In the aftermath of the coordinated violence on the demonstrators at the first LGBT+ march in the eastern Polish city of Białystok, Beata Szydło, former PM and current vice-president of Poland’s conservative ruling party PiS, said that Poland is a country where everyone can feel safe.
“We have always been known for tolerance, respect for others and let it be that way and let us not let intolerance or disrespect prevail in Poland,” she was quoted as saying by the Polish news agency PAP.
“Any act of intolerance or hate must be strongly condemned,” she added.
The Equality March stirred emotions in the city of 300,000, with the event being criticised by the local church and pro-life groups.
Hooligans and far-right activists made a few attempts to stop the march, throwing stones, eggs and firecrackers at the participants.
Riot police officers, there to protect the marchers, were forced to use stun grenades, pepper sprays and other measures to disperse the violent crowd.
In a handful of cases, women and children bystanders were injured in the chaos that ensued.
At least 25 people have been detained in connection with the disruptions.
Emotions are currently running high in Poland as regards to the dozen-or-so marches around the country, which have divided much of the society.
A popular weekly magazine announced it would release anti-LGBT stickers, which has been slammed by critics as comparable to hate speech against Jews in 1930s Germany.
Former PM and current European Council President Donald Tusk condemned the attack on the social media network, Twitter, stating that “all decent Poles, regardless of their views, must say: enough with the violence!”
“'Hooligans, antisemites, homophobia − nothing new. The tragedy is that the authorities are their patron,” he wrote hitting out at the Polish government.