Several thousand people attended Saturday’s equality march in Wrocław, making it the biggest turnout in the annual demonstration’s history.
The people organising the march claim the attendance was just shy of 7,000 people. Even allowing for the habit of organisers exaggerating the numbers (which happens at many demonstrations), there can be no doubt the turnout at Saturday’s equality march was the biggest ever.
This year participants gathered under the slogan “Together in the Name of Love”. The general message remained unchanged however.
The organisers once again called for action against hate speech and racially-motivated violence, as well as manifestations of homophobia, xenophobia and racism in public spaces. They also demonstrated in favour of allowing marriages and civil partnerships to be made available to everyone regardless of gender. On top of that, the organisers asked for the introduction of anti-discrimination workshops and sex education in all public schools.
As is now customary, nationalists and staunchly conservative Catholics took part in various counter-protests along the route of the equality march.
The counter protesters, lead by Jacek Międlar (author of a controversial book whose title almost directly translates as Mein Kamf) and Piotr Rybak (the man who infamously burned an effigy of a jew on the Rynek), held aloft banners like “Man Woman, normal family” and “Homosexualism today, pedophilia tomorrow”.
Riot police managed to keep the two opposing groups separated, allowing the demonstrations to both take place without violence breaking out.
However after the demonstrations finished, one participant of the equality march claimed that herself and her acquaintance were set upon by a group of 8 men. It is said that during the scuffle that ensued, banners and a megaphone were stolen, while one of the women was kicked in the back.