We protest against the promotion of far-right prejudice in Polish Universities'

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We, international scholars, artists, journalists and activists, deplore the brutal infiltration of Marie Curie-Sklowdowska University in Lublin, Poland by far-right ideas and practises, as evidenced by granting a Marie-curie medal to a prominent misogynist homophobe.

The general election in Poland has brought with it a wave of ultra-nationalist far-right social prejudice that is working its way into the institutions of Poland.

This is a blatant attempt to normalize misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and racism. That kind of infiltration is demonstrated by the way the governor of the Lublin area, Przemysław Czarnek, an outspoken far-right bigot, has been singled out for honours over the heads of university departments.

Mr Czarnek has ranted against Ukrainians, Muslims, and our LGBTQ community,; he has also promoted the idea that womens social contribution be reduced to reproduction. Scandalously, he was given the highest academic honour awarded by Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. Many of my own students at this University are Ukranian, and the promotion of a polish ultra-nationalist agenda is deliberately aimed at hareming them. The ceremony was conducted in the presence of the grandson of Madame Curie, Pierre Joliot, with no dissenting voice, bar one placard held up by a woman activist that bore the slogan ‘No awards for those that breed hatred’.

It would be as though Nigel Farage were given the highest academic honour by Oxford University, used the platform to broadcast blatant hate-speech, and was unopposed. Protest is becoming increasingly stifled in Poland as censorship closes around progressive values.

Progressive employees and students are being subjected to an intensifying hate campaign and take this opportunity to appeal for solidarity with progressive forces across Europe and in the UK, as well as in the Americas and South Africa. We have circulated a letter of protest in local and national newspapers, to express a shared disgust at the normalization of these orejudiced views, and we urge you to express solidarity with us by signing and sharing this petition.

Thank you.