Warsaw mayor accents tolerance in speech to Equality March participants

The mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski takes part in the city’s Equality March Andrzej Lange/PAP

The mayor of Warsaw pointed out the significance of tolerance during his speech to those taking part in the city’s Equality March on Saturday.

"A smile is a symbol of tolerance, and tolerance signifies a happy, open and European society," Rafal Trzaskowski said.

"This signal from Warsaw is not only being sent to Poland but to the entire world: That Warsaw is European, that Warsaw is smiling and that Warsaw is tolerant," he added. 

"The entire LGBT+ community in Warsaw will always feel safe, and I hope that you will also feel safe in Poland," he told those taking part in the march. "The task of every local government official is to support all those who the populist authorities try to marginalise, hound and build myths around that have nothing in common with reality."

The mayor also thanked the organisers of the parade and all those who supported it.

He also expressed his gratitude to Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, who attended the parade: "We are demonstrating our commitment to the values embodied in the Pact of Free Cities, and this solidarity and mutual support is extremely important." 

The pact, founded by the mayors of the Visegrad Four capitals (Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest) in 2019, is a global network of cities determined to stand up for progressive values and fight against nationalistic populism.

As he noted, "there are those who are trying to deceive and dupe Polish society by saying that diversity, freedom and tolerance are a threat to the Polish family." 

"There is no greater lie, because it is diversity, tolerance and equal rights for everyone that guarantees the establishment of an open and smiling society," the mayor added. "Posing a threat to the Polish family are those who are destroying Polish education, those who are responsible for inflation and those who are not in favor of diversity." 

The parade, under the motto "We stand for equality and beauty", set off from a park near the city centre at 2 p.m.

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