Police have arrested a Polish teenager after writing a supportive message for the LGBTQ+ community in chalk on the pavement.
17-year-old Malwina Chmara reportable wrote “leave LGBTQ+ people alone” on the pavement outside a church in the city of Toru, Poland, after protesters gathered holding homophobic signs.
Chmara, who took offence to the anti-LGBTQ+ protesters and their messaging that reportedly likened LGBTQ+ people to paedophiles, was arrested and taken to the police station before being charged with violating Article 63 of the Polish Code of Petty Offences.
“The police asked me for ID and then went into the church to confer with the priests,” Chmara told news channel TVN24.
“I waited for half an hour before the police decided to detain me in relation to this case. I wasn’t aggressive, I wasn’t trying to escape the police, and the officers handcuffed me and dragged me to the car. I remained handcuffed for the whole duration of the arrest.”
Footage from the incident has since been released, showing four officers standing over the teenager sitting on the pavement before dragging her to the police car.
Taking to Facebook to inspire others to stand up against anti-LGBTQ+ messaging, Chmara wrote, “If we ever want anything to happen, we must rebel. And, of course, the police will try to stop this …”
“I have not yet heard of a major social change which occurred with the full approval of society, the police and the government,” Chmara continued.
“I believe that if we mobilise and start acting for systemic change, each with his own resources, we will be able to create a different world. We are unstoppable. Another world is possible.”
Chmara is now facing a fine under Article 63, which prohibits “the placement of advertisements, posters, leaflets, inscriptions, or drawings in a public place without the consent of the administrator of said place.”