LGBT rights groups in Poland along with other progressive sections have denounced an attack on LGBT activists in the city of Gdansk. On March 17, around thirty masked men attacked a training session of the Homokomando Trójmiasto sports group in Gdansk. Two of the athletes were injured and had to be taken to hospital. A police complaint was subsequently filed by the sports group. Homokomando leadership stated that the attack was carried out by right-wing terrorists who wanted to curtail LGBT activism in Poland.
Homokomando is a sports club in Poland which engages LGBT people and supporters to train and play together and to protect their demonstrations and campaigns. The LGBT movement in the country has been under severe attack and intimidation by far-right and conservative groups. The incumbent Law and Justice (PiS) party-led government is at the forefront of the witch hunt against LGBT activists. Violent attacks on LGTB pride marches and gatherings in different cities across Poland have been reported in the past as well.
The Homokomando leadership called the incident at Gdansk a terrorist attack and said that the attackers want to intimidate LGBT people into hiding in closets again and be afraid to be themselves. The group stated, “we will not be scared. We will continue training – just like before. We will continue to participate in protests in the defense of human rights, and walk proudly with rainbow flags. Demand being treated like humans. Because we are human, not ideology.”
“Yes, we will put more emphasis on the safety of our training. We train running, we will also train self defense; and we will make some changes in organizing training to make it safer. But it’s not us who should think about it, safety should be the state’s assurance. Unfortunately – the state doesn’t do it,” the group added.
The Polish Left, Lewica Razem, denounced the attack and extended solidarity to the Homokomando group. According to Lewica Razem, “President Andrzej Duda, the entire government of Law and Justice, especially Minister (un) of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro have been witch hunting the LGBT community in Poland for years.”
Homokomando and several other groups have called for an ‘Equality Run’ campaign in Gdansk on March 28.