Over the weekend 2,500 people celebrated Pride in a parade through the Polish city, Plock. The parade was the first of its kind in the city and was relatively peaceful albeit with participants surrounded by police in riot gear.
Politicians, including Robert Biedron, one of Poland’s first openly gay politicians attended the parade. Speaking ahead of the event Biedron said, “For many years in Poland not much was done to handle such violence. It’s time for these hateful crimes to be punished.” In reference to the increasing homophobia sweeping the country.
A group of counter-protesters gathered at the Plock parade and chanted homophobic insults but were blocked from interacting with parade participants by the heavy police presence.
A Plock police spokeswoman told Reuters there were around 950 counter-protesters in total and that two people were detained.
No serious incidents took place, the spokeswoman added, although there were a few scuffles with police, TV footage showed.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has made hostility to gays a central focus of its campaign, depicting LGBTIQ rights as a dangerous foreign idea that undermines traditional values.
Critics say PiS has fomented anti-gay sentiment and helped lead the violence against the LGBTIQ community in Poland.