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Annelie was there: The Masterclass Poland!

Annelie was there: The Masterclass Poland!

Last week was the first Saturday Masterclass of the season. The director of Amnesty Poland, Draginja Nadazdin, was present to tell the students more about the situation in Poland. She brought along the young LGBTQIA + activist, Dominic Kuc. Ekke Overbeek and Michiel Luining where there to tell the students more about the rule of law in Poland. So enough ingredients for an interesting afternoon. Our intern Annelie joint the Masterclass and this is her experience.

Hi! It’s Annelie again. As you all know by now, I will be joining a lot of Amnesty activities during my internship. As a Central and Eastern Europe History student, Poland has always been one of my favourite topics. Therefor I was excited to be able to join the Poland Masterclass on the 6th of October, about the Power of the street. 

The first speaker of the day was Draginja. As the director of Amnesty Poland, she has to deal a lot with people threatening her. Despite that, she and the rest of the people working at Amnesty Poland know how to keep up the good work. It is not always easy to take to the streets in the Netherlands, but in Poland it seems almost impossible. Luckily there are some people like activist Dominic Kuc who do take to the streets in Poland!

Dominic also joint the Masterclass. He was interviewed by Sarah about his life as an activist. He grades Polish High Schools to see how LGBTQIA+ friendly they are. He is only 18 years old, but already making a huge impact in Poland. It was so inspiring to be able to speak to him about his activism. He introduced the exercise about trying to think about a lobby and campaign strategy. After which we had to present our findings. 

One of the most unexpected things I learned was that most people who take the streets in Poland, are older people who lived in the communism era.  Apparently, there are not many young people in Poland willing to protest. But Amnesty Poland never gives up. In order to support our colleagues in Poland and specifically Draginja, we held a solidarity action. With yellow papers we formed the letters MOC, which means strength in Polish. It was quite difficult to form a pretty good C. Since we were standing on the ground, we could not see the exact form of the C. But in the end the picture turned out great. Now we know what it feels like to be an activist! (it ain’t easy!)

I can recommend joining one of the upcoming Masterclasses! It will make you think more critically about human rights. The discussions and lecturers are always very interesting, and it is a great way to meet new interesting people. So hopefully I will be seeing you at the next Masterclass!

Masterclass Poland Photo: Pierre Crom