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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Equality Parade in Warsaw. Foreign media comments

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The Saturday Equality Parade in Warsaw was attended by, among others, the US ambassador to Poland and the mayor of Paris. The international media talk about the event full of joy and peace, but they do not forget about the wider context that the everyday life of LGBTQ people in Poland is neither joyful nor peaceful.

Saturday’s Warsaw Equality Parade was widely commented on in foreign media. During the coverage, however, attention was drawn to the fact that Poland is becoming less and less friendly to LGBTQ+ people, which is the worst country in the European Union. Celebrated every year for 22 years, the Warsaw Equality Parade is a brief moment of freedom and acceptance for the LGBT+ community in an increasingly conservative Poland, Le Monde TV reported.

The political aspect was present in many foreign broadcasts. The La Voix du Nord portal pointed out that parliamentary elections are approaching in Poland, and the ruling right wing, which defends the traditional family model, is seeking a new mandate. An extensive article on Saturday’s events can be read on the BBC website, where the headline emphasized that thousands of people took to the streets of the Polish capital to defend the rights of LGBT people before the upcoming elections. “The right-wing government, which is seeking re-election, has focused in previous campaigns on opposing what it calls ‘LGBT ideology’ (…) But the mayor of Warsaw has promised that the LGBTQ community will ‘always be safe’,” reads a fragment of the text on BBC website.

The German liberal-conservative “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” also writes about the atmosphere of the campaign and the fears of minorities that it will soon intensify. “Poland is often criticized for discriminating against sexual minorities. The right-wing ruling PiS party regularly denounces alleged ‘LGBTQ ideology’ that runs counter to Polish traditions and values,” the newspaper’s website reads.

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The weekly “Der Spiegel”, in turn, quotes a telegram from the AFP agency. “Michał Niepielski, a longtime participant in the Equality Parade in the Polish capital, sees growing tolerance in society. At the same time, however, he fears that PiS will continue to increase hostile rhetoric ‘in order to mobilize voters’,” reads its fragment.

The Equality Parade went through the streets of Warsaw. “We see that Polish society is becoming more and more tolerant” Katarzyna Górniak/Fakty TVN

Ocean reactions

Across the ocean, the presence of the American Ambassador to Poland at the Equality Parade drew a lot of media attention. “The participation of the American ambassador sends a clear message to the government of Poland and an important NATO member on the eastern flank of the Alliance, where the United States has increased its military presence since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year,” reads an excerpt from the AP agency’s statement.

The presence of the American ambassador was also noticed by ABC News. “‘America stands for equality,’ said Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, marching with more than 30 other members of the post and representatives of the embassies of Canada, Austria and other Western countries,” reads an excerpt from the text published on the ABC News portal.

Greetings from Paris

The European media also emphasized that the mayor of Paris was also marching in the parade, next to the president of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski. In her social media, she thanked for the invitation and hospitality. “Thank you to all Poles and all Poles for such a warm welcome and see you in Paris,” wrote Anne Hidalgo.

Facts about the world TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: PAP/Andrzej Lange

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