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Protest Meets Counterprotest Over Migrant Gathering Place In Belgrade

Graffiti at the Belgrade bus station, home to thousands of migrants
Graffiti at the Belgrade bus station, home to thousands of migrants

Several dozen left-wing activists and citizens have protested in Belgrade against xenophobia and called for support of migrants from the Middle East who are living on the streets of the city.

The trigger for the May 4 protest was an announcement of a protest by a group of students who claimed that migrants are threatening the safety of Belgrade citizens. Many of the migrants live in the park near Belgrade's main bus station.

While the students later canceled their protest, the first protesters said they would go ahead with their demonstrations, and they paraded banners with the message "Let’s rid Belgrade of xenophobia.“

A small group of counterprotesters emerged on May 4, claiming that they had problems with migrants robbing people and leaving garbage on the streets.

According to official data, there are currently about 8,000 migrants in Serbia, and 6,000 of them are in refugee camps.

Since the opening of the Balkan route to Western Europe in 2015, the park near the main bus station in Belgrade has been one of the main gathering places for migrants headed north from their homelands in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

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