(Poland) - This year’s traditional Equality March in Poznan took place on 17 November. The march started at Adam Mickiewicz Square in the center of Poznan. Right before the march the organizers received the Grizzly Award 2006 "for pioneering efforts for homo culture and solidarity in the face of exceptionally ferocious homophobia and for carrying out the successful festival in the face of threats and shadows of last year's violence". The award was handed over by Bill Schiller, the president of International Les Gay Cultural Network.
After being banned in 2005, and officially permitted in 2006, the Equality March turned a success for the 4th time in Poznan, the city in western Poland (between Warsaw and Berlin) on past Saturday. The organizers can look back on a short, but brave tradition. The Equality March in November 2005 was banned by the major of Poznan, Ryszard Grobelny. Despite the ban, the organizers announced their intention to hold the demonstration and they kept their word. However, in that year, participants of the Equality March did not get to pass through the center of Poznan. They were blocked by two cordons of riot police aided by mounted police. The demonstration lasted two hours. After then police brutally used force and arrested about 70 participants.
In 2006 the major of Poznan give his permission to demonstrators after mass criticism from EU and international institutions and few sentences of polish courts (including Constitutional Court) which said that the ban was illegal. The Equality March was strongly protected by police and successfully rich the final place at Freedom Square.
This year’s march could proceed in peace with no violence reported. The march was framed into a series of cultural and political events during the preceeding week.
Pictures and video can be seen on www.santi.moblog.pl, additional informations on www.dnirownosci.pl
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