[VIDEO] Group paying tribute to dead trans girl violently attacked in Warsaw

Footage from drone

Warsaw, 25 May 2019

  • A shocking video taken by a drone shows several men attacking a group displaying a large Pride flag over a brigde in the centre of Warsaw.
  • In the video, the perpetrators physically assault several people and tear up the 20-metre flag.
  • The LGBT+ group gathered to pay tribute to a transgender girl who committed suicide by jumping off that bridge earlier this month.
  • Pictures show one of the attackers, who is alleged to be a prison officer, on the ground, handcuffed.
  • This is not a hate crime according to the Polish legislation.

A group of LGBT+ people and allies were holding a vigil for Milo Mazurkiewicz, a transgender girl who died earlier this month, on the Łazienkowski bridge in Warsaw. Mazurkiewicz, who was non-binary and suffered from transphobia, committed suicide by jumping off that bridge.

We decided to pay tribute by hanging a large rainbow flag on one of the Warsaw bridges. We went to celebrate a minute of silence Milo, a non-binary transgender person who jumped from this bridge on May 6”, says Julia Maciocha from the Proud and Furious group which organized the vigil.

Large Pride flag, belonging to Lambda Warsaw, over the Łazienkowski bridge in Warsaw on Friday 24 May 2019. Visible holes are results of firecrackers thrown at participants of Equality March in Lublin in October last year.

13 minutes in, the peaceful gathering, divided on two levels of the bridge, was attacked by a man who started to pull the 20-metre flag hanging from the side of the bridge. He hit a photographer and some cyclists who were just passing by. Then he started to tear the flag. “The attackers ripped apart the flag, tearing the purple piece I was holding with Ania”, says Wojtek Levicki, one of the organizers. “Violet in the flag symbolizes spirituality-spirit. We showed them that they would not break our spirit”.

A man is pulling on the large Pride flag, eventually ripping it.

The attack was recorded by a drone. The video shows a group of people on two levels of the bridge holding a large Pride flag on the side of the bridge. Two men run towards them and start pulling on the flag, ripping it. Something falls down in the river. Mourners try to protect the flag while one of the attackers pulls on it and kicks them. He rips a piece apart and throws it over the bridge. He then walks back to the group with his fists up and is seen attacking two cyclists, kicking them and their bikes. The video shows also his companion, who appears to be appeasing him. He then starts chasing a member of the group who took the flag with him, punching another person on the way.

Chcieliśmy oddać hołd Milo, która 6 maja skoczyła z mostu Łazienkowskiego – z bezsilności i transfobii. Nie minęło 15 minut od rozwieszenia flagi a zostaliśmy dwa razy zaatakowani. Na filmie zarejestrowany jest cały pierwszy atak (dwóch mężczyzn na dole, jeden na górze). Kilka osób pobito – co widać na tym nagraniu. Powtarzam – DWA RAZY zanim przyjechała policja zostaliśmy: POBICI i ZWYZYWANI w centrum Warszawy a flaga została zniszczona. Kiedy to się skończy? Podajcie dalej, nagłośniajmy takie sytuacje

Opublikowany przez Bart Staszewski Piątek, 24 maja 2019

Before the police arrived, another group of men attacked people who were holding the flag on the top level of the bridge. The video shows two men approaching the group yelling “faggots” in Polish. The operator shouts “Get him”. Someone from the group addresses the attackers saying “Have some respect to the dead”. The video shows the perpetrators grabbing the flat while saying repeatedly “Take it off, take it off”. The operator says “You’re gonna be on youtube, dude, drop it or I’ll hit you”. A woman says “let go off the flag. A person is dead”.

Chcieliśmy upamiętnić Milo i trzymaliśmy na moście nasza tęczową flagę. Spotkały nas dwa brutalne ataki przechodniów. To obrzydliwe. Jedna osoba została pobita. Podajcie dalej!

Opublikowany przez Bart Staszewski Piątek, 24 maja 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The police took more than 25 minutes to arrive.

 

Screenshot showing times when organizers called the police: at 7:13pm, 7:35pm and 7:36pm.

Upon arrival, the police arrested one culprit, while two have managed to escape. The man arrested is alleged to be a prison officer.

One of the culprits is handcuffed and sitting on the street. Photo credit: Bart Staszewski

“All this in daylight and in the capital of Poland just in 30minutes. It is a shame that we cannot even hang the Pride flag in Poland”, says Bartosz Staszewski, organizer of the event.

According to Dr Piotr Godzisz, advocacy officer from Lambda Warsaw, “This is not likely to be treated as a hate crime in the court, because sexual orientation or gender identity are not protected characteristics in Poland. At best, it will be treated as hooliganism”.

 

 

 

 

According to activists, LGBT+ people are vilified by the government and the ruling party, whose members are accusing LGBT+ people of “sexualizing children”.

 

Download footage here: https://we.tl/t-6t6EyUJARf