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09 Aug 2020 | 12:15 AM UTC

Poland: Thousands protest in Warsaw August 8 /update 1

Thousands protest in Warsaw to demand the release of LGBTQ+ activist on August 8; avoid all protests as a precaution

security
POL

Event

Thousands peacefully protested in Warsaw to demand the release of an LGBTQ+ activist on Saturday, August 8. On Friday, August 7, the police had detained 48 people after demonstrators attempted to stop security forces from arresting an LGBTQ+ activist during a rally in Warsaw. Reportedly, the activist named Margot, had hung rainbow flags over statues in Warsaw and damaged a van of an anti-abortion campaigner. Some of the protesters detained on Friday's protest were released on Saturday, but not Margot.

Additional rallies and counter-protests should be anticipated in major cities in the medium term. A heightened security presence is also expected.

Context

Recently, some members of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party officials have criticized LGBTQ+ pride marches in an apparent effort to energize the party's base with criticism of values associated with Western liberalism ahead of parliamentary elections expected to be held in October. Similar pro- and anti-LGBT demonstrations are to be expected in Poland ahead of the expected October elections.

Advice

Those in Poland are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

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