Hundred of citizens gathered on Friday evening to protest against government’s attempts to censor the media.
Several hundred people filled the Zagreb Zrinjevac Square on Friday evening to protest against the attempts of the authorities to censor satire and against politicians who misgovern the country. The protest called “For Satire Ready” was organized by a number of non-governmental organizations, including the Croatian Journalists’ Association, reports Novi List on April 2, 2016.
One of the central squares in Zagreb was full of lively and relaxed people, mostly young, who used dance and laughter to support the mocking appearances by comedians, satirists and musicians. The host of the program was stand up comedian Ivan Šarić, who at the very beginning said “We are living in a Monty Python sketch!” “We are pissed off! You cannot tell me what I can and what I cannot say! We have had enough! We are not leftwing or rightwing, we support neither the ruling party nor the opposition, we do not want to hear about the Ustashas and the Chetniks, leave us alone!”
A series of humorous sketches followed, as well as satirical performances by live bands from Rijeka. The audience was well-entertained by satirical versions of some well-known songs. Although many of the performers did not opt for a truly provocative satire, comedian Goran Vugrinec was the most direct in his explicit condemnation of hate speech and of the cancellation of News Bar’s political satire show called “The Show Trial” which was recently cancelled by the Croatian Radio Television. “We should support such shows, and not ban them. And when someone mentions politicians or the Church, they immediately call it hate speech, but when someone shouts ‘For Homeland Ready’ then they say it is normal”, said Vugrinec.
The event ended with host Ivan Šarić calling on the protesters to raise their middle finger in the air under strong spotlights, which everyone did, to their obvious satisfaction.