“The new government is increasingly
closely associated with more extreme parties on the right,” a spokesperson
at the Green Party said this evening.
“The League of Polish Families has
been virulent in its opposition to LGBT rights, and its youth wing, All
Poland Youth, has repeatedly organised violent and hate-fuelled
counter-demonstrations against peaceful LGBT events.”
The situation in Poland is very
serious, the party said. “The combination of homophobia, anti-semitism and
racism is a toxic mix and these movements now run the country and hold 15
seats in the European Parliament.”
In Poland, Marcin Roszkowski, the
spokesman for the mayor of Warsaw, the former child film star Lech Kaczynski
who is the president-elect of Poland, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP)
today that there was no legal reasons to ban ‘The Equality Demonstration’ in
The demonstration will take place
on Sunday at noon Plac Konstytucji – organizers say that they chose this
location to show Polish authorities that the country’s constitution is in
Politicians, artists, journalists,
actors and singers have indicated that they will be joining demonstrations.
Today, Andrzej Zoll, Polish
Ombudsman and President of Constitutional Tribunal, Marek Safjan, both
underlined that the right of assembly and the right of speech are one of
basic rights of democracy.
In Gdańsk, there have been second
thoughts. Yesterday, the Mayor’s office announced a ban on the
demonstration as the name of a street was mis-spelled in the application.
But today, following a meeting
between Beata Maciejewska of the Greens 2004 party and Roman Galezewski,
president of the Solidarity Labour Union at Gdańsk Shipyard, an agreement
has been reached.
Originally, the demonstration was
planned for Trzech Krzyzy Place (Three Cross) which is the national monument
to shipyard workers murdered by communist regime.
Instead, the demonstration is to be
in Dlugi Targ Square (Main Market) in the city centre.
Both sides agreed that Trzech
Krzyzy Place, where Lech Walesa led the first shipyard workers demonstration
in August 1980, is a special place nobody wants to have any riots or fights
Solidarity Labour Union said that
workers fought for the freedom of all Polish people, adding that everybody
has the right to demonstrate for his or her beliefs.
Demonstration organisers welcomed
this stance from the union, but admitted that they were surprised as the
union had backed the Law and Justice Party in the recent elections.
The demonstration is a 1pm on
Sunday – and will be legal.
In Poznań, Andrzej Borowiak, the
spokesman of the city’s police, said yesterday that the demonstrators would
be protected, even if the protest is ruled illegal. And today, the city’s
mayor, Ryszard Grobelny, has agreed to the demonstration.
Organisers agreed to a switch of
location from Polwiejska Street to Andersa Place – a request made by the
Reflecting on last week’s trouble
in Poznań, deputy Prime Minister and Home Office Minister Ludwik Dorn said
that he was “totally satisfied” with the actions of the police. The police
fulfilled its duty to stop an illegal demonstration, he said.
All ten demonstrations in Poland
this weekend are going ahead – and all are “legal”. But police are bracing
themselves for possible counter-demonstrations by the ultra right.
Saturday: Kraków and Poznań.
Sunday: Warsaw, Lodz, Gdańsk,
Katowice, Rzeszow, Wroclaw, Torun and Elblag.
PREVIOUS REPORTS ON POLAND
MEP Slams EU For
“Gutless Hypocrisy” Over Plight of Polish Gays. A British Member of the
European Parliament has hit out at the homophobic attitudes being fostered
in Poland under the new right-wing government – has has charged that the
European Commission (EC) is “gutless”, while Amnesty International call for
the Polish government to fulfil its obligations to sexual minorities under
international human rights laws. (UK Gay News, November 25)
Polish PM Slinks in Back Door to Avoid London Gay Protest. Poland’s homophobic Prime
Minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, made an
undignified entrance via a side street to avoid gay rights protesters
picketing his lecture at Chatham House in London this afternoon
.(UK Gay News, November 24)
Marches of Solidarity with Gays Planned Throughout Poland
This Weekend. Peaceful demonstrations are to be
staged in a number of Polish cities this weekend, it was announced today. Demonstrations, in solidarity with Poznań where police in full riot gear were brought in to break up a peaceful
“March for Equality” last weekend, are to be staged in Elblag, Gdańsk ,
Krakow, Lodz and the capital, Warsaw. (UK Gay News, November 24, 2005)
Euro MP: Homophobic Polish Prime Minister
Is Not Welcome in UK. As the Polish Prime Minister, Kazimierz
Marcinkiewicz, makes his first official visit to the UK since his election
tomorrow (Thursday November 24), London’s Green MEP, Jean Lambert, has
spoken out in anger against Marcinkiewicz’s homophobic policies and the
treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in Poland.
(UK Gay News, November 23, 2005)
Gay Lobby Should Undergo Medical Treatment, Says Polish MP. An ultra-conservative MP of
Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice (PiS)
party has said the “the state should statutorily ban making any positive
remarks about homosexuality or promoting it.” (UK Gay News, November 23,
Poznan Update: Dramatic
Video Footage Shows Extent of Police Violence During Gay Demo. London Protest Set for
Thursday. ILGA-Europe Protests
to Barroso. Dramatic – and unedited – video
footage of the problems in Poznan has been released by Indymedia.pl.
(UK Gay News, November 22, 2005)
The Battle of
Poznan: A Gay Suspect’s View of the Poznan Events. By
Tomasz Szypula. I am 25. I was born four months before the Solidarity
began its revolution in August 1980. The only Poland I can remember is time
after 1989. The time of democracy – at least until last Saturday. (UK Gay
News, November 21, 2005)
Riot Police Detain, Interrogate 65 at Gay Demo in Poznań.
“They were dragging us around on the street” - Demonstrator. The
police in Poznań today briefly detained and interrogated 65 demonstrators
during the March of Equality organized by organizations of leftist and gay
activists in Poznań, western Poland.
(UK Gay News, November 21, 2005)