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Resuscitation of Democracy

fot. Edyta Czapla, Gdansk 27XI2005

2005-11-30 17:10:37 / News read 3087 reading
Marches in Poland, 26-27 November 2005. The peaceful demonstration against discrimination in terms of sex, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, called the March of Equality that had been planned for 19th of November (UNESCO International Day of Tolerance) in Poznan, was banned by local authorities.

The Poznan authorities decision indicates that human rights are regularly challenged in Poland, namely, the freedom of assembly (article 57 in the Constitution) and the liberty of the individual to freely express his or her views. The local authorities’ arguments and explanations are not really appealing. Official standpoint calls for the issues of security and the peril of street fights, especially with counterdemonstrators - All-Polish Youth, an ultra right wing and fundamentalist organization, fighting vehemently with sexual and reproductive rights. Nevertheless, the organizers decided to arrange a March of Equality illegally. The gathering was suppressed by the police that used violence and acted in the brutal, forcible and aggressive way.

The events in Poznan induced an indignation among progressive circles (gay and feminist activists, artists, Green Party, alterglobalists many individual VIP-s). The response to obvious violation of fundamental rights was a series of manifestations in nine big Polish cities during the weekend 26-27 of November 2005. This time, demonstrators got permissions from local authorities to assemble. A few thousands of people went on the streets to protest against banning peaceful demonstration, discrimination and intolerance. Contrary to the authorities’ concerns, the gatherings were peaceful and tranquil. "I hope that these demonstrations would gain everyone’s attention to breaking the law in Poland"- said one of the organizers, Agata Teutsch. The manifestations were a symbolic solidarity with those who demonstrated in Poznan a week ago. The assembly’s main slogan was a ‘Resuscitation of Democracy’ and 'The March of Equality continues marching'.

: Magda Pochec
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