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.
More than 1,000, gay, lesbian bi, and transgender rights activists with rainbow-colored flags and banners gathered Saturday in Lublin, Poland for the city’s first PRIDE parade on Saturday.
Police police had to use tear gas, concussion grenades and high-pressured water cannons to disperse over 300 right-wing extremists who tried to block the parade and had plans to harm the parade participants.
The right-wing protesters pelted police with stones and dispersed, but some small groups tried to get through the police cordon that was protecting the march.
The PRIDE parade then proceeded.
The march took place after Lublin’s Court of Appeals on Friday overruled a ban by Mayor Krzysztof Zuk, who had cited security concerns as his reason for banning the parade.
Gay rights parades have been taking place for years in Warsaw, the capital, and other cities in the predominantly Catholic Poland, but the ruling conservative party is not supportive of gay rights groups.
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Openly bisexual 16-year-old Max Aistrup and his friends were called anti-gay slurs, beaten and robbed in a public park in Elk Grove, California but local police are dragging their feet and are refusing to call a hate crime.
16-year-old, Max knows what it’s like being bullied. Only this time, it wasn’t just words, but punches.
“They called us “faggots” Anything you can think of they pretty much said,”
Aistrup says he and his friends were attacked in broad daylight walking through a quiet, well-kept Elk Grove Park. He says seven guys came up to them and started making anti-gay comments
Two of Aistrup’s friends were jumped while he and a third friend ran off to dial 911. By the time police arrived, the attackers were already gone with Aistrup’s Xbox — taken from his friend’s backpack.
“When I found out about the slurs, I had smoke coming out of my ears like the cartoons,” said Earl McComb, Aistrup’s father. McComb is furious, convinced his 16-year-old was targeted simply for who he is.
“I have no room in my life for hate or intolerance,” he said.
But Elk Grove police are treating this as a robbery, not a hate crime — saying it remains unclear what the motivation was.
However, Max Aistrup says homophobic slurs leave little doubt. “That’s the moment you cross the line,”
Now if only the Elk Grove Police were as smart as a 16-year-old boy and could realize that.
Hate crime laws and legislation does absolutely nothing if the authorities refuse to use it.
Call the Elk Grove Police Deptartment Main Administration Number at-919-478-8000
A 23 year old Illinois State University located in Normal. Illiniois is recovering from injuries he suffered during a hate-inspired gay bashing early Saturday morning near campus.
Eric Unger, an openly gay said he had just left a party and was walking home alone about 2:30 a.m. in the morning when a group of 5-6 men passed him from behind — and one of them knocked his phone out of his hand. Unger asked the men “what their problem was?” and they responded with anti-gay slurs surrounding hi m and attacking him.
I don’t know why people like that go out to do that to people, to single someone out and attack them for no reason,” said the student, who called police after the attack and was Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.
Eric suffered scrapes and bruises around his face, broken teeth, and a fractured jaw. After being treated and released from the hospital.
Normal Police Sgt. Adam Kapchinske confirmed responding officers found Unger, after an apparent beating. But that since no one witnessed the attack and that there isn’t enough evidence to indicate the beating was a hate crime
Numerous complaints are coming forth that in Michigan’s Grand Rapids, Kent County, Police are setting up “sex stings” to arrest gay men in public parks, but the men are not being arrested for having sex in public but are being arrested because they are gay.
Equality Michigan say sheriff’s deputies arrested 33 gay men in county parks in 2010 under the state’s soliciting and accosting statute, but claim about half of those arrests involved two men merely speaking to undercover deputies, or making casual contact like holding hands.
The men arrested face the cost of having their cars impounded and run the devastating risk of being placed on Michigan’s sex offender list for life.
Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma on Tuesday defended his deputies, whom he said are merely trying to keep county parks safe for everyone. The Michigan statue reads “A person 16 years of age or older who accosts, solicits, or invites another person in a public place or in or from a building or vehicle, by word, gesture, or any other means, to commit prostitution or to do any other lewd or immoral act is guilty of a crime.”
But according to Miriam Aukerman, West Michigan staff attorney for the ACLU, who is investigating the allegations says “In these cases, it’s the officers who are making the approaches,” Aukerman said. “It’s the officers who are doing the accosting and soliciting.”
Aukerman also added: “If you look at the exact language of the statute, you could apply it to what happens in bars and restaurants in Kent County on any Friday or Saturday night. It’s legal to go to a park, a bar or a restaurant and say, ‘Hey, would you like to go to my place?’ We want our parks to be safe places for everyone and that includes gay people who are merely flirting.”
Surprisingly one of the most outspoken voices against the police entrapment of gay men comes from the Rev. Bill Freeman of Holland who has stood up and said that targeting gay men is also illegal and should be stopped.
“There is no money changing hands, so this isn’t prostitution,” Freeman said. “We’re talking about two consenting adults who are trying to hook up together and if one of them is an undercover officer and the only thing one of them has done is say, ‘Let’s get together someplace,’ I don’t see the problem. They’re making it a problem because they’re targeting gays.”
The morning started out with a bad omen for Chicago Pride with the discovery that overnight over 30 of the floats scheduled for today’s Gay Pride Parade were slashed in what can only be described as a hate crime.
