In memory of Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka (english version)
2010-04-14 16:46:32
These days, I feel especially, what it means to be Polish. After the presidential plane crash at Smolensk, I am shocked and surprised how much this tragedy really hurts me. The Polish President and his wife have died in a plane crash. Many important politicians and officials also died in this air disaster. It is extremely hard to believe in this large-scale tragedy that happened in the time of peace.

I want to sincerely express my condolences to the families and relatives of the victims. I want to give my special condolences to all people, that I know, i.e colleagues from the SLD (Left Democratic Aliance) and the Labor Union, who have lost MP, i.e. a candidate to President - Jerzy Szmajdziński, a MP and a Member of the Presidency of The Party of European Socialists- Jolanta Szymanek-Deresz I saw not so long ago at the PES Congress in Prague.

The greatest pain caused me the information about the death of the person, I knew the best. The going-away of Izabela Jaruga Nowacka hurts me the most. I will remember her as a smiling and friendly woman. I will remember "Jaruga" as the real European socialist, who didn’t fear to defend the rights of discriminated groups. I will remember her as a true warrior fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians. Finally, I will remember her as an open person, who never became big-headed. Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka was always open to contact with other people. Even during her tenure as a Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, her doors were open to all non-governmental activists. I could write much more about all things that the brave woman did for gays and lesbians. I could list all awards, handed her by non-governmental organizations. But I prefer to mention a situation that would always be associated with her...

It happened on June 10th, 2005, during the Equality Parade in Warsaw. I was a co-organizer of this illegal (at that time) event. As organizers, we walked on thin ice. We couldn’t even invite people to the Parade, because it was illegal. We were afraid that only few people would come. But when we had gathered near the Sejm (Parliament), we met thousands of people. Among them, there were Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, and representatives of German left-wing parties, i.e. Claudia Roth, the Head of the Green Party of Germany. Both Ladies were the most important politicians of the Parade. We knew that there was a risk, that the police could simply break up the crowd, but Iza and Claudia strongly supported us. We were also aware that if something had happened to them, a scandal would have broken out in Poland and/or in Germany. However, we were surrounded by the police and we were blocked from the west side by the members of the All-Polish Youth, that throwing stones and eggs towards us. Everything had pointed to the fact that this event was close to the end and the Parade would not take place. Then, the Deputy Prime Minister Jaruga-Nowacka decided to put into force a plan that we called 'mission impossible'. Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, holding Claudia Roth’s hand (who held Volker Beck’s hand), simply started to march toward members of the All-Polish Youth, that were throwing stones. Everything happened very quickly. I could only hear, as one officer of the Government Security Office shouted into a mobile phone: "The Prime Minister is in danger! Move on!”. Within a minute the police and officers of the GSO tore apart a group of the All-Polish Youth into two parts, that blazed a trail for the Parade. Finally we reached the Palace of Culture and Science in the city center.

If there hadn’t been Jaruga-Nowacka and her courage the Equality Parade would not have taken place in 2005. I would like people to remember this brave, left-wing politician and feminist, a great and reliable friend of lesbians and gays.

I’m going to organize the Rainbow Rose Conference in July 2010 in Warsaw. I can’t imagine it without Jaruga’s presence at the conference table. One day, The Partner Relationship Act will go into effect in Poland. I can’t imagine this day without Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, who as a good “mother of all gays and lesbians” will be a patron of the Act.

The great woman has gone away. Her absence will be painfully felt by myself…

Łukasz Pałucki
lgbt coordinator In Social Democratic Party of Poland - SDPL

(Zdecydowałem się udostępnić ten tekst w języku angielskim aby Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka była też lepiej pamiętana za granicą.)

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