A big crowd of LGBT rights supporters gathered in Warsaw on Saturday to protest the arrest of a transgender activist who had carried out acts of civil disobedience towards rising homophobia in Poland.
“You’ll not lock all of us up!” individuals chanted on the demonstration that appeared to have drawn 1000’s, lots of them younger adults. Most wore masks to battle coronavirus.
Saturday’s protest comes a day after LGBT rights supporters scuffled with police who arrested the activist, Malgorzata Szutowicz, recognized greatest as “Margot.” Police mentioned they detained 48 individuals, whereas activists mentioned police used tough ways towards them.
“The police had been aggressively pushing the protesters out of the best way, knocking individuals to the bottom and holding them down with their boots,” the group mentioned.
The protests come amid an intensifying standoff in Poland between the LGBT rights motion and the conservative authorities, which has declared it an alien, harmful “ideology.” President Andrzej Duda, who was sworn in for a second time period Thursday, received re-election on a powerful anti-LGBT platform, and social tensions have been rising.
Szutowicz was put in pre-trial detention for 2 months for acts of civil disobedience, together with utilizing a knife to chop the tires of a van that drives round broadcasting anti-LGBT messages, together with a declare that “homosexuals are getting ready society to simply accept pedophilia.” She belongs to a gaggle known as Cease Bzdurom — “Cease the Nonsense” — which has been placing rainbow flags on Warsaw statues, together with one in every of Jesus, infuriating the conservative authorities.
These defending her say that the authorized measures being towards her are disproportionate. Legal professionals haven’t had contact together with her, her protection lawyer mentioned.
Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro defended the police conduct as applicable. He accused opposition politicians who’re defending the LGBT protesters of supporting “banditry.” “Maybe the knife that was used to destroy the van again then will likely be used for a much bigger crime subsequent time,” Ziobro mentioned. “There might be no license for such a assault … we’ve to agree with this and stand collectively towards criminals.” Protesters are additional angered as a result of Szutowicz, who was born right into a male physique and whose title at start is Michal, has been put into male detention, although she appears like a girl.
Dunja Mijatovic, the human rights fee for the Council of Europe, the continent’s high human rights physique, known as Saturday for Margot’s fast launch.
“Order to detain her for two months sends very chilling sign for #FreedomOfSpeech & #LGBT rights in #Poland,” Mijatovic tweeted.