Serbia’s police in full anti-riot gear used force to disperse a large group of hooligans who tried to disrupt the “Mirëdita, dobar dan” (Good Day in Albanian and Serbian) Festival in Belgrade during which the audience was presented with contemporary artists from Kosovo, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported on Thursday night.
The police told RFE unofficially the hooligans were soccer fans. They were carrying banners with Kosovo’s flag covered with Serbia’s coat of arms, reading “No surrender” and chanting offensive slogans about Albanians.
Ahead of the incident outside the Dorcol Platz in central Belgrade, the audience was listening to the debate titled “Life with Memories of the Missing,” followed by the “Ferdonia” film about the people missing during the 1989-1999 war in Kosovo.
The hooligans said they protested because the Festival “treated Kosovo as a state.” They left the scene after two hours.
“Mirëdita, dobar dan!” Festival is a yearly event in Belgrade since 2014 with an aim to contribute to a lasting normalisation of both Serbia's and Kosovo's societies through arts and debates about the current social and political issues.
The 2019 Festival opened on Wednesday night with hard-line nationalists' small incident.