Steve August 3, 2020
far-right-polish-thugs-mark-the-anniversary-of-the-warsaw-uprising-by-burning-pride-flags

Far-right thugs burned rainbow flags as they marched through Warsaw as they staged a demonstration on Saturday.

The march to mark the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising – resistance against the Nazis during the World War Two – saw the rising anti-LGBT+ sentiment long brewing in Poland spill out onto the streets.

Thugs cut up rainbow flags and rage against LGBT+ equality during Warsaw Uprising march

Thugs aligned with far-right groups burned and cut up rainbow flags as they chanted homophobic slogans.

Demonstrators tear a rainbow flag apart during the 76th Warsaw uprising anniversary
Demonstrators tear a rainbow flag apart during the 76th Warsaw uprising anniversary (Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, other groups in the march carried banners bearing the phrase “Stop totalitarianism”, comparing LGBT+ rights to Nazism and Communism.

The annual nationalist march has long been a flash-point in Poland, with banned far-right symbols seen during the event in previous years.

An anti-LGBT banner is seen during the 76th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising
An anti-LGBT banner is seen during the 76th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Warsaw Uprising survivors signed a letter to the mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, requesting a ban on the march.

Politicians have repeatedly stoked anti-LGBT+ hatred in Poland.

LGBT+ people have become a popular punching bag for the country’s conservative government over the past several years, with conservative president Andrzej Duda narrowly winning re-election last month after making homophobia one of the core planks of his campaign.

In a “family charter” published ahead of the election, Duda pledged to “prohibit the propagation of this ideology” in public institutions and “defend the institution of marriage” as defined as a “relationship between a women and a man”.

With days to go until the run-off vote, Duda also proposed an amendment to Poland’s constitution that would ban same-sex couples from adopting children. He said: “I am convinced that, thanks to this, children’s safety and concern for the good of children will be ensured to a much greater extent.”

As part of the politically-driven attack on LGBT+ people, nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have proclaimed themselves zones “free from LGBT+ ideology” and opposing gay “propaganda” – covering nearly a third of the country.

The European Parliament passed a resolution that strongly condemned the concept of LGBT-free zones in December, noting that they are “part of a broader context of attacks against the LGBT+ community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches”.

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