On September 24-25 Gdańsk hosted the 4th Congress of Marching Cities, organized by the Tolerado Association on behalf of the Polish Prides Alliance. The partners of the Congress were the European Solidarity Center (ECS) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Warsaw. The Congress was financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the Active Citizens Program National Fund from the funds of the European Economic Area.
The guests of the first day of the Congress were Mrs. Monika Chabior – Deputy Mayor of the City of Gdańsk for Equal Treatment and Social Development and Mrs. Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim – Vice Mayor of Sopot and Chairperson of the Commission for Human Rights and Equal Treatment at the Association of Polish Cities. The Congress was also attended by representatives of the Danish LGBT+Danmark organization and Stein Runar Ostigaard – member of the board of the European Pride Organizers Association, representing Oslo Pride.
The Congress was officially opened by prof. Ewa Graczyk, honorary member of the Tolerado Association.
During the Congress, a special award of the Marching Cities was presented to the Chairman of Lambda Warszawa, Krzysztof Kliszczyński, for his contribution to the creation of the Coalition. The reception of the statuette by Krzysztof was accompanied by a standing ovation.
The Congress was divided into three parts, in the first – open, held in the ECS auditorium, three discussion panels were held on: the impact of marching for equality on local democracy, the importance of Prides in the context of the situation in Europe and the course and effects of the first Activist Camp of Marching Cities. The second part, also held in the ECS auditorium, was the Plenary Session of the Coalition of Marching Cities, during which the Secretariat reported on the annual activities of the Coalition. In the voting block, two new groups were admitted to the Coalition: Myślmy Association from Milicz and LGBT+Activists from Sanok (congrats!). Supplementary elections to the Coalition Secretariat were also held, to which Wiktoria Barańska from Sanok and Piotr Buśko from Wrocław were elected. The third part, held in the workshop rooms, was devoted to the issues of integrating and supporting queer youth, cooperation with drag performers, legal issues related to the operation of non-governmental organizations, the fight against pogrom buses and the organization of professional events and parties.
The 5th Congress of Marching Cities will take place in the first quarter of 2023 in Wrocław and will be organized by the Kultura Równości Association.
Photo attachments for possible use in press materials (photographer: Pamela Gąsiorowski):
• Congress 1 – people taking part in the 4th Congress on the ECS roof;
• Congress 2 – Piotr Jankowski from Tolerado conducts the opening ceremony of the Congress
• Congress 3 – prof. Ewa Graczyk officially opens the Congress
• Congress 4 – Krzysztof Kliszczyński speaks after receiving a special award of thanks to the Marching Cities
• Congress 5 – Dr. Anna Strzałkowska, vice-president of Chabior, Magda Dropek, vice-president Czarzyńska-Jachim, Piotr Buśko after the panel on the impact of marching for equality on local democracy
• Congress 6 – Andreas Nielsen (LGBT+Danmark), Julia Maciocha and Stein Runar Ostigaard in the debate on the importance of Prides for Euro