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March 31, 2006

Warsaw: POLICE ATTACK LE MADAME, EXPEL OCCUPANTS

Le_madame_police_cordon Warsaw police have raided the renowned gay club and counter-cultural center Le Madame, and declared the club closed for good (for background and a description of Le Madame's important role in Warsaw's cultural life, see my article for Gay City News from March 29 on "The Siege of Le Madame." )

Lukasz Palucki -- a graduate student in social psychology, a gay activist with Poland's Equality Foundation, and one of the organizers of Warsaw Gay Pride --has e-mailed me from Warsaw to say that the police raid on the famous club occurred this morning at 6 AM Warsaw time. (Photo above left, the police cordon around Le Madame after the raid.)

Le Madame had been occupied by hundreds of defenders since Monday, when police blockaded the club and ordered everyone to leave. Yesterday, the American actor John Malkovich had joined a press conference at the club to express his support. This morning, however, "We had too few people inside at that hour to protect the club," Palucki writes. Police expelled all the 50-odd occupants of the club at the time of theLe_madame_green_chair  raid , including Magda Mosiewicz (right, outside Le Madame after being kicked out of her office), the chairwoman of the Polish Green Party (which now no longer has a headquarters, as their office was in Le Madame on its first floor). The police expulsion was very brutal, Palucki reports, with many beatings of the defending occupants, who gave passive resistance -- some of them had chained themselves to pipes and railings inside the club.

Le_madame_graffiti The expelled club defenders regrouped on the street, and chanted at the police, "TO NIE KONIEC, TO POCZATEK" ("It's Not Over, It's Just the Beginning." People continued to surround the club, and refused to leave. (Photo left: a graffiti on the outside wall of the club after the police raid, which reads "Generation Le Madame Still Alive.") At 7 PM Warsaw time tonight, a protest rally and concert has been called, to take place in the street in front of Le Madame. Two Polish political parties representing the minority left opposition in the Warsaw City Council (which is dominated by homophobic Polish President Lech Kaczynski's ultra-conservative Law and Justice Party, which had ordered the club closed and the police raid) have called for an emergency meeting of the City Council to discuss the police closing of Le Madame; those parties are the Social Democrats and the Social Democratic Union. You can see more photos of the police raid and the scene inside and outside the club by clicking here. For an extensive report I wrote on March 29 for Gay City News on The Siege of Le Madame, click here.

Posted by Direland at 06:17 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Police department is the most controversial and discussed department.Third world countries police is even worse. I have suggested many police reforms in my articles.

Posted by: pakistanpolicereforms | Jun 16, 2009 7:23:46 AM

I'm Italian. I'm not a fag. But I simply say that Le Madame was the best place I've visited in my whole life. It was the place to be, to live, to feel.
Dity bastards.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 3, 2006 7:41:38 AM

More Americans need to hear about this and letters/calls made to Polish cunsulates around the country. You'll never hear about this on CNN, so it's up to individuals to spread it.

Posted by: George | Apr 10, 2006 12:46:42 PM

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