By Madeline Roache and Suyin Haynes at Times
As LGBTQ activist Malgorzata Szutowicz, sits in solitary confinement for a fourth day in the city of Plock, central Poland, hundreds of people across the country are protesting in her name. On Friday, Margo, as she is more commonly known, was placed in pre-trial detention for two months, on charges of assaulting a driver of a truck that displayed an anti-LGBT banner.
The same day, hundreds of people gathered in the capital, Warsaw, to defend her freedom. In doing so, they were risking their own: 48 protestors were detained and many more injured in what experts say was an unprecedented level of police aggression against an LGBTQ demonstration, particularly in a European Union member state.
By Saturday, thousands had gathered in Warsaw to denounce Margo’s arrest and police aggression against LGBTQ people. And although Poland is experiencing a rise in new cases of COVID-19, at least 15 solidarity protests, both big and small, took place on Monday in towns and cities across the Poland, as well as in Budapest and London, New York, Paris and Berlin, with more planned.
While not all activists may agree with Margo’s methods, her prosecution and imprisonment has been widely condemned. “These radical actions are a part of history that has happened in many other countries before,” says Julia Maciocha, chairwoman at the Warsaw-based LGBTQ organization Volunteers of Equality Foundation. In a nod to the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in New York City, several users on Twitter started posting #PolishStonewall in tweets about the weekend’s events and subsequent solidarity protests…
Read more at Times magazine here.