ZAGREB, July 27 (Hina) - Speaking at the 75th anniversary of the uprising against fascism of the people of the Lika region in WWII, Serb National Council (SNV) president Milorad Pupovac said that they had not gathered in Srb today to celebrate anyone's death or to justify anyone's crimes because they do not differentiate between the dead, particularly not between innocent victims of retaliation and extermination.
A ceremony organised by the SNV and Federation of Anti-Fascist Fighters (SABA) was held in Srb on Wednesday to mark 75 years since the people of the Lika region rose against fascism on July 27 July, 1941.
"This place and this day are a warning of war and injustice and an inspiration of peace and justice which are being increasingly jeopardised. Unlike those trying to obstruct us, we are not extremists. We don't belong to extremists. We are normal citizens who want a normal life and normal policies and a normal country while extremists are they who are silent, turn their heads away and allow extremists to banter us; we aren't here to celebrate anyone's death or justify anyone's crime. We will celebrate just one death - death to Fascism," Pupovac said.
He added that the death of innocent people is painful. We consider Serbs killed by the Ustasha and Croats killed in the first days of the uprising as equally worthy of mention, he said calling for a moment's silence in tribute.
Anti-fascism for Serbs in Croatia is one of the most important values of the 20th and 21st centuries and anyone who negates anti-fascism negates survival, freedom and togetherness and a peaceful life which they secured together with Croats, he said.
He underscored that anti-fascism is necessary for Croats in Croatia and all the peoples in the former Yugoslavia and Europe because today's capitalism, following devastating years of union with nationalism is generating the fascistisation of society - not just post-communist but post-liberal too.
About three hundred anti-fascists from Croatia and the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska attended the commemoration in Srb and laid wreaths at the monument there.
A counter-protest rally organised by Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A HSP) was held in Serb too and the party's leader Drazen Keleminec said that the police had tried to prevent him from appearing there and that in the end they let him go.
Asked by reporters who else was protesting apart from the A HSP, Keleminec said that other parties of rights, war veterans and HOS war veterans were there.
Keleminec wondered if this was Croatia given that HOS shirts which were worn in the Homeland War cannot be worn yet Yugoslav flags with the red five-pointed star under which atrocities were committed in the Homeland War can be flown "Is this Croatia or perhaps Yugoslavia or a Greater Serbia?" he asked.
Spokesman for the Zadar Police district Elis Zodan told Hina that no charges had been pressed and that videos of both the commemoration and protest rally would be inspected to see if any charges would be pressed later however, no extraordinary incidents had been reported or arrests made.