Hundreds of far-right protesters gathered in Belgrade on Wednesday to protest against the ‘Miredita, dobar dan!’ festival, which promotes Kosovo-Albanian culture.
Footage shows protesters shouting at and pushing against the blockade, while chanting nationalists songs and waving the Serbian flag.
Police officers formed a cordon to block the protesters from passing to the festival. An hour after the protest began, football fans joined the rally.
“We want to get to know the culture of the Albanian people and we have no problem with the presentation about culture of the State of Albania, but with the State of Kosovo as Albanian, ” said Milica Đorđević, leader of Zavetnici party.
“We want to meet other religions, peoples and cultures, and to respect them as such. But here is the abductor of our values, our cultural heritage, our sovereignty and our territorial integrity,” she added.
The ‘Mirdita, dobar dan’ (‘Good day’ in Albanian and Serbian) Festival is organised by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights to encourage dialogue with the former province of Kosovo, whose declaration of independence is not recognised by Belgrade.
The 2019 edition started one day after politicians in Kosovo ordered an attack on Kosovo Serbs under the pretext that it is a fight against organized crime.