Thursday, August 14, 2003

Flow Your Tears, Policeman Said

According to media reports, those attending Bajaga concert in Split had to endure more than tear gas. Some people reported verbal and even physical abuse by some of the policemen guarding the concert.

If true, those incidents are hardly surprising. Like in most other countries, policemen in Croatia are recruited from the more conservative and right-wing segments of the population. Many of those policemen are war veterans with strong right-wing mindset, and those too young to participate in war have been systematically brainwashed by the older colleagues.

For many of those policemen Serbs are Croatia's eternal foes and idea of anyone or anything Serb being allowed to breathe same air with Croats is deeply insulting. Even more insulting is the idea of some Croats being self-declared fans of Serbian rock music. So, those policemen would grudgingly accept the idea of protecting Serb musicians, but to ask of them to protect traitors who sing "Chetnik" songs in the middle of sacred Croatian soil is too much.

In the meantime, two men responsible for tear gas attack on San Remo club in Sinj were apprehended. One of them is 24-year old policemen belonging to Croatian equivalent of SWAT units whose members usually fit the above profile. Apparently he had a second job as a security guard in the club and didn't like being sacked. So, attack on San Remo has little to do with politics or later attack on Bajaga.


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