European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Firecracker with homophobic language at university event in Poland

On Monday 16 January, unknown perpetrators threw a firecracker with "no fags allowed" written on it during a presentation of the Queer UW scientific circle at the University of Warsaw.

[translation of original statement from KPH Campaign Against Homophobia]

On Monday, January 16th, unknown perpetrators threw a firecracker with "no fags allowed" written on in and some offensive leaflets into a room where a film screening organized by Queer UW scientific circle was being held. In reaction to this homophobic incident, which took place at the University of Warsaw, Campaign Against Homophobia has issued a statement and a letter to the Chancellor asking for intervention and offering help and support with regards to actions that could be undertaken in order to improve safety of students.

The screening of "Brother Outsider" was organized on Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Martin Luther King Jr. was the most widely know black activist who fought to secure racial equality of all people. The protagonist in the movie is Bayard Rustin, who was wiped out from history of the movement because of being gay. The documentary serves as a reminder of his work and achievements.

 

During the screenig someone opened the door and threw a firecracker inside. There were some insulting things written on it – says Agnieszka Ziemińska, Queer UW president. - When they were running out of the building, they also threw some offensive leaflets aimed at our organization. Luckily no one was hurt.

 

After the firecracker went off, the audience moved to another room and the screening was continued. Representatives of the students union authorities, who were present in the building called university guards and the police, who are currently carrying out investigation. The University of Warsaw issued a statement, firmly condemning the incident.

Statement of the Campaign Against Homophobia:

In reaction to a firecracker with "no fags allowed" written on it being thrown into a room during a film screening organized by a student organization Queer UW, we express our serious distress with regards to increasing violence towards LGBT persons. In the last few months we have observed intensification of attacks on the grounds of discrimination. Lack of outright reaction of the authorities to this type of crimes creates an atmosphere of consent, and low detectability of these crimes allows the perpetrators to act with impunity.

We ask the university authorities and the police to thoroughly investigate this incident and take on all possible measures to assure the safety of all students of the University of Warsaw. We also ask the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro to condemn the attacks on the grounds of discrimination and take specific actions leading to stopping hate crimes. We believe that despite political differences the Minister of Justice will agree that the safety of all citizens, including students, is crucial and should be considered as a priority.