November 19, 2006
Rainbow Parade in Poland a Triumphant Success over Homophobes:
ILGCN POZNAN CONFERENCE PART of EQUALITY WEEK
Poznan - The 3rd stage of the ILGCN world rainbow culture conference
2006 in this western Polish city was a successful part of a highly
impressive week-long cultural, social and political festival including
discussions, debates, performances and exhibitions - culminating with a
triumphant rainbow parade with police clearing the homphobes and neo
Nazis determined to occupy the final meters of "Freedom Square."
Waiving rainbow flags from the podium and speakers at the
microphone denouncing homophobia earned loud cheers from the parade
participants who had refused to abort the march forcing the police to
take action - a sharp contrast to last year's homophobic, violent
attacks and police lethargy and arrests of LGBT participants.
Rainbow Culture, Humanist LGBT Support, New E.E. Secretariat
The conference includes reports on ILGCN activities in Poland by
Warsaw-based cultural ambassador, Lukasz Palucki and information work
carried out by the ILGCN secretariat in Stockholm. Rolf Solheim
reported on Humanist work in his native Norway and world humanist
support for LGBT rights.
"We are very pleased to have approved the idea of a new ILGCN
Secretariat for Eastern Europe in Warsaw - to give special emphasis on
the situations in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and elsewhere," says Bill
Schiller of the Information Secretariat.
The conference also confirmed the sites of next year's
conference stages - in Mauritius and Vilnius, for Iranians in exile
(Toronto) and Algerians in exile (Paris/Marseille). The conference
approved new cultural ambassadors and co-ordinators from Lithuania,
Italy, Mauritius and Iran. (see website)
Because the 2nd ILGCN conference stage to be held in Minsk
November 3-5 was cancelled after KGB arrests of the organizers, the
Poznan conference approved plans to hold ILGCN "Belarus in Exile"
events in 2007 in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. (The Poznan stage
replaced the stage scheduled for Jerusalem postponed because of the war.)
ILGCN Support for Europride & Outgames, Grizzly Bear Award to Poznan
Conference participants also approved support for ILGCN
activities in Poland when Stockholm and Warsaw share Europride 2008
events and continuing efforts to help the 2nd Outgames -- blending
human rights, culture and sports in Copenhagen in 2009 -- focus on the
crucial rainbow battles on Eastern European barricades.
Conference "Rainbow Warrior" awards were handed out to
Poles providing special help to the conference and LGBT identity in
Poland, and the organizers of the Poznan "Equality Week" received
the ILGCN "Grizzly Bear" 2006 for carrying out the successful
festival in the face of threats and shadows of last year's violence.
Also during the week, the ILGCN Warsaw ambassador and the
Information Secretariat protested over the Polish President's
statements on BBC news that gay culture "threatened to make
heterosexual culture disappear" as ridiculous and homophobic.
Moscow 2006 Stage Terminated by Bloody Violence
The first stage of the 2006 ILGCN world rainbow culture
conference took place in Moscow in May -- including a special 'Nordic
Lights' presentation supported by the Nordic Council's culture fund
and the Norwegian Embassy. However, the three days of events ended with
a bloody, violent, and tear-gas filled battle on Red Square with both
homophobes and police attacking LGBT activists trying to place flowers
at a memorial -- since the Pride parade itself was banned by the mayor
and condemned by all religious leaders in the city.
More information, photos:
Lukasz Palucki www.santi-moblog.pl firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Secretariat www.ilgcn.tupilak.se
Supporting the ILGCN Information Secretariat:
TUPILAK -- Nordic rainbow cultural workers
Nordic Rainbow Council
Nordic Rainbow Humanists