LETTER OF SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH LGBTQ IN POLAND
Updated: Apr 10
On 24 July, we put our name behind this open letter initiated by Berlin-based Polish organisations in support of LGBTQ rights in Poland. You can find the original on the Dziewuchy Berlin Website, where the text is available in English, German and Polish, and will be updated with the names of further supporters. Organisations who want to support this letter, should contact Dziewuchy Berlin at email@example.com.
Berlin against violence in Poland Berlin in solidarity with Białystok Berlin in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Poland!
On 20 July 2019, under the slogan “Białystok: a home for everyone”, the first ever Pride March took place in Białystok, in which around 1,000 people took part.
We are shocked and disgusted at what happened during the March. The participants were attacked verbally and physically by organised groups of aggressive nationalists, hooligans, right-wing collectives and Catholic organisations.
Despite the protection of a police cordon, the people marching in the rainbow parade were hit, insulted, spat on, and had rotten eggs, bottles, stones and firecrackers thrown at them. Amongst the injured were children.
The fascist counterprotest was led by slogans such as “Białystok against perverts”, “God, honour, Fatherland”, “Perversion forbidden”, “family = man + woman”, “Zone free from LGBT”.
The nationalist-conservative party Law and Justice (PiS), hiding behind traditional conservatism and the protection of ‘traditional’, meaning heteronormative, family units, has for years been showing support for a hateful stance towards the LGBTIQ community. We are outraged at the lack of an official response from the government, and the lack of statements from particular party members, who supported either verbally, or actively the aggressive attempt at blocking a peaceful march. Reacting to Saturday’s events, the Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski (PiS) wondered if it is necessary to organise Pride Marches at all, since “they are met with such great resistance”.
The level of hatred and contempt caused by years of political and social propaganda against the so-called “gender ideology”, which right-wing have been soaking up through the media and church pulpits, culminated at the Pride March in Białystok.
Particularly off-putting is the statement given by the priests from the Saint Queen Jadwiga parish in Białystok, who wanted to give “words of appreciation and thanks to all those, who recently, by any means possible, took part in the defense of Christian and human values, protecting our city, children and young people in particular, from the planned demoralisation and deprivation”. The tweet from priest Mrozek – an idol of Polish fascists – has a similar effect: “LGBT members are not at all our brothers or sisters. They are enemies spreading an anti-culture, and we must defend ourselves from them.”
We are voicing our opposition to the attacks on the persons taking part in the Pride March in Białystok.
We are directing our response to international organisations with offices in Germany and other European countries, to politicians of the European Union, and to the international community. We are shouting about the events in Białystok in order to put pressure on the Polish government, from which we expect the cessation of inciting hatred and encouraging aggression. We also want to spotlight the unacceptable position of the Catholic Church in Poland, which has been inciting acts of violence.
Stop hate! Stop intolerance! Stop violence! Against fascism, fanaticism and aggression! We stand in solidarity with the victims, with LGBTQI communities in Poland, and our friends in Poland!