Chuck Huser, owner of long-time Pride float provider Assocated Attractions at 4834 S. Halsted on Chicago’s South Side, said the floats were fine when he left 8 p.m. Saturday night, but when he returned 5 a.m. Sunday to start preparation for drivers to depart, he found two tires punctured each on more than 30 floats. “This is catastrophic,” he told Windy City Times at 8 a.m. June 26. “This has never happened before, and we have been doing this since 1989.” The attackers broken in but did no other damage to the floats, and they took nothing else, leaving Huser to believe this had to be a hate crime. No notes were left. Huser has filed a police report, but his main focus the morning of the Pride Parade was finding an open tire shop, where they were running back and forth to repair the tires.
Troubles at Chicago Pride also happened later in the day when hundreds of thousands of people converged on Halsted, Broadway penned in by police barricades.
The parade was also cut short and diverted by police after fighting broke out on Belmont with Floats and marchers forced to go south on Clark Street, cutting off miles from the normal route there were few police on hand to control the crowds. Most streets were just full of pedestrians, with no way for normal traffic to get through.
At one point along Halsted, spectators were jumping an 8-foot chain link fence to get out of suffocating crowds caught between the fence and the barricades.
Justice is finally being served to two cowardly anti-gay policemen who in 2009 beat a gay man unconscious in front of a Downtown Denver nightclub
Almost two years ago in April of 2009 Michael DeHerrera, 24 and his companion Shawn Johnson, 25,were kicked out of a Denver nightclub after Johnson used the ladies restroom and then got into a scuffle with the club’s bouncer.
The bouncer called the police and asJohnson was being arrested and roughed up by police, DeHerrera used his cell phone to call his father, who just happened to be a sheriff’s deputy, for advice. When Police officer Randy Murr and Devin Sparks arrived Sparks saw DeHerrera on the phone, grabbed him and slammed him on the ground, repeatedly beat him with a metal club until he was unconscious.
Micheals father, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony DeHerrera, said he heard his son yelling about Johnson being beaten and then heard the phone drop and a string of obscenities, along with what sounded like his son being hit. The last thing we heard was chilling as one of the policemen said, ‘We’ve got to get rid of the phone, they’re recording us,'” Then there was silence Anthony DeHerrera said.
After Micheal DeHerrera’s parents found him in the hospital after a frantic round of phone calls which included one in which the Denver police told them there was no reason to come down the hospital, but did Denise DeHerrera, Micheals mother was devastated recalling her son’s swollen “lopsided” head and numerous stitches. “He was basically covered from head to toe in bruises.”
Forunately for Micheal DeHerrera the entire incident was caught on tape by Denver’s H.A.L.O. camera system, a network of surveillance cameras meant to deter and capture crime.But only the beginning. Interestingly after DeHerrera is thrown to ground and he begins to be beaten the camera purposely pans away and zooms out and only returns to the incident AFTER Micheal was beaten.
It should have ended there with the termination of both Sparks’and Murth right there with criminal charges being brought up on both on both of them but Sparks and Murth falsifies the police report claiming that DeHerrera “spun to his left attempting to strike me with a closed right fist.
Ron Perea, Denver’s manager of safety, sided with the police officers and said the video doesn’t tell the whole story and suspended the two officers for three days, a decision that outraged Denver’s gay and Hispanic communities.
Now two years later justice has been finally served.
Denver’s independent police Richard Rosenthal, pointed to Sparks’ police report and claimed it was “pure fiction.” “Writing the report the way it was written, under penalty of perjury, was absolutely inappropriate and should have resulted in the officer’s termination,” Rosenthal said. “It was clear to me that they were trying to cover up what actually happened and make it look better than it was.”
There is no news as of yet if Randy Murth and Devin Sparks will face any perjury as they well should Michael DeHerrera and Shawn Johnson settled a lawsuit against the city out of court last August in hopes of hopes the settlement would set the framework for the firing of the two Denver police officers responsible.
Hundreds of participants successfully staged Sunday what became Serbia’s first-ever Gay Pride parade through central Belgrade but with severe incidents of violence from anti-gay protesters. Before , during and after the short march, hundreds of thugs with bricks, flares and even Molotov Cocktails (Petrol bombs) were thrown at police protecting a gay pride march Sunday in Belgrade. Chanting “death to homosexuals Anti-gay thugs also trashed the seat of the ruling Democratic Party, setting one part of the building on fire. And at one point the anti-gay protesters hijacked a bus, ordered all of its passengers and the driver out, and pushed it down a steep street before hit an electric pole on a main Belgrade square.
About 40 police officers were injured, and about 60 people were arrested, according to the Interior Ministery’s Suzana Vasiljevic . Thnakfully not one of the marchers were injured.
Some 5,000 to 6,000 police officers in full riot gear, some on horseback and with the backup of police helicopters the actual parade went smoothly, as police blocked off the march route and the streets around it with heavy cordons. Hundreds of gays, lesbians and supporters of the parade, including Serbian and foreign officials, gathered in the Manjez park for the short march through three nearby streets.
Right-wing groups say the gay events are contrary to Serbian family and religious values. Most of the rioters Sunday were young football fans whose groups have been infiltrated by neo-Nazi and other extremist organizations, including support for the anti-gay protests by the Serbian Catholic Church
Senior Justice Ministry official Slobodan Homen said that the state response will be “fierce.” He said that the city center is covered with surveillance cameras and that the rioters have been identified and many already detained. He said they could face up to eight years in prison.
Watch FOUR VIDEO’S of the Riots and Belgrade Police in Action after the jump……