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POLAND

Thousands Back Gays in Peaceful Polish Demonstrations

 

 

Spirit of Solidarity Still Alive in Poland

WARSAW, November 27, 2005  –  More than 1,000 protestors assembled in the centre of Warsaw today demanding tolerance, freedom of speech and the right of assembly, especially for gays.
 

 


 

Similar demonstrations were held over the weekend in other Polish cities – and outside the Polish Embassies in Berlin and London.

Perhaps the most poignant was in Gdańsk where 25 years ago Lech Walesa rebelled against the communist regime and founded the Solidarity trade union at the city’s shipyard.

And members of Solidarity union in the shipyard were among today’s protesters in the city.

Yesterday in Kraków, a couple of hundred protestors braved freezing weather and rain to make their point.

And in Poznań, the scene of a bitter and “illegal” demonstration the previous weekend when the riot police were called in, police were out in force out-numbering protestors as they protected them from possible counter-demonstrators.

All this weekend’s demonstrations were ruled as legal and turned out to be peaceful, as organisers hoped.

The main threat came from All-Poland Youth which has links to the right-wing and Catholic Liga Polskich Rodzin (League of Polish Families) party.  In Warsaw, they briefly taunted demonstrators with abuse.

A spokesperson for All-Poland Youth told Polish Radio that representatives of the organization have been carefully watching the protests.

The group confined itself to giving press conferences, unlike the previous weekend when they hurled eggs and abuse at demonstrators in Poznań.  On that occasion, the police ignored the All-Poland Youth counter demonstrators and concentrated on the protesters taking part in the “illegal” event.

This weekend, gay and human rights activists were joined by politicians from the “leftist” political parties SLD and SdPL together with the Greens and Democratic Party.

“This is about free speech,” Mateusz Hladki told reporters in Warsaw holding an Amnesty International banner that read ‘This is a basic human right’.

Many others were carrying European Union flags.

“The spirit of Solidarity is still alive in Poland,” commented another demonstrator.  “Let’s hope that all these demonstrations are not simply actions against the policies of the new government but a deep understanding that to preserve human rights and the rights of all humans must be guarded.”

 

 

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS ON POLAND

London Joins Warsaw in ‘Solidarity Protest’ for Gay Rights in Poland.  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. (UK Gay News, November 25)

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)

 

 

 

 

Recent Articles
(go to Archive main page
for full archive search)

November 26:
USA:  Laurel’s Legacy: A Quest for Gay Justice in New Jersey, by Dane Wells.  For nearly half a century now, I have been proud to call myself an
Ocean County native.  Among the many highlights of my life have been the years I spent in law enforcement with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, where I worked alongside Lt. Laurel Hester.

USA:  Straight Man Appeals for Justice for Dying Lesbian Cop.  Commentary.  Dane Wells, who describes himself as a “run-of-the-mill, middle-aged straight guy”, is not very happy with the movers and shakers of his local community, Ocean County in New Jersey.  The retired policeman is angry because Ocean County will not extend “domestic partner benefits” to a former colleague, Lt. Laurel Hester, who is terminally ill with lung cancer - and is gay.

November 25:
UK/Poland:  
London Joins Warsaw in ‘Solidarity Protest’ for Gay Rights in Poland.  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.

UK Derry Gays To Celebrate Introduction of Civil Partnerships.  The Gay Community in Derry, Northern Ireland, will celebrate the introduction of the new Civil Partnership legislation with a major party for all.

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.

November 24:
UK
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 (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)

November 23:
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. 

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.”

November 22:
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:  Galloway’s Party in Gay Rights Row.  Grassroots members of George Galloway’s left-wing Respect party have condemned as “unacceptable” the decision of the party leadership to exclude lesbian and gay rights from their manifesto for the general election earlier this year.

Iran Latest Executions in Iran for Gay Conduct an Outrage – HRW.  Iran’s execution of two men last week for homosexual conduct highlights a pattern of persecution of gay men that stands in stark violation of the rights to life and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today.

November 21:
USA
:  Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference Calls for Worldwide End to HR Abuses.  LGBT elected and appointed leaders from across the United States and around the world passed an historic resolution in Seattle this weekend at the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference calling upon “all nations and governments to adopt a vocal, clear and consistent policy on international human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people that includes a call on other countries to abolish sodomy laws.”

 

Posted: 27 November 2005 at 22:30 (UK time)

 

 

 

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