What an amazing week last week was. Whether you were near or far thanks to you all for making the Solidarity Is Our Weapon Tour so mind blowing.
Special thanks to the following legends for taking the time out from all you do in Poland for visiting
- Avtomat – Queer composer, producer, DJ and vocalist
- Monika Pacyfka Tichy – Women’s Strike and Pride organiser
- Łukasz Jurewicz – Stonewall Poznan activist, queer show producer and host
- Szymon Adamczak – Dramaturg, theatre and performance maker
- Jakub Skrzypek – Street activist and mobiliser in a wide range of Polish liberation movements
Here’s some pictures Solidarity our Weapon Tour: Polish – UK Queer crew, videos and speeches to warm your hearts. In the meantime to be added to the MPQA email discussion list email email@example.com and sign up to the Make Poland Queer Again internal organisers facebook page and public page if you are not already!
Looking forward to up-the-anti together as we approach a new year! Lots of ideas have been sparked such as supporting the activist civil disobedience with a series of transnational actions, supporting the London screening of 7 – MY SIERPINA and mass activist skillshares across our movements. In the meantime sign up to the Make Poland Queer Again internal organisers facebook page and public page if you are not already!
Mega love to Flying Capybara Films for the video, Naomi Gabriel for the poster design, Aaron Bergmann for the photos, The Glory for hosting us, Gay Liberation Front, Polish Migrants Organise for Change, Farsa, The Guerilla Foundation, Het Actiefonds, Network for Social Change, The Feminist Library, London Action Resource Centre (LARC), The Bishopsgate Institute, Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time, SLAV 4, Redfish, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), Dziewuchy London, Queer Polonia, Rainbow Poland in the UK and ALL OUT.
Mega love and solidarity, Make Poland Queer Again XXX
A message from Mike Jackson, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM)
‘Gethin, Ray and myself from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners were pleased to meet young LGBT+ Polish activists in London in late November. They told us about the struggles they are currently up against in Poland from the government, the church and the far right but they also told us about their victories and determination to keep on fighting for their rights. We compared their struggles today with ours in the 1980s such as Thatcher’s wilful ignoring of the AIDS epidemic which caused unnecessary hardship to those affected by the disease, the pernicious Section 28 which she introduced and the general background of attacks on the working class, especially the trade unions.
The Polish activists are working with activists in London on the ‘Make Poland Queer Again’ campaign and all are keen to increase international support, solidarity and financial help. Back home they are organising Pride marches in cities and towns where it has never happened before, encountering harsh resistance and enthusiastic support in equal measure, they are setting up support groups and community centres where resources allow. It is a tough but interesting time for them. Their cause is just, their courage and determination inspirational and in the end they will win but LGBT+ people in countries where our rights have been won must now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those still fighting for their rights.
A message from Marzena Zukowska – Polish Migrants Organise for Change
‘Last week, I experienced a profound moment of radical joy. I was invited to speak at an event at The Glory in London hosted by Make Poland Queer Again. I had never been surrounded by so many queer and nonbinary Polish people. It was cathartic.
When I reflect on my home country, I recognise the rise in homophobia, toxic border regimes and attacks on women’s rights are not unique to Poland. In fact, it’s dangerous to pathologise Poland as being uniquely homophobic. It underestimates the global power of these ideologies.
From Johnson in the UK to Bolsonaro in Brazil to Trump in the US to Modi in India to Orban in Hungary, conservative governments have passed laws and spread narratives in the service of fascism.
By fascism, I mean a consolidation of capitalist nationalist power that keep wealthy white cisgender heterosexual ablebodied men in control. It’s predicated on control of our bodies – queer and trans bodies, women’s bodies, immigrant bodies, Black bodies. It thrives on suppression of democracy and dissent and narratives that pit communities against each other. Poland’s Law & Justice Party is not just motivated by social conservatism. It’s channeling a political strategy to maintain power.
