Thursday, November 24, 2005


Update!!!… Demonstrations organised by the Campaign Against Homophobia in Poland will take place this weekend in Elblag, Gdansk, Torun, Lodz, Warsaw, Rzeszow, Wroclaw, Katowice and Krakow…The demo in Warsaw will start on Sunday at 12.00p.m. at Plac Konstitucji…. If you care about human rights in Poland then BE THERE……

Two Polish newspapers, Wednesday, had parts of their front pages blacked out with ink in support of freedom of speech in Belarus. Video footage, however, shows that human rights problems can be found closer to home.

Under the headline ‘This is what freedom of speech looks like in Belarus’ Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita inked out sections of articles on their front pages in support of an Amnesty International campaign against human rights abuses in Belarus.

And jolly good, too.

Shame then that the Polish newspapers don’t pay as much attention to human rights abuses going on in their own country.

To the usual deafening silence, gays and lesbians and human rights campaigners were denied the right once again to protest against officially sanctioned homophobia in Poland. Last Saturday, protesters in Poznan – who went ahead with an Equality March even though the local council had denied them permission to do so – were beaten and arrested by cops and intimidated by local right wing thugs.

See how the Polish authorities respect human rights in this video.

And where is the blacked out front pages about that one then?

Last night, Marian Pilka (Marian is a male name in Poland), an MP from the ruling Law and Justice party, called for gays to have psychiatric treatment and to ban the 'promotion' of homosexuality.

And word is getting around. On his first trip to London since becoming PM, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz had to use a side entrance when visiting Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street so as to avoid protests from activists.

It's easy for Polish newspapers to look good and radical when you are up against someone like Belarus' President, Alexander Lukashenko. It's not even a very controversial move to have a go at old baldy, now is it? I'm sure even Gazeta's advertisers didn't mind that much.

Might it not be a great idea, though, for Polish newspapers to take a look at somewhere a little closer to home, perhaps?

Now that really would be radical.


michael farris said...

Hey, the current Polish government is just following in the US's footsteps (PiS is more american-oriented than PO, after all). Appealing to homophobia has been a big vote-getter there (arguably helped get W elected), why not go with a winning strategy?

I was never too optimistic about a PiS led government but I have to say that so far it's even worse than I imagined and has the possibility of getting rather worse. Many foreigners might soon find other countries more inviting.

beatroot said...

Sadly, you are right, Mike. Poland is going getting a very bad PR. Teraz Polska? I'd rather not, thank you.

And Hans...article is says that populists are taking over Central Europe. True. But they are gaining ground all over Europe. The Left in Germany, the 'no' campaigns in the EU referendum. People think that the political class stink. And they are right. The problem is, the 'solutions' that the populists are offering always seem to include nationalism, xenophobia, scapegoating minorities, protectionism.

beatroot said...

Don't you think you are being a little over dramatic?

Nobody is even asking you to like gays. In fact you are free to hate them, if you want. But they have a right to be free to do what they want, say what they want, do what they want.

Just like you do.

So the thought police won't be coming to your place.

What are you scared of?

beatroot said...

I mean that when people in positions of authority express homophobic opinions etc, then this gives the green light to thugs and hooligans to go beating up people (it happens) because they are homosexual.

Unknown said...

Haven't you got things just a little bit out of proportion? Can't Polish newspapers protest against Lukashenko regime just because a Marian Pilka said some rubbish?

So, let's stop talking about any kind of political violence in the world until the last gay on the Polish soil feels there's no homophobia whatsoever. As they are rather touchy on this point, we won't be able to mention Lukashenko to the end of his days.

Don't you think that all this homophobia talk is a bit exaggerated?