Thursday, June 08, 2006

Intolerance Parade cancelled

Roman Giertych, chief of far-right League of Polish Families calls off counter demonstration to the gay rights march in Warsaw this weekend.

The two marches, led by the Campaign Against Homophobia in Poland and the counter demo, organized by the youth wing of League of Polish Families, were to walk the same route Saturday lunchtime, only in different directions.

But now the counter demo has been called off. Why? “We are going to celebrate Poland’s participation in the World Cup, instead”, said Giertych.

And a much better use of the young men’s time it will be, too.

Poland’s first game is against Ecuador on Friday.

So the far right, All-Polish Youth, think that football is more important than intimidating gays, lesbians, trans-gendered individuals and human rights campaigners? What is the world coming to?

A cynic would say that Giertych, now that he is deputy prime minister, wants to put forward the best image he can. He likes his place in the coalition. So members of his party brawling in the streets would not go down too well with the new image - Giertych the Statesman.

He's also got the other problem of having at least 137,000 students signitures on a petition demanding that he be sacked as education minister.

But I am just an old cynic. I am sure he loves football as much as me.

But what if Ecuador beat Poland tomorrow? Will he still want to celebrate the World Cup then?

The Tolerance Parade will still be taking place Saturday.

There is a feeling that the All-Polish Youth know that the Tolerance march, which will be joined by thousands of people from outside Poland – particularly from Germany – was just going to be too popular to compete with. This, coupled with the fact that Giertych does not want bad publicity at the moment, contributed to the cancellation of the counter demonstration.

Whatever, this is a defeat for the far-right here and a victory for tolerance and modernity.

For more see Tolerance Parade web site


roman said...

The 137,000 signatures collected is an impressive effort by the student activists. In examining the signatures, there seems to be a lot of signatories that identify themselves as non-students but not enough to reduce the impact of this great effort.
I sure hope that Poland defeats Equador (they should). Nobody wants a bunch of sore losers on the street the next day looking to take it out on peaceful marchers.

beatroot said...

Hi Roman (although this one, readers, is not 'the giertych')

Yeah, there are lots of non students. But the petition is those who oppose him as education secretary. And education concerns everyone, not just students.

beatroot said...

Actually it's 140,000 signitures now...

The parade starts outside the Sejm at 13.00

Anonymous said...

It might not be of earth-shattering significance but at least there are now signs that the left outside Poland is waking up. The Socialist Group in the European Parliament has succeeded in getting a debate to take place next week on homophobic violence. This follows a public condemnation of the League of Polish families by the Socialist Leader recently.


beatroot said...

Not earth shattering but something. Thanks John for putting me on to the 'left and Poland' idea...the Euston manifesto post was a direct result of that. Cheers.

beatroot said...

That's exactly why I put the photo there, Eulogist! You win this month's prize for spotting the repressed, self hating homo...

michael farris said...

You win this month's prize for spotting the repressed, self hating homo...whose intitials aren't JK...

Anonymous said...

Just a little update. The joint resolution of the Socialist, Liberal and Green groups at European Parliament on the increase in racism and homophobia includes condemnation of both the League of Polish Families and Radio Maryja. The vote is on Thursday 15 June.