Photo © facebook.com/pg/HAHWroclaw

Equality March Passes Through Wrocław Peacefully

Up to 1,000 people are thought to have taken part in Wrocław's equality march at different points as it wound its way through the old town on Saturday. 

Like in the previous marches, protesters gathered to demand the right for gay couples to marry or enter civil partnerships. Demonstrators also called for attacks motivated by the hate of one's sexuality to be treated as hate crimes in Poland in the same way that race and religion are (this is not currently the case).

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Credit Suisse employees dawned company t-shirts during Saturday's equality march (photo © Tomasz Hołod / Marcin Kaźmierczak & Gazeta Wrocławska) 

A number of groups took part in the protest, including organisers 'Culture Of Equality', staff and regulars at gay-friendly venue Hah Wrocław, members of the black protest movement, as well as employees of Credit Suisse

In the first few editions of the march many of the demonstrators were subject to verbal abuse from angry onlookers, something that has deterred potential participants. However in the last three years the equality marches have passed without serious incident.

The only possibility of any conflict on Saturday came from a counter protest attended by a dozen or so people holding a banner that alluded to a connection between homosexuality and paedophilia. The demonstrators on either side of the police barrades nonetheless stuck to their own groups and their was little in the way of confrontation.

There have been no reports of violence before or after Saturday's march, while there did not appear to be anything like the same level of verbal abuse dished out by onlookers compared to previous marches. Perhaps this is evidence of people at least getting used to the marches taking place, something that must give the LGBTQ community at least some comfort. 

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Yesterday's counter protest (photo © Kornelia Głowacka-Wolf / Gazeta Wyborcza)

That said, there can be no illusions as to how difficult it will be for LGBTQ campaigners to achieve aims such as the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Poland. The current government will never allow it, while politicians in more 'liberal' parties still find gay rights to be a thorny issue that should be avoided if possible.

If you need any evidence, just look at the fact that Wroclaw President Rafal Dutkiewicz has repeatedly turned down invitations to attend the equality march. Dutkiewicz regularly boasts about (and advertises) Wroclaw's openness and diversity as a city, however attending the equality march appears to have been a bridge too far for him.

About Gregor Gowans

Gregor Gowans
The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.