On April 25, 2010 at high noon, the protest gathering named "STOP to Animal Abuse" was held in front of the Belgrade's City Hall (The Old Court). The Protest was organized by The Animal Protection Society "European Initiative 17" and The Society for the Protection of Animals and Development of Civic Consciousness "Phoenix". The Protest was organized in favor of female dog Mila, the victim of yet unknown malefactor that cut off all her four paws and also in favor of other recently abused or killed animals in Serbia. From the Protest a message was sent to all kinds of violators that we will fight them and that we won't allow their brutal and savage minority to overcome vast civilized majority in our City and Country.
The Mayor of Belgrade Mr. Dragan Djilas attended the Gathering together with City's Community officials Mr. Predrag Petrovic and Mr. Vladimir Terzin, dvm showing clearly that they themselves are on side of good, of animals and of life itself.
Some other organizations had their representatives there, as well, to give their support to organizers: Animals Protection Society of Mladenovac, Freedom for Animals, Help Animals, Center for Mongrels, Friend - EPAR/OIPA - Alliance for rights of Animals and Men, Noa, Shapica and Society from Loznica. We are greatful to Mr Ivan Nikolic, actor who was announcer for this occassion and whose merit was that every information reached auditorium in best possible way. We are also greatful to all speakers, and especially to our fellow citizens that gave support to our Protest.Ms Sladjana Ristic, poetess, put down few notes after the Protest:
DOGS AND THEIR FRIENDS ON PROTEST
"I throw at him my faithful look and he throws at me his sharp blade!" .... a dog now thinks in this City of ours, in this part of Balkans. The dog is afraid of what happened to poor harmless Mila. Who was this man-monster who cut off all four paws and how often he passes by our children on their way to school? What could Mila do to him? Maybe it was only because she likes people?! Yes, indeed, she likes people silently, looking with her smart and sorrowful eyes.
How many abandoned pets or those thrown out from homes are on their own roaming unfriendly streets and don't knowing when somebody evil will pick them up, beat them, cripple them, throw them into river, burn them on a stake, poison them, strangle them or let them die wounded when beaten in an organized dog-fight ...
Media, wake up! Dear man, become Man with capital M, because that is the way to learn a poem about preciousness of life, about human race but, as well, about animals kingdom that we need in these modern era to survive all together on this planet. Let our children learn since their early childhood what love and warmth are. Wake up!
That day, side by side, dogs and their friends were protesting in noble silence. Each speech and replica were cheered with applause and barking. Barking for applause. First speakers were persons devoted completely to animals protection Ms Danica Drobac and Ms Milica Rankovic presiding organizations The Animal Protection Society "European Initiative 17" and The Society for Animal Protection and Development of Civic Consciousness "Phoenix" respectively. They spoke inspired and frankly from their hearts. They didn't accuse only, they spoke also about contemporary trends in our society and our country, about our fellow citizens that forgot to care, about love, about dogs that follow us and teach us how to love those that are weak and naive ... about violence that has to stop once for good.
In front of The City Hall, besides high City officials, there were at least five hundred, maybe even thousand people and their pets that protested quietly wagging their tails. There were also those animals that were hurt on streets before and fostered while being in poor condition. They look at their fosterers sending message: "I still do believe in human beings!"
During the Protest spoke also some actors, singers, painters, swimming champions, psychologists, veterinarians, etc., including the good doctor that takes care of stray dogs and Mila herself... There could be no art, no normal lifestyle without pets. Stop the violence!
People started to communicate healthy and openly. Smiling, they were telling stories about their pets and what they experienced on streets from those that are always ready to provoke and to attack.
After this Protest nothing will be the same. We showed to everybody that we are together and that minority doesn't have right to put the shame on majority, on all of us that love nature and animals since our childhood. "Stop to animal abuse!" that was the slogan of the Protest.
That Sunday April, 25 a new door opened for entrance into new, more humane world. Nobody stood others in the way - people and animals were protesting together in silence - with their hearts and souls ... wishing that such things wouldn't happen again! Men and women that were together with their four-legged friends spilled some tears having mixed feelings of sorrow and optimism for better tomorrow ... for love.