Thousands of protests in Poland demanding the release of LGBT activist


WARSAW (Reuters) – Several thousands of people waving rainbow flags demonstrated in the center of Warsaw on Saturday, demanding the release of an LGBT activist accused of hanging iridescent banners on statues and damaging an anti-campaign van .

LGBT supporters protested on August 7, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. Adam Stephen / Agenda Gazeta via REUTERS

The crowd said, “Forget us back!” And “Rainbow does not insult you!” Outside the Warsaw Palace of Culture.

A peaceful gathering thunderous applause, with activists hanging another iridescent flag on a statue in front of the palace, while police officers filmed demonstrations and protest leaders.

On Friday, police detained 48 people who were trying to stop the Margot officials, with the activist accused of hanging flags at idols of Jesus and others and destroying an anti-abortion van.

Matusz Wojtowicz, 24, a parole specialist, Reuters, said, “We are in opposition to the fact that these people were detained by the police.”

The police began releasing the detained protesters on Saturday, but not Margot.

She is a member of the activist group “Stop Buzzdrome”. The group has said they hung flags on the statues as part of the fight for LGBT rights last week, an issue at the heart of public debate in Poland during the presidential election last month.

The Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, a rights watchdog, called for the immediate release of the worker.

Commissioner Dunja Mizatovic tweeted, “The order to shut him down for 2 months is a very cold gesture for freedom to speak in Poland and LGBT rights.”

The ruling Nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) Party maintains that LGBT rights reflect an aggressive foreign ideology that undermines Polish values ​​and the traditional family.

Condemning Friday’s protest, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the authorities faced “even more violent” attacks by activists.

Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and Alicja Ptak; Editing by Andrew Havens and Gareth Jones

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