These signs were placed on the Hall of Sports in Zagreb by Croatian activists just days before Thompson, a Croatian rock band, held their concert there on Saturday, November 16. The band bears its name after the nickname of their lead singer, Marko Perković, received during service in the military during the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s. The nickname derives from the Thompson submachine gun, also known as the “Tommy gun”.
The band and Perković are known for righ-wing nationalist attitudes, often included in their song lyrics and public statements. In 2003, Perković was banned from playing in the Netherlands under accusations of neo-nazi activities and has often been criticized by minority groups in Croatia and other countries.
In this latest instance of criticism, activist posted “Thompson is not Croatia” in Serbian Cyrillic script, referring to recent issues regarding decisions to place bilingual street signs and signs on government buildings in the Croatian city of Vukovar. The signs, in both Croatian Latin script and Serbian Cyrillic were taken down, destroyed several times by protesters, then replaced in Vukovar, until a decision was finally to take them down permanently and not allow bilingual signs. The debate of whether or not bilingual signs will be used in Vukovar is on-going.
The band's concert was held in the Croatian capital on Saturday, peacefully and without any incidents.