The Equality Parade goes through the center of Warsaw. A colorful procession set off in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. Before the start, the mayor of Warsaw and the mayor of Paris spoke to the participants of the parade. Traffic delays are expected until late afternoon.
The Equality Parade is an annual celebration of freedom, openness and solidarity. It is attended by the LGBT+ community, but also by all people for whom equal treatment and respect for diversity are important. The honorary patronage over the event was taken by the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.
The Warsaw Equality Parade started after 14. Cars and platforms lined up on Świętokrzyska and Emilii Plater Streets. From there, the parade will go along Marszałkowska Street to Plac Konstytucji, then along Waryńskiego Street to the Jazdy Polskiej roundabout, where it will turn into Armii Ludowej Avenue to reach Aleja Niepodległości, Chałubiński Avenue and Aleja Jana Pawła II. At the ONZ roundabout, the participants of the event will turn again into Świętokrzyska Street.
As reported by TVN24 reporter Jan Piotrowski after 2 pm, a small group of opponents lined up on the route of the parade. The rainbow flag has been burned. The counter-demonstration was separated from the parade participants by a tight police cordon. Piotrowski emphasized that the procession was secured by a large group of officers.
“The entire LGBT+ community in Warsaw will always be safe”
Just before the start of the march, the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, spoke to the gathered. – This signal from Warsaw flows not only to Poland, but to the whole world that Warsaw is European, smiling and tolerant – said Trzaskowski. – In the Free Cities Pact, we show commitment to values. This solidarity, this mutual support, is extremely important – he stressed.
– There are those who try to deceive and seduce Polish society by saying that diversity, freedom and tolerance are a threat to the Polish family. There is no greater lie. Because it is diversity, tolerance, equal rights for all that guarantee that we can build an open society, he pointed out. – If someone poses a threat to the Polish family, then the one who destroys Polish education allows inflation – noted Trzaskowski.
– Everyone in Warsaw can always feel safe. The entire LGBT+ community in Warsaw will always be safe. I hope you will all be safe in Poland as well. The task of every local government official is to support all those whom the populist power tries to marginalize, tries to trick them and build myths that have nothing to do with reality – said Rafał Trzaskowski and thanked the participants for coming to the Equality Parade.
– There is no equality without diversity, without freedom. This is what we want to preach here together with Mr. President. We want European cities that are tolerant, free and diverse. Because only in this diversity are we all free and safe – emphasized the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. – We really want all communities to know that Paris and Warsaw are against those who would like to violate women’s rights, LGBT rights, rights of others. The joy of life, being together gives us a sense of security. Paris is with you, she stressed.
Many politicians, deputies and members of the European Parliament take part in the Equality Parade. These include Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, Robert Biedroń, Krzysztof Śmiszek, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, Katarzyna Piekarska, Anna Maria Żukowska, Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus.
In the crowd of participants, you can also see the US ambassador to Poland, Marek Brzezinski. – The United States supports equality, we support Poland and all those Poles who share these values. Human rights and equality are core values. That’s why 30 embassy employees are walking with me in the parade today. I am very proud of it. We will always stand by all those who are discriminated against, said TVN24 reporter Mark Brzezinski.
Finally, movies, silent disco and after party
After the parade, the organizers invite you to accompanying events. At 7 p.m., the Equality Film Marathon will take place in two halls of Kinoteka.
For those who want to end the day with a dance, a silent disco will take place in Kulturalna at Plac Defilad. Also at 7 pm, the organizers of the parade invite its participants to the official after party at the Lunapark complex in Saska Kępa at Wał Miedzeszyński.
In the Świętokrzyski Park, next to the Palace of Culture and Science, from the side of the Youth Palace, the Equality Town operates from 11 am. Stands and tents of non-governmental organizations were set up on the site, including Lambda Association, Love Does Not Exclude Association acting against discrimination and exclusion. People with disabilities will also find support in the Equality Town. Help can be obtained from at the stand of the Avalon Foundation.
Traffic disruptions and changes in communication
As announced at 3 p.m. by the Public Transport Authority, the entire route of the march is closed.
Coaches 100, 107, 109, 111, 116, 117, 118, 127, 128, 131, 138, 143, 151, 160, 167, 171, 175, 178, 180, 222, 502, 503, 507, 514, 5 17, 518, 519, 520, 522 and 525 are detours.
There are also tram lines on detours: 4, 7, 9, 15, 22, 24, 35, 36 and 78
During the parade, both metro lines run without problems.
Details of the difficulties are available on the Warsaw Public Transport website.
“The exclusions in vehicular traffic mean that in many places it will be police officers who will direct traffic. We urge you to follow the instructions given. Let’s take care of safety together, if you see a threat, inform us about it. Any information is important” – appeals the Warsaw Police Headquarters.
Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński/tvnwarszawa.pl