Current Affairs

Youth demo against homophobia at Polish embassy

Seth Ewin May 18, 2007
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Young human rights activists including many Poles staged a demo outside the Polish embassy as part of yesterday’s International Day Against Homophobia.

The demonstration, organised by the British Youth Council (BYC) was well attended with organisers saying that at least 70 people came for the two hour event.

Young activists including young gay Polish people who now live in Britain and activists from Scotland took part.

They were joined by Derek Lennard, the UK organiser of IDAHO.

“The Polish government has shown a complete disregard for human rights,” said Mr Lennard.

Peter Tatchell of Outrage! and Sarah Ludford, Lib Dem MEP, also made speeches.

Peter Tatchell compared the way lesbian and gay people have been scapegoated in Poland with the way Jewish people were scapegoated in Poland during World War 2.

Lukasz Konieczka, 23, a gay man from Poland who now runs Mosaic Youth an LGBT group in Brent, said that new legislation in the Polish parliament was bad for everyone as it prevented teaching children about safe sex.

“STIs are likely to go up in the next few years. There will be no such thing as sex education,” he said.

The event, while not a loud demo, (police in attendance had warned organisers to keep it quiet), did bring together a wide range of protesters, including several elderly people and a some activists with mohawks.

Maeve McGoldrick, 23, BYC Campaigns intern and organiser of the event was delighted by the turnout.

“It really sums up how we need to do something,” she said.

Ms McGoldrick is from Ireland and said that the demo was being mirrored in Dublin with the Irish NUS protesting outside the Polish embassy there.

A clothes line of letters written by people in attendance at the demo was hung up outside the embassy on Portland Place.

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