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(en) Poland: FREEDOM-MARCHES all over the Land

Date Tue, 29 Nov 2005 12:58:33 +0200


Demonstrations against the repression of freedom of assembly took place all over
Poland in solidarity with the repressed gay march in Poznan on the 19th of November.
On saturday, demonstrations took place in Poznan and Krakow:
Krakow:
14.18 - In Krakow, the solidarity demonstration with the Poznan
Equality March started. There are about 300 people, accompanied by the
city security guards. There's no sign of opponents of the march, supporters
of intolerance and inequality. The weather's not so good, there's some light
rain. Some people from political parties are giving speeches as well as
people from women's organisations and those supporting LGBT rights.

Poznan:

15.00 - The rally in Poznan started. Statements were made by the
Anarchist Federation, the Greens, the Konsola association, and by
Patyczak. Slogans including "All authority disrupts", "Samorzadna
Rzeczpospolita (Self-governing Commonwealth (pl))" were called out. At
the moment all is calm. "Football-hooligans" cannot be heard nor seen.
15.35 - In Poznan there were about 300-400 people. There are banners
saying: "Democracy - freedom of speech and freedom to gather",
"Tolerance yes, discrimination no", "Freedom of speech, freedom to
love", "Free women, free men". Activists from Workers Initiative trade
union talked about excessive policing and workers' rights, flyers from
the Anarchist Black Cross about demonstrators' rights are being
distributed.
16.00 - The demonstrators called out: "The streets of Poznan are
ours", "Freedom, equality, mutual aid", "Everyone different, all
equal", "Every authority kills freedom", "Freedom of speech, freedom
to gather". Despite some negotiations, the police did not permit a
march to take place. There are a few "football-hooligans", but they
are just observing from some way away from the demonstration.

On Sunday, demos took place In Katowice, Lodz, Elblag, Rzeszow,
Wroclaw, Warsaw, Torun and Lodz.


Katowice:

About 100 people gather near the train station, including
Green Party, Anarchist Federation - Silesia, Self-Defence Party.
Rightists and fascists are present in a similar number yelling
"perverts" and "get out of Katowice". Not many cops.
Fascists throw some eggs on demonstrators with shouts "no abortion". A
happening takes place. A person locked in a cage shouts: "I'm gay, I'm
a Silesian, I'm a lesbian, I'm Jewish, I'm Asian, etc."


Warsaw:

About 600 people gathered In Warsaw on Constitution Square with
rainbow flags, many slogans against the new right-wing president,
against fascism, against repression of freedom of speech. Many older
people present. A group of rightist hooligans tries to get to the
place where the speeches are taking place and shouts "Down with
communism".

Photographs of prominent right wing politicians were displayed by an
activist from FA-Praga with the subtitle: "Godfreaks are the real
perverts". CK/LA had a big banner against repressions. An activist of
FA-Praga read the statement against politicians which is reproduced
below (originally written by activists from FA-Poznan).

Groups of fascists were roaming around and managed to beat up a couple
of people on their way to the demo.


Torun:

About 50 people gathered in Torun (the only picket which was not
legalized - pickets in other cities were legalized when authorities
came under pressure).
The slogans included "Torun apologizes for Radio Virgin Mary" (known
anti-Semitic and xenophobic catholic radio station) and "No justice,
no peace".


Lodz:

About 300 people gathered on the demonstration in Lodz. Slogans
included: "Freedom, equality and mutual aid", and slogans about
self-governance, etc." The organizers were the Campaign Against
Homophobia, Center of Womens Rights, informal gender group and
Anarchist Federation - Lodz.


Wroclaw:

About 250 people participated, members of "Active Society", anarchists
from Wroclaw Libertarian Group, Young Socialists, ATTAC, Greens, and
others.
The fascists opponents were present and shouting "Free Poland without
fags", to which the organizers replied "Free Poland without fascism".
Boneheads from NOP (National Revival of Poland) try to block the
march, but are taken away by police.


Rzeszow:

In Rzeszow about 100 people took part in the equality march. A couple
of dozens of fascists tried to attack the march with eggs and
yoghourts.


Elblag:

The demonstration in Elblag was attacked by right-wing hooligans with
stones and eggs.

---------------------------------------------
Freedom of demonstration, or political hypocrisy?

Declaration of the "Freedom Coalition" organizers
of the demonstration in Poznan

In connection with the ban and repression of the Equality March in
Poznan, a movement in defence of freedom of speech and assembly was
created. Although the events of 19th of November were the immediate
cause of the social protest, this was by no means an isolated
occurrence. Freedom of demonstration is being violated in Poland for a
long time. This is why we are amazed to see declarations of support
for our movement from politicians who - at the time they were in
government - have acted to repress demonstrators no less violently.
Each of the ruling coalitions has exerted violence to repress
demonstrators. The AWS ("Solidarity") coalition of Prime Minister
Buzek had cops shoot protesting workers and farmers (several workers
of Lucznik were gravely wounded, as well as farmers conducting road
blockades); the SLD ("post-communist") coalition used police for 4
consecutive days to pacify the protest of workers of the cable factory
in Ozarow, in January of this year police has attacked a peaceful
demonstration against the visit of Vladimir Putin in Krakow - these
are only but a few of similar cases. It is worthy of note that
deputies of the SLD (some of them are now prominent memners of SdPL)
and UP (Labor Union) have voted for a law limiting the freedom of
assembly faced with a growing wave of discontent with their
government. Today, sensing opportunity, the same people put on a mask
of defenders of democratic freedoms. This is astonishing hypocrisy.

Our movement is not about replacing one political party with another -
our movement is a movement for freedom and democracy against the
abuses of government, its arrogance and hypocrisy. A government which
- let us remind - lacks the support of a majority of the population.
Our country needs a spontaneous and grassroots movement which will
empower us to regain our rights and will remove compromised political
elites.

Freedom Coalition
From:
ralf-A-anarch.free.de (Ralf Landmesser)
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