Invitation To A Protest March: Violence Is Not Normal, May 13th, Sarajevo

In the last couple of years more and more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons have suffered domestic violence, or have been victims of peer violence. Parents, sisters, brothers and other family members have imprisoned, forced to unwanted treatment, thrown out of home and continuously abused, threatened and attacked them. The schools are also dangerous places for LGBTI persons who are exposed to permanent negative reactions of their colleagues, harassment and violence. A large number of LGBTI persons has been forced to come out, the number of attacks in public spaces has increased, as well as the number of threats and incitement to hatred and violence towards LGBTI activists.

During 2016 and the beginning of 2017 Sarajevo Open Centre documented over 25 cases of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity, and there were no reactions of the competent institutions or they were inadequate.

The family and school have to be the primary place of support and understanding for their members, and not a place where they suffer.

There are many reasons to come to the protest march and support your LGBTI fellow citizens. In an atmosphere of fear in which LGBTI persons live daily, in which violence is omnipresent and socially accepted, and the relevant authorities don’t do enough to prevent and sanction the violence, the support from all of us is of utter importance. All of us who condemn any kind of violence and who believe that such behaviour is not welcome in BH society. All of us – straight, gay, bi, cis, trans, minorities or majorities – should be the agents of the changes we want to see!

We have kept quiet on manifestations of injustice for a long time, for a long time we have tolerated the lack of action of the institutions; it is time to rise against hatred and violence, not to allow the quiet suffering of LGBTI persons within their four walls! Let us go out on the street and raise our voices! We demand protection of our rights! Let us support our LGBTI children, parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and fellow citizens!

Each attack, each case of violence, each instance of discrimination of any of us is directed towards all of us. This is a chance to show how much we stand in solidarity!

The gathering for the protest march will start at 11:30 A.M. on Saturday 13 May 2017, and the march will start at 12 P.M. The information on the route of the march and the gathering place will be released subsequently.

For any additional information please contact Lejla Huremović, via e-mail [email protected].