Verbal violence and physical aggression is everyday experience for LGBT persons living in Poland. But only 4 percent of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals report such acts of violence to the police. It is high time to change it – NGOs appeal and encourage using the free of charge legal and psychological help offered by them.
It follows from the recent study published in the report “Social situation of LGBTA persons. Report for 2015 – 2016” nearly 70 percent of LGBTA persons (i.e. lesbians, gays, bisexual and asexual persons and transsexuals) experienced violence motivated by homo-, bi- or transphobia within the recent two years. At the same time, only 4 percent of homo-, bi-and asexual and transsexual persons reported it to the police. Slightly more informed the state institutions or NGOs about experiencing violence. NGOs such as Campaign against Homophobia or Lambda Warszawa offer free legal and psychological help for persons who experienced this type of violence. Open Republic, which has zglosnienawisc.otwarta.org, website, where one can report all types of hate speech and offences motivated by prejudice.
Krzysztof Łapiński, the Secretary of State in The President’s Chancellery said today in Piotr Kraśko’s program, referring to Superwizjer TVN broadcast on Polish neo-Nazis and festivals organized by them and celebrations of Hitler’s birthday, that these are “hermetic groups” and that such events “took place in the closed spaces and no one knew about them”. To correct the Minister we sent a letter, in which we recall interventions of NGOs regarding Orle Gniazdo [Eagle’s Nest] festival.
On behalf of the Open Republic Association the letter was signed by Paula Sawicka – the Chairwoman of the Program Board and Marek Gumkowski – President of the Management Board.
On January 13 2018 during the show of banners and flares at the near-monastery space ending the 10th Patriotic Pilgrimage of Football Fans to Jasna Góra the verbal and physical attack took place on a group of persons being the members of Demokratyczna RP and Obywatele RP associations. They stood in silence near the wall surrounding the monastery and held banners “Christianity is not hatred”, “Humanity is my homeland”, „Decency limits are here”. (…) Flares were thrown at them and then one man ran to them and put fire to the banner saying “Christianity is not hatred”; another banner was whipped from a woman who held it; then all three banners were burnt. Demonstrating persons were pushed and jerked, they were threatened and vulgarisms were used against them. The police was absent; according to its initial announcements, there were no incidents during the celebration. read more…
Prosecutor’s Office discontinued proceedings regarding the statute of National Radical Camp. It stated that the document did not incite hatred motivated by nationality, race and religious differences. Will President of Częstochowa appeal against this decision?
On 8th January Jolanta Urbańska filed an appeal to President Matyjaszczyk with the municipal office. She asks him to appeal to the District Court in Częstochowa against Prosecutor Office’s decision. – I act as a city councilwoman, a public person – stresses Urbańska. She also sent the President the official letter of 11 organizations, which expect the same. They include: Stowarzyszenie Demokratyczna RP, Obywatele RP, Protest kobiet, Warszawski Strajk Kobiet, the Open Republic, Żydowskie Stowarzyszenie B’nai B’rith w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet, Odnowa, Obywatele Solidarnie w Akcji, Obywatelski Ruch Demokratyczny, Fundacja Wolni i Równi.
“On 13th January 2018, in NMP monastery at Jasna Góra a concert of Hungarian group Hungarica is to take place as an event accompanying the 10th Football Fans Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra. The members of this group actively support activity of the neo-fascist Jobbik party and Gwardia Narodowa, considered a neo-Nazi organization, which was delegalized by Hungarian government for activity violating minority rights, anti-Semitism and negation of Holocaust. (…) We want to remind you that the earlier concerts of Hungarica in Poland were cancelled by, without limitation, the authorities of the Warsaw Technical University and Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. Managers of these academic centers stressed that they made such decisions taking into account the content of the songs of Hungarica, and due to the possible social reception of such concert. We do hope that you prevent Hungarica concert in NMP monastery at Jasna Góra” – we write in the letter addressed to the prior of Jasna Góra monastery father Mariana Waligóra. On behalf of the Open Republic Association the letter was signed by the Chairwoman of the Program Board Paula Sawicka and President of the Management Board Marek Gumkowski
“The Open Republic Association is deeply concerned about the news concerning reduction of the subsidy for the maintenance and growth of the Belorussian cultural identity, and, first of all, for the publication of Belorussian weekly in Poland “Niwa”. These subsidies are granted by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration. (…) Reduction of the subsidy, which – as we have been informed – may lead to the closure of “Niwa” weekly, would not only result in the impoverishment of Polish Republic’s cultural achievements, but would also be the breach of constitutional obligations of the Polish state” – we write in the letter to the Minister of the Interior and Administration Mariusz Błaszczak. On behalf of the Association the letter was signed by the President of the Management Board Marek Gumkowski
“Once again we appeal to you for protection of Polish Constitutional Act and the law abidingness guaranteed in it. We call on you to veto the acts, which change the rules of functioning of the National Judiciary Council; and the Supreme Court” – wrote over 40 social organizations from Poland and from abroad in the letter to Andrzej Duda. Open Republic Association is one of them.
On 6 December 2017 we sent a letter to Hanna Zdanowska – the President of Łódź – regarding Janusz Waluś indoor soccer tournament organized by Łódź branch of the National Radical Camp. On 14 December 2017 the Director of Sport Section of Łódź Municipal Office assured us that the city has not granted and shall not grant any support to this event, and the tournament shall not take place at any premised owned or managed by the city.
The Open Republic Association, Lambda Warszawa Association and Campaign against Homophobia organize a conference on 16the December 2017 entitled Customer first: Practical aspects of counteracting prejudice motivated violence.
It is aimed at deepening knowledge of practical aspects of work with persons, who experienced prejudice motivated offences. It will have three subject blocks and will cover the issues connected with: law, cooperation with media and support for the harmed persons.
The conference is addressed to representatives of NGOs, professional proxies and institutions and initiatives working with persons who experience hatred motivated violence.
Austrian Culture Forum and Austrian Embassy are the partners of the conference.
On November 25 2017 in Katowice, at Sejm Śląski Square, a demonstration “STOP the contemporary Targowica” took place. Its organizers were: National Movement Śląsko-Zagłębiowski Region, All-Poland Youth – Śląski District, Upper Silesia National Party and Upper Silesian Brigade of ONR. During the demonstration the organizers and participants, allegedly expressing their protest against the reaction of the opposition and the media to the March of Independence and against European MPs of the Civic Platform (Danuta Jazłowiecka, Michał Boni, Barbara Kudrycka, Róża Thun, Julia Pitera, Danuta Hubner), who voted for the resolution of the European Parliament regarding Poland; they “symbolically” hanged their photos on the gallows.
We filed a notification with the District Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice and a complaint against inaction of the Police, which should have terminated the demonstration.