poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 08, 2006

Prejudice forms a new line between east and west

As gay people get greater rights in parts of EU, other countries entrench bigotry

Tourists and young couples ambling through the historic centre of Krakow on a warm spring afternoon were stopped in their tracks by a sight reminiscent of the era of martial law. As drinks flowed in the open-air cafes of Poland's ancient royal capital, a phalanx of armed police in full riot gear inched its way slowly through the medieval city.

But unlike the 1980s when authorities crushed dissent, today's black-clad police officers were protecting the right to free speech of hundreds of gay and lesbian marchers holding their annual parade in Krakow. The precautions were wise: within 30 minutes stone-throwing far-right skinheads stormed the protesters from a side street.


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