Rainbow flags were hung on some of the most prominent statues in Poland’s capital city, including the statue of Copernicus, Wincenty Witos, Marshal Józef Piłsudzki, the Mermaid of Warsaw, and the sculpture of Christ Bearing His Cross.
Claiming responsibility for the action are: a radical, feminist and queer collective Stop Bzdurom (Stop Bullshit), Gang Samzamęt, and the Poet
Just a reminder: we exist!
Other than hanging rainbow flags on statues, at each scene the activists also left a copy of their manifesto. It reads: “This is a raid! This is an attack! This is a rainbow! Commemorating those who fell in their daily struggle against hatred. Those, who were strong enough to take a leap in the dark. Giving faith to those, who saw their freedom and safety stolen by the state. Calling for an open war on discrimination. Ordering not to plead. Never again beg for respect and mercy. This city belongs to us all. F*** you, ignorants”.
The authors also published an extended version of the manifesto online. It says: “We decided to act. As long as I’m afraid to hold your hand. As long as long as the last van promoting homophobic slogans still roams our streets. This here, the rainbow, is our manifestation of difference. As long as this flag is seen as something offensive and inappropriate, we solemnly swear to keep provoking”.
Activists responsible for the action also emphasize that the Polish LGBT community sees ever more of its rights being infringed upon or simply taken away, and that the people are already too tired to “ask for mercy, and beg for respect and understanding”. “As long as we have to fall asleep thinking that things will remain as they are, we will have to remind everyone of our existence. You’re not alone. This city is ours, too. Fight on”- they call in their manifesto.
Law and Justice MP: we’re reporting a crime
The action met with a wide response online. Besides words of support and sympathy, however, there were also more critical voices. An MP belonging to the ruling Law and Justice party, Sebastian Kaleta, called the action a “leftist offensive”. On social media, he expressed his outrage over one of the flags being hung on the Christ sculpture in front of the Church of the Holy Cross on Krakowskie Przedmieście- one of Warsaw’s most prestigious and historic streets.
Kaleta also announced a press conference in which “he will inform the public about the content of a crime report submitted to the state prosecutor regarding the event”.
The Law and Justice MP is supported by attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the president of the ultra-conservative Christian organization Ordo Iuris. “We have to intervene. The escalation of attacks against culture, normalization of left-wing violence, and vulgar assaults against faith and the believers need to finally meet with a decisive legal response. Tolerating such behaviour gives permission to violence” – we read on his Twitter.
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