Tag Archives: Poland

CATURDAY: Meet Gacek the ‘King of Kaszubska Street’ in Szczecin, Poland With A 4.9 Google Rating

CATURDAY: Meet Gacek the ‘King of Kaszubska Street’ in Szczecin, Poland With A 4.9 Google Rating

If you head on over to Google reviews of attractions in the Polish city of Szczecin and you’ll come across a very strange sight indeed. The top-rated attraction in this city of nearly 400,000 people isn’t some museum, park or palace but… a cat. A big, chubby, adorable cat.

Forget the charming Medieval locale which boasts a 14th-century castle called the Pomeranian Duke’s Castle and a lush urban park called Kasprowicza Park, neither of these locations is the most coveted attraction at the top of the list. It’s all about Garec.

Visitors have trekked from as far as Norway to see the adorable chubby feline.

The chunky tuxedo cat has lived on Kaszubska Street in downtown Szczecin for 10 years now. He has a small wooden home with a cushion bed to protect him from the elements and he receives care from the owners of a nearby shop.

One of the downfalls of being a major tourist star is Gacek’s shall we say, full figure, which is due in part to the large number of treats he receives from adoring fans. While many find his chubbiness cute, a local animal shelter in Szczecin has urged tourists not to feed Gacek directly and instead leave treats enclosed in bags or containers for him to have later.

So, cat lover travel enthusiast: you’ve got a new tourist spot! And a pretty puuuurfect one, at that.

Watch the video that originally brought Gacek his fame embedded below. (In Polish Closed Captioned)

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

As we have reported here before some regions the country of Poland have set up LGBT Free Zones to the horror of the European Union who has annouced it will withold funds from Poland.. The clash grew this week with s a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU of blackmail in a heated debate with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen over the rule of law. The clash in the European Parliament follows a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law. Mrs von der Leyen said she would act to prevent Poland undermining EU values. In response,

Mr Morawiecki rejected “the language of threats” and accused the EU of overstepping its powers. Poles overwhelmingly support being part of the EU, opinion polls suggest, but Poland’s right-wing nationalist government has increasingly been at odds with the union on issues ranging from LGBT rights to judicial independence. The latest row has come to a head over an unprecedented and controversial ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that in effect rejects the core principle that EU law has primacy over national legislation.

BBC News

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that the European Commission – the EU’s executive – was “carefully assessing this judgement”.

She said the situation had to be resolved: “This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

Mrs von der Leyen laid out three ways the European Commission could respond to the Polish court judgement.

The options, she said, were legally challenging the court ruling, withholding EU funds and suspending some of Poland’s rights as a member state.

The European Commission is yet to approve €57bn (£48bn; $66bn) of Covid-19 recovery funds earmarked for Poland, and may not do so until the dispute is settled.

Extreme Right Polish PM Accuses European Union of Blackmail Over LGBT Rights

“LGBT-Free Zones” Repealed In Poland Regions After EU Threatens To Withold Funds.

Last week, three Polish regional councils voted not to declare their provinces “LGBT-free zones” following the European Union’s threats to cut up to €126 million in funding to the local governments. This is a change to recent resolutions, which first passed intended to “protect heterosexual family values, and battle an attack on “traditional” Catholic values.

The European Commission wrote to five Polish regional councils at the beginning of September urging them to abandon declarations that they are “LGBT-free” in order to receive funding.

Poland has been ruled by the ultra-conservative right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party since 2015.

But many in Poland question if the change is really true. “Politicians are playing with us,” Polish LGBT activist Bart Staszewski told the BBC news. “I mean they don’t want to revoke the whole resolution, they just want to replace it with another one.”

Poland, one of the worst countries next to Russia for LGBT opression is entering a decisive phase after the EUs top court declared, not for the first time, Wednesday that Poland is undermining the independence of its judiciary.

Wednesday’s ruling from the Court of Justice added more weight to its previous decisions against Poland acceptance into the European Union.

The ruling came in a case brought by an outspoken Polish judge who accuses the government of harassing judges it doesn’t like and trying to kick them off the bench.

EU To Take Action Against POLAND and HUNGARY for "LGBT Free Zones" and Abuse

EU To Take Action Against POLAND and HUNGARY for “LGBT Free Zones” and Abuse

Bloomberg Eqaulity is reporting that the European Union will formally announce legal action, known as an infringement procedure against the countries of Poland and Hungary for its horrific treatment of it’s LGBT citizens and it’s so-called “LGBT Free Zones.

The announcement may be as soon as next month.

Towns and provinces across Poland have declared themselves “free of LGBTQ ideology” to prevent pride parades and other gay-friendly events from going ahead. As of the middle of last year, almost a third of municipalities in the Catholic country of 38 million people had adopted the declaration, often after lobbying from ultra-conservative groups.

Several Polish courts have ruled that the measures are unconstitutional and discriminatory — and while the declarations are legally meaningless, they have fueled fear and discrimination.

