Thousands of people on Saturday
gathered in the center of Warsaw, Poland demanding the release of a
transgender activist accused of hanging rainbow Pride flags on
Several activists were arrested for
hanging rainbow Pride flags on statues of Jesus Christ, the
astronomer Copernicus, the Warsaw mermaid, and others. Some statues
were also adorned with pink face masks.
The flags were part of a protest
against the anti-LGBT policies of President Andrzej Duda.
According to Reuters,
police detained 48 people on Friday for trying to stop the
authorities from arresting Malgorzata “Margot” Szutowicz, a
transgender activist accused of taking part in last week's rainbow
flag demonstration and cutting the tires of a van that broadcasts
anti-LGBT messages. The van drives around the city broadcasting
messages such as claiming that gays are a threat to children.
Activists said that the police were
physically aggressive toward activists on Friday.
While many protesters were released the
following day, Margot, who belongs to the group Stop Bzdurom (Stop
the Nonsense), is being held for two months before her trial.
Protesters also said that she is being held in a male detention
“We are here to protest against the
fact that these people were detained by the police,” a protester
Duda recently won re-election with an
anti-LGBT platform. His administration's vocal opposition to LGBT
rights has led to towns declaring themselves to be “LGBT-free
denies funding to six Polish towns that declared themselves
Saturday's gathering was peaceful as
the crowd chanted “Give us Margot back!” Most activists wore
masks to safeguard against COVID-19.