Following Wednesday night's anti-immigration protest, which featured anti-Muslim slurs and the burning of a Jewish effigy, Wrocław President Rafal Dutkiewicz has publicly condemned the action of the protesters and pledged to make the city a safe place for all.
As well as condemning the demonstration, Dutkiewicz has also written to prosecutors to request they review video footage of Wednesday's manifestation and take action against those who have committed hate crimes.
In his open letter, Dutkiewicz asked the prosecutors to look at the burning of the Jewish effigy in particular:
Please pay special attention to the portion of the recording showing the burning of an effigy in human form. It appears that once the fire starts, shouts of "burn an effigy of a Jew" could be heard.
Representatives from the Green party and the Together party also criticised the manifestation, claiming that such demonstrations have the potential to wreck Wroclaw's term as the European Capital of Culture next year.
The rise in racist abuse and attacks in recent weeks has brought about sadness and malaise for some foreigners in Wroclaw. For this group of people in particular, the words of our city's President could hopefully provide some degree of comfort:
Ladies and Gentlemen of Wrocław,
Yesterday we witnessed the manifestation of an involuntary group of several dozen xenophobes and nationalists. Let me make as clear as possible, I oppose these type of speeches. Once again I declare: Wroclaw is no place for this type of attitude!
We are the city of Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek, we are a city whose Honorary Citizen is the Dalai Lama, a city of thousands of students from all continents. We will earnestly defend the values to which we remain faithful: openness, tolerance and cultural diversity. Not even tragic events such as those in Paris can justify racism and xenophobia.
I deplore the fact that the right to freedom of assembly does not give us sufficient powers to effectively confront this type of phenomena. Those responsible for what happened yesterday in Wroclaw's market square should be punished. I am dealing with this matter; I am in contact with police and prosecutors. The Constitution of our country allows anyone to free association and manifestation of their views. However it also provides the freedom and security of every person, regardless of their skin color, religion or belief.
The [recent] wave of indignation by residents of the city and the media confirms that Wroclaw does not agree with this xenophobic behavior. Thank you for this Wrocławian attitude – I assure you that I will do my utmost to make us all feel safe in their city.
Are you happy with the words of Wroclaw's President? Do you think he will be able to put them into action? Let us now you thoughts in the comments section below: