About a hundred thousand protesters took to the streets in the Polish capital Warsaw on Friday, in the biggest protest expressing public anger against the Party of Justice and the Law of the Right Wing (PiS). Lan since the party took office in 2015.
Protests have been held across the country since Poland’s constitutional courts announced earlier this month that abortion is in the case of a diagnosed fetus with a serious and irreversible birth defect. Anise is unconstitutional. Such procedures account for about 96% of legal abortions in Poland, which already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.
On Wednesday, activists advocating for the so-called “women̵7;s strike”, which attracted more than 400,000 protesters in more than 400 towns and cities across the Central European nation.
Just hours before Friday’s protests, Andrzej Duda, Poland’s right-wing president, announced what he describes as a “legislative solution” to the political crisis, proposing that an end to Operation in the event of birth defects is eventually allowed. However, the termination of the fetus with diseases such as Down syndrome is prohibited.
Strongly criticized by Polish medical and legal institutions, Duda’s intervention failed to quell the rage that left the government and its de facto leader, PiS founder Jarosław Kaczyński, reeling.
On Friday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered at points across the city, chanting “I think, I feel, I decide” and anti-PiS slogans.
The protests, held as the government put in place increasingly stricter restrictions to deal with the sharp rise in coronavirus infections and deaths in recent weeks, have been characterized by humorous slogans and banners and participation by Poles in their teens and early 20s.
But there were also violent incidents that occurred when nationalist bands dressed in black attacked protesters in the streets of central Warsaw. According to Polish police, some people were arrested with knives and batons.
Earlier this week, Kaczyński gave a national speech urging his supporters to protect churches from protests, after services were interrupted and, in some cases, churches. was devastated in the protests last weekend. Some have blamed the PiS leadership for tacitly encouraging far-right groups to attack protesters.
On Friday night, gathered in central Warsaw, tens of thousands of protesters marched north to the leafy suburbs where Kaczyński lives, only to be stopped by hundreds of riot police.
“I just spoke to a young woman who told me she is 24 years old and she has done nothing in the past six days except to protest,” Maja Wojcikowska, one of the organizers of the protest, told TVN TV station. “There is an incredible energy, we won’t be wasting it.”