ZAGREB, May 3, 2019 – Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Milorad Pupovac on Friday commented on recent incidents in which SDSS billboards were vandalised, including with Ustasha symbols, saying that the billboards and their message were meant to free people and society from fear and promote freedom as well as that he would not report the incidents to the police because he no longer wanted to remind them of what their job was.
“Our billboards and messages are against fear and for freedom. They are against hate and are meant to help free this society from hate. The Cyrillic script on the SDSS billboards that some are bothered by is a script that wants to be not only a means of communication but a means of liberation of our society from the prejudices and hate that have been spreading for years and to which nobody is reacting,” Pupovac told a news conference.
The SDSS party, which is running for the first time in elections for the European Parliament, has put up billboards with the slogan “Do you know what it is like to be a Serb in Croatia?”, with the word ‘Serb’ written in the Cyrillic script.
One of those billboards, put up in Split, was recently vandalised, with the words ‘Serb’ and ‘SDSS’ having been blotted out and with messages added such as ‘NDH’, “For the homeland, ready” and “Start your tractors”, an allusion to Serb refugees fleeing Croatia during 1995’s Operation Storm.
Pupovac warned that the Cyrillic script, one of the first Slavic scripts, could not gain acceptance in Croatia. “To us that script is a script of freedom and we will use it as such to help free this society from those who wish to… restrict the freedoms of others and of the entire society when it comes to differences and possibility of choice,” he said.
He noted that the SDSS had decided to run in EP elections to expand the space of freedom for voters who lived in regions where they did not dare declare their ethnic background or vote in line with their beliefs.
Commenting on HRAST MP Hrvoje Zekanović’s statement that he regretted Pupovac did not flee to Belgrade on a tractor in 1995, Pupovac said that he was not afraid. “Neither should you be afraid because those people are cowards. Instead of carrying flags of freedom, they carry a flag of hate and symbols of crime.”
The SDSS leader said that he would not contact the police over the destruction of SDSS billboards because he was “fed up with reminding the police of what they should do.”
He also said that some things would not be happening if top state officials would say loud and clear what was acceptable in the country and what was not.
More news about the status of Serbs in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.