer had a couple of nifty ideas, is becoming increasingly mainstream, while those same shitheads are becoming ever more self-confident.

Nationalists marching on the afternoon of June 25th and Mitja Blažič after the attack a couple of hours later (sources: Mladina.si and Narobe.si respectively)

The latest incident happened some ten days ago, and while it is not exactly news anymore, it deserves to be written about. Prior to Gay Pride Parade, which was held in Ljubljana on 27 June, a gay-and-lesbian literature night was organised in a bar in Prule, a nice, cozy and slightly bohemian area of Ljubljana. At about 2100 hrs on Thursday 25 June, a group of at least eight hooded and masked people stormed the place, armed with sticks, stones and torches. As he was just in front of the entrance at the time, journalist and gay activist Mitja Blažič took the brunt of the attack, being beaten and repeatedly kicked in the head. Afterwards the attackers tried to set the bar ablaze, causing Blažič some mild burns and – having failed to start a fire – threw stones into the bar’s windows.

The fact that the attack took place on June 25th, Slovenian Independence day makes it all the more appalling.

But then again… In hindsight this attack should not have been a surprise. Neo-Nazi sentiment is building in Slovenia. Slowly but surely. Most of its proponents probably don’t even recognise it as such, but rather think of themselves as patriots who want to protect the country and take it to a new level. The fact that they share that line of though with the second most famous Austrian (after Brüno) does not bother them.

And the fact that the fascist rally, which was cancelled on April 27th, did take place exactly on June 25th, only hours prior to the main celebration of the Day of Independence shows that neo-Nazi agenda is becoming dangerously wedded to the notion Slovenian statehood.

This year they marched by the Republic Square of their own accord. Unchecked, they will be leading the parade in a decade. By then it will be far too late to do anything about it. Luckily, it sometimes does help to have a left-wing government and an interior minister who is big on human rights. The police have proven that they can be remarkably efficient if needs be and have arrested three attackers within days. Apparently they are members of one of the football hooligan groups, where incidentally, where people with superiority issues seem to be especially thick on the ground.

It would be a most dangerous mistake to see this only as a series of unconnected incidents. What we are seeing here is at least a semi-concerted effort to restore neo-Nazi and other superiority ideology and make it a legitimate participant in a public debate. And they seem to be making headway as Hervardi one of these groups, even secured a weekly programme on Radio DUR, one of Ljubljana’s local radio stations.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

10 thoughts on “Celebrating Independence By Beating Up Gays”

  1. Sad. Was waiting for this post. Grow slowly is an understatment.. When I moved here there wasn’t even tukaj je stickers all over the place. Ironically, I was thinking when the border march thing was and there was a lack of interest in going there to protest against the boneheads, that the first incidents will be outside gayclubs. I was almost right, sadly.

    Anyhow. Come on Slovenia, stop taking the path of easy answers and populist politicians.

  2. Not deffending the nazi idiots, but as I understand in this case the masked cowards were members of Ljubljana’s Ultras – Green Dragons. Homofobic tendencies are very close to most of the sport hooligans as you might learn from the fact that the only time members of Delije (CZ) and Grobari (Partizan) joined forces was to stop and attack the last gay parade in Belgrade. It’s funny how fear and populistic agenda seamed to have an effect that not even a national team can aspire to.

  3. I don’t think Brüno is the second most famous Austrian anymore.

  4. @Alen: Correct. As I wrote, attackers – at least those who were arrested – are members of a hooligan group. Apparently the more fervernt element of the Green Dragons.

    And yes, finding the “outer enemy” has a remarkably cohesive effect on a group – especially if the outer enemy is weaker than they are.

    Besides, since you already brought up Delije and Grobari – they were used (or should I say: they willfully participated) in bloodbath that until then was only attributed to Nazis.

    @Akustični Brivec: As I sad – the other guy is the second most famous Austrian :mrgreen:

  5. I’m by no means saying it’s true for everyone, but right wing football hooligans aren’t exactly rare. Check the background of the viole maribor logo: http://www.violemaribor.com/ I only know that symbol from one context..

  6. Football hooligans who commit acts of violence for whatever purpose, but particularly so in the case of racist or homophobic incidents, and are properly dealt with by the police are one thing.

    Media giving them attention dismissing them as isolated cases is another.

    Media giving their ideas supportive attention moves the same underlying issues into a whole different ballpark.

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