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Turning Point in Poland as Political Leaders March in Pride Event

Plock Pride

Members of the Wiosna political alliance stood alongside LGBTQ activists at a first-of-its-kind celebration, weeks after similar festivities were met with violence.

It's been a year of pride, prominence, and violent pushback for LGBTQ Poles this year. But now a group of liberal political leaders in the Eastern European nation has embraced the local activist community there, giving a small lift in political power in a still-conservative nation.

Robert Biedron, a member of the European Parliament and leader of the Wiosna political alliance, marched in a Pride parade this weekend in the city of Plock, according to Politico.

"We have to be here for freedom," Biedron, an out politician, told the publication.

Three leaders of the political alliance participated in the event, Politico reports.

The Plock parade, a first-of-its-kind event in the city, went off without violence, reports Euronews. There was a heavy police presence around the event following violent counterprotests that marred a debut Pride event in Bialystok last month.

The eruption of so many Pride events in Poland, now accompanied with participation by actual elected officials, marks a significant increase in visibility for the country's queer population.

But the new events have been greeted with threats even when actual violence has been avoided.

And the rise in LGBTQ activism follows a marked increase in political successes for Poland's arch-right Law and Justice party, now the ruling party in the nation. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Law and Justice party head, has treated Pride events with open hostility.

"The LGBT movement and gender threaten our identity, threaten our nation, threaten the Polish state," Kaczynski told a conference, according to

But despite the Bialystok turmoil earlier this year, events since have drawn broad participation and have not faced the same type of attacks, including a peaceful Pride event in Warsaw that drew more than 1,000 people.

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