Support Initiatives
August 14, 2020

End police crackdown on queer activists in Poland

As a wave of homophobia and anti-queer policies rages through Poland, the lives and liberties of Polish LGBTQ people are placed under grave threat. With the full backing and encouragement of President Andrej Duda, the crackdown of Polish police on LGBTQ activists protesting against their mounting oppression becomes more violent by the day.

On 14 July, police forced themselves into an apartment where an LGBTQ activist named Margo was staying. They arrested her on the spot without providing an explanation, called her homophobic slurs, and dragged her barefoot to the police station where she was questioned all night for her involvement in defacing a truck that used loud speakers to spread anti-queer propaganda.

Margo was grabbed again by the Warsaw police on 3 August, along with two fellow activists from the Polish LGBTQ rights campaign Stop Bzdurom (Stop Nonsense), for hanging Pride flags on statues in the city. Their crime? “Insulting religious feelings and insulting Warsaw monuments.” 

Margo now faces charges of participating in a riot, property damage, and physical assault, and, if convicted of all of them, could face up to 7 years in prison. 

After a local court granted Police prosecutors a two-month pre-trial detention for Margo, activists gathered outside the headquarters of the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) in Warsaw, where Margo was arrested, and tried to block the van in which she was to be transferred. Activists live-streamed the events on social media and posted videos in which the police were seen violently throwing off activists on the vehicle, pulling them off the streets, and conducting arrests. 

The fight to protect the liberties and rights of queer people in Poland is going to be a long one, and its outcome will bear significant consequences on the state of the LGBTQ community in Europe.

This is why it is crucial for people across Poland, Europe, and the world, to raise their voice in solidarity with the Polish queer community and call for an immediate end to their oppression by the state. 

Please support Stop Bzdurom by visiting their website and making a donation. You can also help spread the word about the unfolding events in Poland on your social media and press your local representatives to apply pressure on Polish authorities to reverse their course of action immediately. 

Image: Grzegorz Żukowski

Call to Action
End police crackdown on queer activists in Poland