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'News from Roman' is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me.

Archives (14th June 2015): 20K in Warsaw

Presidential elections in Poland prompted lots of emotions… From my perspective, what was really depressing was a fact that the pre-election campaign gave opportunities a surge of xenophobia and hatred towards all kind of minorities that live in Poland. Although I was not surprised, I was astounded by lack of empathy to problems of so many of people living in Poland. On one side, everyone seemed to worry about poverty and social injustice, but only as long as it concerned white Poles… the moment that we start referring to problems of refugees, foreigners, non-Christians, LGBT, Roma communities… the compassion quickly vanishes... As a society, in Poland, we fear minorities… All these debates on ‘Poland’s values’ made me feel sad, as I could not agree with so many things that I read about and listened to. Clearly, I need to accept that democracy is all about the majority’s views, and as such I humbly respect that many people in my country tend to favour conservative values, but this does not mean that I agree with it - hence my very mixed feelings… happy to see people being able to express what they say freely, but sad to know that we still dislike difference.

Somehow, there was a ray of hope in Warsaw yesterday. The Warsaw’s Equity Parade attracted 20,000 participants! It was the largest one ever organised in Poland. In addition, the novelty was that there was no counter-parades arranged by the nationalistic movements (well, these may come later though). Except for the rights for LGBT and disabled community (traditional themes of Warsaw’s parades) this year’s happening heavily focused on rights of refugees and migrants in Poland. I really, really liked it and was happy to see that many politicians, actors, companies and civic society organisations openly supported the event. Most importantly, as mentioned, 20,000 people came! There is some hope after all Winking