ILGA-Europe, a Brussels-based charity, says Poland is the worst place in the EU for LGBTQ people. During last year’s election campaign, President Andrzej Duda referred to homosexuality as a “foreign ideology” that’s “worse than communism.”

In an interview with conservative weekly Sieci published on Monday, Polish Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek praised the the draconian anti-LGBT regulations of countries such as Hungary and Russia.

“This law states that school lessons touching on questions of sexuality must not promote gender reassignment or homosexuality,” he was quoted as saying.

“We should copy these regulations on Polish soil in their entirety!”

The European Commission  letter sent to Budapest, Hungry informing the country last week that it was taking legal steps against the bill because it discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation.

Clément Beaune Denied Access to Poland's LGBT Free Zone

Gay French Prime Minister Clément Beaune Denied Access to Poland’s LGBT Free Zone

Openly gay French European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune  was denied access to an “LGBT-free” zone by Polish authorities in the town of Kraśnik during an official visit to the country that began Monday.

Beaune’s visit included meetings with LGBT NGOs, as well as Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, an opposition leader.

“Polish authorities recently indicated to me that they weren’t capable of planning this visit, and I profoundly regret it. It is a decision that I deplore,” Beaune told French publication l’Obs. ” In my eyes, that is not how you one should behave with an EU member state,”

Beaune said he had considered three options: canceling his visit to Poland, postponing it, or following through on his promise to visit the area but without authorization from the government.

“If I decided to maintain my visit to Poland, it’s because another topic — just as important in my eyes — has emerged: that of women’s right to abortion,” he said. Poland has one of the EU’s most restrictive abortion laws, after a top court ruled that abortions in the event of fetal deformities are unconstitutional. The verdict sparked large public protests, and more demonstrations were planned for Monday evening.

Patryk Jaki, an MEP with the governing nationalist coalition, told Polish media that the idea there are LGBT-free zones in Poland is a “lie” fostered by gay rights campaigners. “In our country, there is no place where LGBT people can’t go,” he said, adding: “The only thing that exists are declarations by local governments talking about affirming families and traditional values.”

In December 2020, Beaune came out as gay in an interview with the French LGBT lifestyle magazine Têtu. Beaune said he wanted to show that being gay was “not an obstacle” to becoming a government minister, and condemned homophobia in other European countries. “I wouldn’t want people to say I am fighting against ‘LGBT-free’ zones because I am gay,” he said. “It would be insulting to say I am leading that fight for myself. … However, as European affairs minister, I have an additional responsibility. I must fight for tolerance.” 

Beaune said he had not given up on his pledge to visit one of the Polish LGBT free “zones.”

Source: Politico

LGBT Activists Arrested in Warsaw, Poland for Hanging Rainbow Flags Off Statues and "Offending Religious Feelings"

LGBT Activists Arrested in Warsaw, Poland for Hanging Rainbow Flags Off Statues and “Offending Religious Feelings”

Three LGBT activists have been arrested in Warsaw, Poland for hanging rainbow PRIDE flags off statues in Warsaw earlier this week.

The activists who were protesting the anti-LGBT policies of President Andrzej Duda hung the flags off statues of Christ at the Basilica of the Holy Cross , the astronomer Copernicus and the famous Warsaw mermaid statue. Polish police charged them with desecrating monuments and “offending religious feelings”.

Prosecutors must now decide whether to bring the case to court.

During last month’s election campaign, President Duda — an ally of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party — said the promotion of LGBT rights was an ideology more harmful than communism. He was re-elected as Poland’s president for a second five-year term, winning 51% of the vote in a tight battle with Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski a staunch defender of LGBT rights.

During the swearing in of President Andrzej Duda’s swearing-in female Polish MPs wore the rainbow colors of the LGBT PRIDE flag and rainbow face masks in protest.

At his swearing-in, Duda vowed to maintain openness to all groups and political parties, while also stressing the need to protect the family in Polish society.

Left wing parliamentarians dressed in the colours of the rainbow pose in front of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
BEuropean Union Stops Funding To 6 Polish Towns That Call Themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’

European Union Stops Funding To 6 Polish Towns That Call Themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’

On July 28th the European Union announced it’s decision to stop the funding of six Polish towns that boast of being “LGBT-Free Zones”.

According to CNN, the six Polish towns that were denied funds had applied to join the EU’s twinning programme. The programme aims at fostering “peaceful relations” and “mutual understanding” between European citizens. It provides funds of up to €25,000 ($29,000) to the members on the condition that it is made accessible to all without any discrimination.

Since 2019, one-third of Polish towns have declared themselves to be “free from LGBT ideology”.

EU Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz has confirmed that the six applications were rejected because those towns could not guarantee they would abide by the objectives. Jahnz said, “Six applications have been rejected because the answer given by the legal representative of the project did not provide the evaluation committee with sufficient assurance that the project would be in line with those objectives and general features.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also supported the cause and wrote: “Our treaties ensure that every person in Europe is free to be who they are, live where they like, love who they want and aim as high as they want.”

