Leviathan Movement

The Leviathan Movement (Serbian Cyrillic: Покрет Левијатан, romanizedPokret Levijatan) is a neo-fascist political party in Serbia, that identifies as an animal rights organization.[1] It is led by Pavle Bihali.

Leviathan Movement
Покрет Левијатан
Pokret Levijatan
PresidentPavle Bihali
Founded2015
Registered2020
HeadquartersBelgrade
IdeologyNeo-fascism
Political positionFar-right
Colours  Black
National Assembly
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Assembly of Vojvodina
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City Assembly of Belgrade
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Website
levijatan.org

HistoryEdit

It was formed in 2015 as an animal rights organization that seek to protect animals.[2] In 2016, the movement became popular when videos of the members of organization rescuing animals showed up on social media, as well as videos of them offering compensation for information on animal abusers.[3] Initially, the movement only focused on animal rights issues, exposing animal abusers, and taking their animals away from them.[4] However, the movement has shifted from solely being an animal rights group to openly talking about political issues, mainly illegal immigration.[5] In 2020, the organization announced that they will be forming a party that will participate in the 2020 parliamentary election, in a coalition with the far-right anti-vax "I live for Serbia" movement.

Its leader, Pavle Bihali, appeared under a Russian minority ballot list for the 2022 election which was ultimately rejected by the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) because it did not collect enough valid signatures. According to CeSID, the ballot list did not support minority rights, but far-right politics.[6] This was later overturned by the Constitutional Court, and on 22 March, RIK confirmed the ballot list.[7]

Ideology and controversiesEdit

Leviathan has been described as neo-fascist,[5][8][9][10] neo-Nazi,[11] and alt-right party,[12] and it is positioned on the far-right on the political spectrum.[9][13][14] It has been heavily criticized for its anti-human rights behaviour.[15] It has been also described as a satellite party of the Serbian Progressive Party.[16][17] In November 2018, the leaders of the movement, Pavle Bihali and Aleksandar Buhanac were arrested for making threats on Facebook, but soon after they were released.[18] Even after this, he continued threatening people on social media, including minors.[8]

In April 2020, members of the movement took the family dog of a Romani family away from them, claiming that the dog was abused and that it was used for dog fights. However this claim was denied by the people living in the neighbourhood.[19] Not long after, a member of Leviathan drove through the gate of a refugee camp in Obrenovac, threatening to run over the refugees. After the attacker was arrested, the members of the movement protested in front of the camp.[20]

In October 2020, police in Belgrade have arrested six members of Leviathan who are suspected of beating one person earlier that month.[21]

Electoral resultsEdit

Parliamentary electionsEdit

National Assembly of Serbia
Year Leader Popular vote % of popular vote # of seats Seat change Coalitions Government
2020 Pavle Bihali 22,691 0.7%
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  with I live for Serbia No seats
2022 As part of Russian Minority Alliance
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  Serbo-Russian Movement No seats

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Colborne, Michael (18 June 2020). "Levijatan: Serbian Animal Rights Vigilantes Go To The Polls". Bellingcat.
  2. ^ "Razvojni put Levijatana: Od brige za pse do potere za migrantima". Istinomer (in Serbian). 29 May 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Razvojni put Levijatana: Od brige za pse do potere za migrantima". Istinomer (in Serbian). 29 May 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ Petface (4 January 2018). "LEVIJATAN: "Imamo svedočenja o silovanju i mučenju pasa, ali meštani ćute iz straha"!". Petface.net. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Ljubitelji životinja koji vređaju žrtve fašista - šta je, zapravo, Levijatan?". N1. 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Pojedine stranke glume manjine da bi lakše "uskočile" u poslaničke klupe". 021.rs (in Serbian). 16 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Ruski manjinski savez biće 19. lista za narodne poslanike, počinje štampanje glasačkih listića". 021.rs (in Serbian). 22 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Pavle Bihali je spojio nemoguće, jevrejsko poreklo i nacističke simbole". NOVA portal. 15 February 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Zašto je opasno ne shvatiti koaliciju "Pokret Levijatan – živim za Srbiju" ozbiljno". masina.rs (in Serbian). Mašina. 18 June 2020.
  10. ^ Eror, Aleks (11 February 2022). "Toksična mešavina nacionalizma i prava životinja u Srbiji". Radio Free Europe (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  11. ^ Mulhall, Joe; Khan-Ruf, Safya; Bego, Fabio (2021). "Spotlight on the Western Balkans: Far-right trends in the region". State of Hate: Far-Right Extremism in Europe. London: Hope Not Hate; Amadeu Antonio Foundation; EXPO Foundation. p. 108.
  12. ^ "Far-Right Exploiting Pandemic to Spread Hate, in the Balkans Too". Balkan Insight. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Fašistički poklič "Srbija Srbima!"". balkans.aljazeera.net (in Serbian). Al Jazeera. 29 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Far-right ideas have grown 'exponentially' in the UK". TRT World. 26 March 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Pokret Levijatan poziva na linč dece i ovo je moj odgovor, ipak nemam 14 godina". Noizz.rs (in Serbian). 10 February 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Neki optužuju Levijatan za saradnju sa SNS". Danas (in Serbian). 22 April 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "ONI VOLE ŽIVOTINJE: Ljubitelji Miloševića, Arkanovog kuma i kriminalaca gostuju na WMF-u u Rovinju". Lupiga (in Croatian). Retrieved 3 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Vođe "Levijatana" uhapšene pa puštene". www.novosti.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Levijatan i dalje "posećuje" Rome i oduzima životinje". Mašina. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  20. ^ N.N.G, J. O. "SRAMNI PROTEST U OBRENOVCU Ultradesničari daju podršku članu Levijatana koji je upao u prihvatni centar i tako nastavljaju da ŠIRE MRŽNJU". Blic.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  21. ^ Beta, Piše (14 October 2020). "Uhapšeno šest članova Levijatana zbog sumnje da su pretukli jednu osobu". Dnevni list Danas (in Serbian). Retrieved 16 October 2020.