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UK

London Joins Warsaw in ‘Solidarity Protest’ for Gay Rights in Poland

 

 

All 10 demos in Poland are legal

LONDON, November 25, 2005  –  As gays in Warsaw – and their allies – start their demonstration for equality in the Polish capital’s Plac Konstytucji (Constitution Place), The UK Green Party will protest, described by the party as a “boutique protest”, in solidarity outside the Polish embassy in London.
 

 


 

“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 City.

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 danger.

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 there.

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 mayor.

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.

Demonstrations

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)

Poland 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)

Poland:  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)

Poland 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, 2005)

Poland:  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)

Poland:  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)

Poland:  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)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 25 November 2005 at 22:00 (UK time)

 

 

 

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