LGBT+ activist behind ‘Polish Stonewall’ not afraid to die

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09/03/2020

The LGBT+ activist whose arrest sparked protests that were dubbed the “Polish Stonewall” says she is not afraid to resume her hunger strike and die if that turns the tide against homophobia in Poland. “Dying from hunger is not the worst option when people are threatening you to be beaten to death,” Margot Szutowicz said, alternating between English and speaking through a translator. The 25-year-old refused food for two weeks last month, then called off her hunger strike as she could not get word out of the Polish prison about her protest. Szutowicz’s detention on Aug 7 – relating to damage to an anti-LGBT+ campaigner’s van – sparked huge demonstrations, with 48 arrested as they tried to stop Warsaw police taking her away. The following day, several thousand people marched in Poland’s capital, as the incident widened a sharp divide between supporters and opponents of the nationalist ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) over LGBT+ rights.

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