Zagreb Pride 2016.jpg
Zagreb Pride 2016.
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ ua

Several thousand people participated in the 15th Zagreb Pride parade on Saturday, carrying rainbow flags, balloons and banners with messages calling for solidarity and expressing dissatisfaction and concern about the country's current political and social course.

According to police reports, there were no incidents at the event which brought together around 3,000 people.

The organisers of the event said several thousand people participated in the march, including public figures and politicians like Anka Mrak Taritas of the HNS party, Ranko Ostojic of the SDP and Mirela Holy, former leader of the ORAH party.

Members of the LGBTIQ community called on all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic, to support them and show solidarity in advocating the equality and dignity of all people.

Pride marchers carried banners with messages such as "End to injustice", "My four walls, east, west, north, south", "Beautiful, sweet freedom", "Hate is not a family value", "End to the conservative revolution", "LGBTIQ against TTIP", etc.

Activists promoting gender minorities' rights warned about discrimination based on sexual orientation and expressed concern about the political situation in the country, claiming that exclusiveness, chauvinism, totalitarian thinking and violence were being promoted.

"This is a social and political protest against the further economic, moral and political destruction of society, against radicalisation and hate," Pride marchers said, stressing that Croatia was their homeland, too.

The march started in the city's Franklin Roosevelt Square and ended in the Ribnjak park with a pop concert.

The marchers supported the integral curricular reform, calling for real freedom for all LGBTIQ persons and for Croatian universities. In a statement that was read out at the start of the march, they also called for making sure women continued to be able to decide about their own bodies.

"We want a free, civil and secular society, not a militarised and clerical one. Free movement for all people fleeing hunger, poverty and war, a society of solidarity and respect for differences, not a society of barbed-wire fences, divisions and insensitivity to refugees," Marko Juric of the parade's organising committee said.

The Zagreb Pride parade was supported by a number of civil society organisations whose members and sympathisers joined in the march.

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