On Saturday, the 20th Equality Parade passed through the streets of Warsaw. The event was held under the patronage of the president of the capital, Rafał Trzaskowski, who led the march. – We will always stand by those who are weaker, whom others are trying to oust to the margins of society, who are attacked – said Trzaskowski before the start of the march.
Just before 3 p.m. in front of the Palace of Culture and Science, the march entitled “Equality Parade. Warsaw for All” began. According to the reporter of tvnwarszawa.pl Artur Węgrzynowicz, it was headed by the president of the capital, Rafał Trzaskowski. After 3.30 pm, the head of the march reached Konstytucji Square, and half an hour later it passed the Jazdy Polska roundabout. Before 4.15 pm, the first participants were already marching along Batory Street. At 5 p.m. they gathered at Pole Mokotowskie. Many people carried rainbow flags, a symbol of equality and tolerance.
As reported by TVN24 reporter Ja Piotrowski, the organizers do not yet say how many people took part in the parade. But the number will certainly be in the thousands. – Standing in one place, I watched the slow walking crowd for about half an hour – reported Piotrowski, giving some idea of the scale of the march.
“LGBT + Community Celebration”
– Parade is a celebration of the LGBT + community, but it is also a celebration of all who are tolerant; all who are smiling; all who look to the future; all those who want Warsaw to be for everyone. As in other cities of Europe and the world, I am giving patronage for the second time, because this patronage is what the president, the city of his community, can give and I am also here once again to testify that we will always be together. We will always stand by those who are weaker, whom others try to eliminate to the margins of society, who are attacked, said Trzaskowski, who he took patronage over the parade.
– It’s a place where everyone smiles, no aggression. Here the heart of a smiling open Poland beats – he added. Asked by journalists about the implementation of the demands of the so-called LGBT cards, which he signed in 2019, Trzaskowski replied: “We are doing what we promised.” He emphasized that a hostel for LGBT people who were thrown out of their home will soon be built.
The president was taking pictures with the parade participants. The parade participants gathered at Plac Defilad had rainbow flags in their hands, as well as with symbols of the European Union.
– After two years (then the last parade took place – ed.), In which we were hurt, as the LGBT community of Warsaw we come out strengthened, we are united – said Rafał Wojtczak, spokesman for the Equality Volunteering Foundation, during the press conference preceding the event. – We are wholeheartedly with those who passed away last year, who cannot come with us – added Paulina Piechna-Więckiewicz from the foundation’s board. She expressed the hope that the parade “will be safe and joyful”.
Masks and space
The parade took place in the sanitary regime. “Due to the epidemiological situation, please wear masks and, if possible, keep a safe distance. If you are not feeling well, cough or have a fever, please stay at home” – the organizers appealed earlier.
Rafał Retmaniak from the Warsaw Police Headquarters in an interview with the Polish Press Agency announced that the event would be secured by Warsaw police officers. – We are here to ensure the safety of both people participating in this event, as well as residents and other outsiders – he emphasized. He added that during the march one should take into account traffic difficulties in the center of Warsaw. – We ask the drivers to follow the orders of the policemen – he appealed.
During the march, buses and trams were directed to detour routes.
Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz / tvnwarszawa.pl