Homophobic nationalist to speak in Aberystwyth

CONCERNS have been raised about a talk by Robert Winnicki due to take place in Aberystwyth tomorrow (25th) at Old College.

The Union released a statement  last night stating their complete opposition, stating that PolSoc, the group which are to host the event, is “not an affiliated student society”, and after investigation, the University have confirmed that the event will not be taking place on University premises nor is it an official University event.

Robert Winnicki, the speaker at the event, is President of the Młodzież Wszechpolska (All-Polish Youth), a nationalist party who state that their objectives lie in the reinstitution of Catholicism and patriotism amongst the Polish youth.

However, they have received numerous criticisms from the international community for sponsoring right-wing fanaticism and homophobia in their ideological pursuits and campaigns. In response to their violent and extremist activities, a large riot-geared police presence is necessary for demonstrations such as Warsaw Pride and similar pro-choice events.

A Polish student who has had experiences of the All-Polish Youth Party, in conjunction with other ‘ultra’ right-wing counter-demonstrators, described the atmosphere they projected at Warsaw Pride in 2008 as ‘oozing with aggression’, recalling various hate chants, among which was “we will do to you what Hitler did to the Jews’. He illustrated the sight of stones and eggs being thrown into the LGBT+ crowd and a sign reading ‘EUROSODOMY HALT’ being held up in front of the Polish Prime Minister’s Office.

“For them we have committed the crime of existence,” he explained, “the city is full of aggressive Młodzież Wszechpolska members from across the country. Police protect the Pride, but when it ends you’re on your own.”

Students from the LGBT+ and Polish communities in Aberystwyth have expressed their shock in response to rumors that Winnicki will be giving a talk on University grounds.  The University released a statement saying that the event “will not be held on any of Aberystwyth University’s properties”,  and that “the University has a strong equality and diversity ethos and cannot condone any event which is perceived as a breach of such practices.”

Students’ Union President Ioan Rhys Evans has urged students wishing to demonstrate against the event, Winnicki, and the All-Polish Youth Party to get in touch with himself ([email protected]) or the Union’s Campaigns and Democracy Officer, Dan Meehan ([email protected]), so they can “support you in running it safely and efficiently”.