Defiant gay pride in Poland
Monday 12 June, 2006 11:39
Despite a ban by the city’s mayor, approximately 2,500 gay rights campaigners marched in the Polish capital of Warsaw at the weekend.
The Warsaw Equality March proved a resounding success, possibly helped by the media scrutiny following the violence at Moscow Pride.
One marcher carried a placard reading: “The World Is Watching”. The television satellite trucks and banks of photographers proved this statement wasn’t simply bravado.
Warsaw Pride was met with beaurocratic hostility in both 2004 and 2005. The mayor, Lech Kaczynski, managed to prevent either event from occurring. He is now Poland’s president, and despite several attempts to scupper this year’s Equality March, is faced with a large plate of rainbow flavoured, humble pie .
The police mounted a huge security operation, ensuring the participants could march safely.
Though there were isolated incidents of homophobia, overall the event passed off with good humour and a celebratory spirit inspired by years of oppression.
Right-wing anti-gay groups threatened to stage a counter march, but called off their spoiler, citing the World Cup as their reason for staying away.
If football can prove more alluring to these morons, than berating the gay community, perhaps all future pride marches should be staged during major sports events.
Clumps of “skin-head extremists” littered the route, and while the police let them express their verbal ranting, they took a hard line against anything physical.