Postcard from Poland #7
On the afternoon of November 18, 2020, thousands of people gathered in the center of Warsaw in response to yet another call for mobilization against the almost complete abortion ban proclaimed by the Constitutional Tribunal. Indeed, even five years ago, it was considered nothing but a tool for the ruling Catholic fundamentalists – the Law and Justice party and its chairman Jarosław Kaczyński.
Ever since this sadistic verdict, the people have been taking to the streets in their masses. This is not only the case in big cities; it is also observed in towns and villages. The largest demonstration took place on October 30, with over 150,000 people marching in Warsaw. Similar situations with approximately the same number of people also occurred in Wrocław and Kraków. Further, although the rallies aren’t currently as spectacular in terms of numbers, the rebellion continues.
Yesterday, the protesters planned to besiege the building of the Polish parliament. However, when they arrived at the place, they saw something absolutely incredible: the building was surrounded by multiple metal barriers and rows of police vans and officers in riot gear. Absolutely astonishing! No government building has ever been fortified in that way, even during the martial law at the beginning of the 1980s.
In those circumstances, the marches, as they were constantly growing in numbers, started pouring out onto all the surrounding streets and finally blocking them. Some of the protesters even staged a demo in front of the national TV HQ, which has been emitting cheap and annoying propaganda in favor of the government for years now.
The police this time behaved extremely provocatively; indeed, they not only used gas and batons extensively but, while attempting to disperse the demonstrations at multiple points in the center of Warsaw, they exercised physical violence on one of the vice-speakers of the parliament and two female MPs, all of whom have immunity.
Then we had Kaczyński making a speech, where he accused the opposition of allegedly using “fascist symbols” and spreading COVID-19. He also said that “when the rule of law finally triumphs”, its MPs will be “in jail, not in the parliament.”
This is chaos, desperation, and violence! Their days are numbered!
Photo: Police in Warsaw put metal barriers around the Parliament on 19 November 2020 (source: Inne Życie Kraśnika, Facebook)
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Bulgarian and Polish activist, journalist, editor, publisher and translator. In the late `90 active in the Polish left and later in the labor movement, particularly the biggest Polish labor confederation — The All-Poland Trade Union Alliance. Until 2012 editor-in-chief of its weekly magazine. Contributor at Baricada.org and Strajk.eu, Polish correspondent for the Bulgarian National Radio.
Currently working as an editor and journalist for the Polish labor portal Strike and as a correspondent to the Bulgarian National Radio in Poland.