Polish Pride Parades Pass Peacefully After Years of Violence

For the first time in years, the Pride parades in Katowice and Lublin, Poland, went off without significant incident. In previous years, the events were regularly disrupted by right-wing rioters.
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In Katowice, a city whose agglomeration has more than three million inhabitants, the parade attracted about four thousand participants. About a thousand people took to the streets in the university city of Lublin.

The fact that the parades took place without violence is a change from previous years. Lublin was regularly the scene of violent outbursts provoked by conservative groups. In 2019, such a group tried to stop the event by force.

In Katowice, things threatened to go wrong this year. An extreme right-wing organization had announced it would protest, but the mayor banned the counter-demonstration for fear of violence. However, the judge put a stop to that and reversed that decision.

A few members of the group were therefore able to stand along the route with banners that compare homosexuality with paedophilia. Still, the parade took place without violence.

"There is definitely a huge change from previous years," one participant told Notes from Poland. "We are very happy that our parades are making a difference."

In recent years, Poland has launched an anti-LGBT+ campaign by the government. The community is accused of violating "traditional family values". As a result, several regions declared themselves "LGBT+-free", something some recently had to withdraw due to both court rulings and discontinued grant money.

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