Sunday, June 11, 2006

‘Do not be afraid’…

…was one of the slogans on show at the Equality Parade, attended by anything from 2,000 to 10,000 (estimates differ, as usual) gays, lesbians and sympathizers in Warsaw, Saturday.

On the warmest day of the year so far, the streets of Warsaw were lit up by a colorful and peaceful bunch of protesters demonstrating against state-sponsored homophobia in Poland.

Unlike similar marches in Poznan and Krakow which ended in bloody violence, this demonstration was peaceful and pleasant. Only a handful of skinheads bothered to turn up to harass the march but their meager number meant that opportunities for a bit of ‘bovver’were limited to the occasional egg throwing.

Numbers – 2,000 or so – were still small compared to similar “Gay Pride’ marches in western Europe. But the organization has improved, with people coming from outside of Poland, particularly Sweden and German to lend support.

But the situation in Poland for sexual minorities remains pretty dire. DW reports:

On Friday, the head of a teacher training school in Poland was sacked for publishing a brochure that the Education Ministry -- led by far-right LPR leader Roman Giertych -- denounced as "encouraging contact with homosexual organizations."

Michael Cashman, a British MEP told the BBC:

"We've all become extremely worried in the European Parliament in particular about the increasing hate-speak from senior politicians here in Poland.
"Poland has joined the club of the European Union. The same rules apply throughout those 25 countries and part of that is respect for minorities and we're not seeing that at the moment."

But what was most refreshing yesterday was the atmosphere on the streets of Warsaw, which was one of fun, not fear and anger.


steppx said...

a pretty great march I felt. I thought the numbers a bit higher than 2000....maybe even three thousand.
It was both upbeat and festive, but also serious and with an appropriate undertone of sober political thinking.

Best sign:
"President Kachynski; your brother is gay"

LeeAndrew said...

but his twin brother is actually gay ... by the way, i estimated the crowd to be at least 10, 000.


steppx said...

lee.....ten thousand seems high...but I agree it was higher than 2. Its so hard to tell....but now that i think on it, I suspect AT LEAST 4 or 5.....has to be....but again, its hard to tell. Lots of people didnt walk the entire march route for example...and lots of people walked along outside the main march but in support....not to mention how many people shouted support from windows !!

Anonymous said...

Good post.

There was enough of a potential threat, to lower the numbers. Still a good demo.

beatroot said...

Welcome Lee!

Numbers: I have always been crap and estimating how many in a crowd, march. Organizers always over-estimate, the cops always under-estimate. I was standing at the end of the march outside National Theatre and sone Polish guy on the telephone was being told that it was 20,000! Clearly ridiculous, of course. But more people were at the end of the march than at the begining.


But let's drop the jaroslaw thing. If he is, then I pity him in his ivory closet...if he isn't, then he isn't. It doesn't change the politics of the thing one way or another.

So what?

steppx said...

beat....only one thought about Jaroslaw. Its relevent in the sense that he participates in the hate mongering of his brothers administration. Such hypocricy is worth noting.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing more and more blogs that seem to be urging U.S. gay groups to get involved:

Romerican said...

Great to hear it was a success! Unfortunately, the Romanian parade ended in some beatings... =\

Anonymous said...

Hi people
I do not know what to give for Christmas of the to friends, advise something ....

Anonymous said...

Hello. Good day
Who listens to what music?
I Love songs Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton

Anonymous said...

Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

eddielydon said...

provides the quality service of customized fiber connections in the case of large businesses and government entities. carol peletier denim jacket