As leftists, we often underestimate how well-organised conservative movements are. Campaigners like Kaja Godek & Ordo Iuris are constantly sharing finances, best practices and messaging with homophobic and anti-abortion groups in other countries.
We too need to get organised. Global solidarity is our greatest weapon. This means rejecting divide and conquer narratives that isolate us and our power. Our identities do not exist in isolation. If we fight for the rights of queer/trans folks, then we must reject border regimes to stand up for migrants. If we’re willing to protest in front of the Polish Embassy for reproductive freedoms, then we must be ready to say Black Lives Matter. Our liberation is tied to one another.
Thank you Aaron Bergmannn for the gorgeous photos: Dan Glass for the chance to speak; Gay Liberation Front UK legend Stuart Feather for sharing wisdom; xrol for the gorgeous performance; and all of the Polish activists and speakers Monika Tichy Kajetan Łukomski Jaroslaw Ploszajski Kubiak Magda Oljejor Łukasz Jurewicz and so many others. I’m humbled.’
A message from Monika Tichy, Lambda Szczecin
Wracamy z Londynu, co udało nam się zrobić przez ostatni tydzień?
Ten tydzień był bardzo intensywny dla osób członkowskich naszego stowarzyszenia. Na zaproszenie koalicji Make Poland Queer Again -założonej przez Dan Glass i Monika Tichy – spędziłyśmy niezapomniane kilka dni nawiązując nowe współprace i wymieniając się doświadczeniem.
Brałyśmy udział w wydarzeniu z okazji wydania przez Sarę Shulman książki “Let the record show”, gdzie zobaczyłyśmy film dokumentalny …
We’re coming back from London, what have we managed to do over the last week?
This week has been very intense for members of our association. At the invitation of the Make Poland Queer Again coalition – founded by Dan Glass i Monika Tichy – we spent a few unforgettable days building new collaborations and sharing experiences.
We attended an event to celebrate Sara Shulman’s release of the book “Let the record show” where we saw a documentary about Act Up from New York, we heard the history of living activists of this movement in the 80s. and 90. and we contacted them for the possible sharing of their know-how and training on the subject of direct activist actions about the character that Act Up used and uses in the fight against the AIDS pandemic.
We went on a tour of London with a still-living Gay Liberation Front UK activist – Stuartem Feather, who showed us the capital of the UK as he remembers from his youth when he fought for LGBT+ rights. He told us about police brutality, indifference of politicians and ways to deal with discrimination.
Polish activist and playwright living in Amsterdam – Szymon Adamczak – gave us a lecture on the history of one of the activists in the 70s. – Bobie Mellorsie, who was murdered in Warsaw. The story of his life and murder was completed by Simon’s tracing his story, which had a huge meaning to the still living GLF activists and activists who didn’t know what happened to their friend.
In The Glory club there was a special meeting with Monika Tichy, Łukasz Jurewicz , Kajetan Łukomski, Jakub Skrzypek from Poland and other activists permanently residing in Lon pumpkins but those involved in Poland’s affairs are there. We watched the documentary “Never again – fighting the far right”, and after that we discussed the situation in Poland with a hall full of people interested in the situation in our country. We answered questions about LGBT free zones, Polish fascism, Margot Szutowicz, Polish March for Equality and international relations.
Thanks to Dani – a non-binary activist from London – we went on a Queer Tour around the city, listening to the queer SOHO culture from the 20s. and 30. of the last century. We know where the first official (then also) gay clubs opened, where the first scandals appeared after leaving the closet of local artists and where unfortunately mass arrests of the queer community took place.
On the last day we went to a meeting with the living members of LGSM – Lesbians and gays supporting miners. The organization based on which the film “Proud and Furious” was created (English. PRIDE). We saw the legendary Gay’s The Word bookstore and discussed a strategy for linking anti-current activism paths with various professional groups – just as LGSM combined forces with miners back then.
Thank you very much for the invitation and we are sure that our cooperation will bear a lot of activist fruits.