- February 20, 2013
Stanczyk: Why is the march “for equality” paid by taxpayers, and the scouts have to pay 2 thousand LTL?
The District Court of Vilnius (Vilniaus miesto apylinkės teismas) examined the case of Fr Darius Stanczyk, who on 22nd of January held a freedom march through the streets of Vilnius without the permission of local authorities. During the trial, the priest widely introduced an issue of the costs of receiving an authorization in local government, as well as he expressed his opposition to the march “For Equality” (“Už lygybę”).
“During the trial, I broadly presented the ensuing situation, the judge by numerous questions was trying to figure out and immerse herself in our position. The court was held in a family atmosphere, I did not feel like I had committed a great crime” – told PL DELFI the priest Dariusz Stanczyk.
The priest said that, while waiting for the trial, scouts who accompanied him met head-on with such number of young people led in handcuffs for the first time, what made a great impression on them.
“I think that for the judge a meeting with the people who talk about God, about prayers, was a different experience after numerous trials, where she had to pass severe sentences” – emphasized Stanczyk.
The priest said that now he can calmly wait for the judgment and that he is prepared for everything, even social work.
“I admit my guilt, because this is the truth – I organized the march, and I knew that the permission from the authorities was needed” – admitted his guilt Fr Stanczyk.
The priest explained that he has been organizing similar events for youth for several years, he has always asked the city authorities’ permission, but in 2008 the government introduced a fee for a permit. Its price has grown from year to year and today it comes to more than 2 thousand LTL.
„In November 2010 we wrote a letter to President Dalia Grybauskaite, asking for a free of charge organization of a peaceful march, but the government only reduced the fee. We had to pay 1045 LTL” – said Stanczyk.
The priest expressed his dissatisfaction with the march “For Equality” (“Už lygybę”). He stressed that already in 2001 he had expressed his opposition to the march of homosexuals and to the first congress of people of the non-traditional sexual orientation.
„The government has once again allowed the march of equality, for me and the scouts it is not acceptable. This is not an event that should be paid by ordinary taxpayers. In 2010, the cost of the police on a march like this reached 250 thousand LTL. I do not understand why children have to wait so long for a permit and pay for it. The scouting events involve the Poles, Lithuanians and Russians, who always demonstrate Christian values” – lamented Stanczyk.
The Father asserted that he will pay the penalty for organizing the march “because I want to have a clear conscience also regard the law.”
The Father Oskaras Volskis of Wędziagoły (Vandžiogala) interceded for the Polish priest.
“The priest (Stanczyk – PL DELFI) has successfully worked with the Polish and Lithuanian scouts, and therefore the basic question arises: why do children have to pay for a permit and the march of freedom is funded by taxpayers’ money,” – said Fr. Volskis.
According to Volskisa, the government should re-examine the procedures for issuing permits, especially for peaceful and not wealthy organizations.
“It was his protest against bureaucracy and I support it unofficially,” – said the priest of Wędziagoły.
The judge Virginija Liudvinavičienė promised to announce on March 4 of this year whether or not Fr. Stanczyk will be punished and what would be the size of the possible punishment.
Tłumaczenie Agnieszka Wiecheć w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Wiecheć the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.