Arkadia Bulletin - English Version here we are
action would be to organize a discussion as part of the Student Protest. But, all the way to the lecture there were obstructions. The lecture was deliberately designed to include three professors of University and two more activists. First, the organizing committee neglected to announce the event; the posters we hung on the walls were immediately taken. Still we were there. In the end, three students of theology standing at the door of the empty class barred us from entering the room.
In that period, until the beginning of 1993 many of the activists of ARKADIA left for foreign countries. Since we were never a big group, the loss of six or seven activists made a difference. Then, many more gays and lesbians who were not part of the group but were supportive or not left too.
The beginning of 1993 was marked by brutal police harassment of _eljko, one of the founders of the group. The police came to his flat on Sunday evening with a warrant that said that he was listening to excessively loud Croatian music! They took him to the police station headquarters where they never asked him about music but about Arkadia ....where the money comes from, who are the members, where are the meetings held, who supports them from the outside, etc. He didn't answer and was beaten up very very badly. The police attacked him with their feet and hands and he had bruises everywhere on the body.
It is true that there is still a law that criminalizes adult homosexual sex, but that law has not been applied in the past fifty years. Moreover, even that law does not forbid the existence of homosexual groups.
In May that year we organized a very good discussion on AIDS for AIDS Memorial Day. We lighted candles in the park.
In spring 1994 we started for the first time to meet in the public space of a woman's group. We began with workshop discussions and edited our first Bulletin of Arkadia (supported by funds from the woman's center). There were more new enthusiastic people coming in, and we had finally started to work as a group, and not a private clique. But that was also for a short time. After one month, the psychologists who were sharing that flat threw us out. Again.
There were a lot of homophobic words said in hateful tones by them. For some of us it was a very deep experience of what it means to be hated for who you are. Such hatred kills our live cells and it is so painful to the bone and the last breath.
That is the experience of the war. Hatred kills not only cells, but entire bodies and hearts. Our everyday life means living with the fact of 200,000 dead, one million injured and five million people in exile,
living with letters from the war zones, preparing packages to the cities under siege,
and how many gays and lesbians, who are invisible, have we still not met.