Poland: Grizzly Bear Award before the Poznan Equality March
Successfully 4th Equality March in Poznan by Lukasz Palucki
On the November the 17th, The 4th Equality March took place in Poznan, the western city of Poland. It was full success of organizers and triumph of tolerance and freedom.
The people of Poznan are marching every year on this date because of The International Tolerance Day (UNESCO).
The Equality March in 2007 is the second March which was successfully and demonstrators took the final place at Freedom Square. In 2004 March was blocked by hooligans, who treat participants with stones and eggs. They were screaming: faggots, deviants etc. In 2005 the March was banned by the Mayor of Poznan and police brutally treated and arrested about 70 of participants. In 2006 the March was a great victory.
In 2007 there were some protests against the place of start of The Equality March, which took place at historical Adam Mickiewicz Square. There was fighting’s between Polish workers and communist forces in 1956. The right wing politicians and combatants said, that it is a saint place, not for deviants.
But the freedom of assembly is guaranteed by polish law and the major of Poznan said “yes” to the demonstration at this controversial square.
Bill Schiller from ILGCN (International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network) honored the organizers by The Grizzly Bear award just before the Equality March. It was given “for the especially ferocious struggle against intolerance and homophobia; for combining progressive human rights, social and political groups together – and in defiance of homophobic threats and intolerance – triumphantly blending culture and politics into a powerful weapon for tomorrow’s battles; for inviting foreign colleagues to join you on the barricades surpassing national and psychological barriers… and for your fierce determination to covert dreams into realities”.
After the Equality March Sergiusz Wroblewski (one of the organizers) said:
Today Poznan is the international capital of tolerance and we are very happy about this, but we remember about Minsk, Moscow and Vilnius. Dear majors of these cities! Do not be so happy today, because the Equality March is walking and will visit your cities soon”.
After the March there was wonderful concert of Rae Spoon, the transgender vocalist from Canada, which took place at Mescal Café in Poznan.