Freedom of assembly is one of fundamental human rights, therefore, any violation thereof is a disturbing signal. Over the past years, it has become a common practice to use public gatherings as a method of exercising pressure on authorities by social movements – when it comes to women’s rights, LGBTQIA community, or independent judiciary. That is why it is even more important for organizations of groups discriminated against to have access to such a tool and not to be excluded from taking advantage of their rights anymore.
However bans on gatherings disproportionately frequently affect groups discriminated against. For instance, since 2018, we have observed over a dozen bans on organizing Equality Marches in Poland. Being aware of the above, we decided that the existing analysis of freedom of assembly in Poland is incomplete and requires analyzing.
The objective of the project is to diagnose the execution of the right to organize gatherings, particularly gatherings covering legal and human matters. Researching and monitoring will allow us to diagnose the situation related to violations of freedom of assembly more completely as well as create standards which local NGO may advocate.
Monitoring will focus on 3 entities – organizers of gatherings, local governments, and the police. We will check practices and attitudes related to freedom of assembly in at least 6 cities. We will confront them with the experience of organizers of demonstrations related to human rights. Along with the network of organizers and partners, we will develop and present the results and will be conducting activities in order to guarantee freedom of assembly and increase the awareness of the rights of organizers of public gatherings.
Cooperation with partners: Hinsegin dagar (Iceland) and Oslo Pride AS (Norway) – experts in supporting groups of excluded persons – will help us develop recommendations in order to guarantee the right to organize demonstrations in Poland.