Polish Police Use Water Cannons Against Anti-LGBT Protesters During PRIDE March in Lublin - VIDEO

Polish Police Use Water Cannons Against Anti-LGBT Protesters During PRIDE March in Lublin – VIDEO

Polish Police used water cannons and pepper spray and arrested dozens of far-right anti-LGBT protesters who tried to disrupt an Equality Pride march in eastern city of Lublin, Poland. 

On Tuesday, the the mayor of Lublin, Krzysztof Zhuk banned the rally due to security concerns.  Friday the Polish Court of Appeal upheld the district court’s decision to allow the march to go ahead.

Over 400 participants of the Equality March gathered at 2:00 pm on one of the central streets of Lublin, which they planned to march along, but counter-demonstrators who wanted to block the rally were already waiting for them not far from them.

The far right nationalist ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has used anti “LGBT ideology” a key issue in its campaign ahead of the Oct. 13 parliamentary elections, saying it is an invasive foreign influence that undermines traditional Polish values.

“We’ve had death threats, (this violence) was about forcing us not to have this march,” Bartosz Staszewki, organizer of Saturday’s march, told Reuters.

Television footage showed, riot police backed up a by water cannon separating the brave marchers, who brandished rainbow flags and signs with slogans such “Love is love.” from the protesters who had tried to block their route.

A sign in the crowd of anti-gay protesters carried a picture of two naked men and the words: “Such people want to educate your children. Stop them.”

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has publicly urged Poles to resist the “traveling theater” of Pride marches which he described as “a real threat to… the Polish state”.

BEuropean Union Stops Funding To 6 Polish Towns That Call Themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’

Bialystok, Poland PRIDE Attacked by Thousands of Anti-Gay Fascist Extremists

Via The New York Times::

The marchers at the first gay pride parade here in the conservative Polish city of Bialystok expected that they would be met with resistance. But last week when Katarzyna Sztop-Rutkowska saw the angry mob of thousands that awaited the marchers, who numbered only a few hundred, she was shocked.

“The most aggressive were the football hooligans, but they were joined by normal people — people with families, people with small children, elderly people,” she said. They blocked her way, first hurling invective, then bricks and stones and fireworks, she said. From the balconies, people threw eggs and rotten vegetables. Even before the march started, there were violent confrontations, and by the time the tear gas cleared and the crowd dispersed, dozens were injured and Poland was left reeling.

Much as the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va., shocked the conscience of America, the brutality in Bialystok last week has rocked many in Poland and raised grave concerns over a steady diet of anti-gay political propaganda in the country.

Unlike other right-wing counterparts in Poland, who have attempted to ban pride marches from their cities — Truskolaski let the Bialystock event proceed — despite widespread criticism from officials in the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS).

Bialystok’s PRIDE marchers were outnumbered, four to one, by thousands of counter-protesters, according to local police.

Dozens of LGBT marchers were physically assaulted before, during and after the parade, according to the Warsaw-based advocacy group Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH), the organizers of the parade.

About 32 protest groups registered for Saturday, the majority in opposition to the pride march. It included the far-right group All-Polish Youth, which took its name from fascist and anti-Semitic Nazi WWII youth organization Hitler Youth.

Polish Gay Pride Marchers Pelted w/ Stones, Firecrackers and Bottles But Continue On - [Video]

Polish PRIDE Marchers Pelted w/ Stones, Firecrackers and Bottles But Continue On – [Video]

The first-ever Gay Pride parade was held in the eastern Polish city of Bialystok on Saturday, but the marchers faced violence from anti-gay thugs and conservative campaigners staged counter protests. Leaflets anonymously placed around the city ahead of the march said that streets would be “contaminated with LGBT bacteria.”

Almost 1000 marchers demanding of LGBT+ rights marched through the city some 124 miles northeast of Warsaw, waving rainbow flags and carrying banners 

Counter-protesters yelled “God, honor and motherland” and “Bialystok free of perverts,” the pride marchers chanted “Poland free of fascists” in return. Bags of flour and other objects were thrown out of Communist-era housing blocks at the pride marchers, who were moving along the route through the Bialystok city center.

According to Polish officials, there were about 32 protests registered for Saturday, the majority in opposition to the pride march.

Bialystok’s Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda called on congregants to “defend Christian values” by attending the picnic, adding that the LGBT march was “an initiative foreign to” the region.

Flash bangs were set off by far-right groups outside a housing complex as they attempted to block pride marchers from proceeding any further. They did not succeed and the marchers continued on.

“We are in the middle of an ongoing wave of hateful propaganda, which is fueled by both the state and the Catholic Church,” said Hubert Sobecki, co-president of Warsaw-based LGBT+ organization Love Does Not Exclude.

The Pride march ended at 5 p.m. after it completed its route. Police deployed stun grenades and pepper spray to clear the far-right protesters.

Police arrested over 20 far right nationalist protesters, four of whom were suspected of committing crimes, including the use of threats and against officers.