Thousands of people have marched with rainbow flags through Warsaw in a sign of defiance against a rising tide of extremism under Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice government.
Speeches at the start of the Equality parade – which began at the symbolic Palace of Culture and ended with a “beach party” across the Vistula river – warned of LGBTI freedoms being at their lowest point for two decades in the staunchly Catholic country.
“We are fed up with waiting for change. This government is hostile but it wasn’t much better under the previous (liberal) one,” said activist Hubert Sobecki, 33, whose group Miłość Nie Wyklucza (Love does not exclude) wants marriage rights for gay and lesbian people.
“Now we have simply decided to end the softly-softly approach and call for full marriage rights. We are not even talking to the politicians. We are addressing ordinary people. We want them to get used to it.”