LUBLIN, Sep. 29 (Reuters / EP) –
The Polish Police have arrested at least 30 people in Lublin, in southeastern Poland, during a Gay Pride march that has highlighted the rise of social tensions in the country, mostly Catholic, before the elections They will celebrate next October.
The authorities have reported that no one has been injured by the clashes, although they have confirmed that they have arrested at least 30 people. The far-right groups in Poland have held anti-LGBT marches in the past.
The ruling nationalist party Law and Justice (PiS) has made “LGBT ideology” a key issue in its campaign for parliamentary elections on October 13, claiming it is an invasive foreign influence that undermines traditional Polish values.
“We have received death threats, (this violence) exists to force us not to celebrate this march,” said Bartosz Staszewki, one of the organizers of this protest. While a helicopter flew over the place, the television images showed the riot police with a water cannon that separated the demonstrators, who flew the rainbow flag, from those who had tried to block their path.
The far-right groups tried to throw eggs at the protesters, as reported by the TVN 24 television network. In Poland, Gay Pride marches have become real battlefields, where riot police often have to protect the protesters of their opponents. The mayor of Lublin had tried unsuccessfully to ban Saturday's march, claiming to be concerned about security.
On Friday, the city's Court of Appeal announced its decision to allow the march to proceed. Activists and researchers have claimed that the rhetoric used by the ruling party is homophobic and that its objective is to mobilize the conservative base of the PiS.
The leader of the PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has publicly urged the Poles to resist the “traveling theater” of the Pride marches that he described as “a real threat to the Polish state.”
However, members of this party have admitted on other occasions that “they are not against homosexual couples, only that they want them to exist only privately.” In this sense, they say that all they do is support Polish public opinion, which remains conservative in this area.
A survey conducted in August by the research company Ipsos for the website 'OKO press', revealed that the LGBT movement was considered by the Poles as one of the most serious threats to the country, only surpassed by climate change. The PiS party has maintained a comfortable lead in the polls in recent months with support of more than 40 percent, according to the latest polls.