Over 5000 members of the LGBT community and their supporters marched though the streets of Warsaw, Poland Saturday calling for equality, freedom, and tolerance.
The parade which was called “Simply Equality” marched through the streets with banners reading “sexual equality, economic equality”, as well as “members of parliament, come out of the closet!” and marchers were joined by liberal politicians including Democratic Left Alliance member Ryszard Kalisz, Janusz Palikot, a former member of the ruling Civic Platform, Robert Biedron, an openly gay member of the party and Anna Grodzka, a transgender MP of the Palikot Movement and social activist.
Also taking part in the parade was the British Ambassador to Poland, Robin Barnett . Who delivered a signed letter signed by US and Canadian ambassadors that states:
“LGBT individuals deserve the same rights and freedoms as all human beings in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We celebrate the many social, economic, and political contributions of LGBT communities worldwide, and salute the efforts of authorities here to protect LGBT rights in Poland.”
Robert Biedroń (pictured left) a member of the board of the Polish gay rights group Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) was arrested and beaten by police officers in Warsaw on Thursday afternoon, the group has revealed.
Biedroń was observing, on behalf of KPH, the ‘Independence March’ organised by radical right wing nationalist groups National Radical Camp (ONR) and the All-Polish Youth (MW). When antifascist groups tried to block the march. “I went there as an observer for the Campaign Against Homophobia,” Mr Biedroń told a press conference at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights on Friday
“They took out individual people, including me, from the crowd,” Mr Biedroń said. “But the worst thing happened in the police car. There, I was left alone with an officer. And, in simple words, I was brutally beaten. “I’ve dealt with human rights protection for many years now and I’m devastated by what happened.”
Tomasz Szypuła, president of KPH issued this statement on Sunday:
“Robert Biedroń, member of the KPH Board and its former President, accidentally fell victim to this violent behaviour. He was apprehended and beaten, not only at the moment of arrest, but also later, when he was handcuffed in a police car. For over 20 hours he was not advised of the grounds of the apprehension, the police did not provide him with the record of apprehension and denied him contact with his lawyer and his next of kin.
We are appalled and saddened by the conduct of the police. We fail to understand how such situations can still take place in a democratic state. For many years now, KPH has worked with the police to further improve the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms. On 11 November our trust in the police was abused. We demand that the misconduct of the officers be investigated and the perpetrators be punished.” [source]
Many Thnaks to Katie from newsy.com for sending us this excellent piece on EuroPride 2010 which was held in Poland this past weekend which includes news sources and material from across Europe reporting on the event.
Europride the pan-European international event dedicated to LGBT pride, hosted by a different European city each year will today (Saturday) in Warsaw Poland. The landmark gay rights rally in the Polish capital will be the first EuroPride parade ever to take place behind the Cold War Iron Curtain/. Politicians from countries like Great Britain, Sweden and Germany also plan to take part in the rally, which will focus on a call for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.
The event is facing strong opposition in largely Catholic and conservative Poland; some 55,000 people have signed a petition which describes EuroPride as “an obscene event of filth and perversion.” and counter demonstrations are expected Polish officials are not expected at the rally.
Back2Stonewall would like to wish the Best of Luck to Warsaw Poland today. Hopefully the event will go smoothly and there will be no problems. We stand beside you and are very proud of you.
Full Disclosure, I’m a PROUD GAY Polish American. Send Bobka please!