Civic protests to be held across Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
"Citizens for Democracy" is the main slogan of civic demonstrations to be carried out in several major Polish cities this weekend.
The Committee for the Defense of Democracy protesting in front of the Constitutional Tribunal building against Law and Justice's amendment on the tribunal, 9 December 2015. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak
Organised by the newly founded Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD), the protests are to put a spotlight on ruling Law and Justice party's recent amendments to the law on the Constitutional Tribunal. Opposition parties, particularly the Civic Platform, which lost power in the October general elections, and the Modern party, have been vocal in their criticism, with some MPs calling the recent moves of the governing party "a creeping coup d'état."
Law and Justice (PiS), meanwhile, says that by selecting five new judges it was righting unfair appointments by the previous Civic Platform (PO) government towards the end of its term in power.
The main demonstration is to begin in Warsaw at noon on Saturday, with the organisers expecting some 10,000 participants.
"Together we will stand as a nonpartisan front to protect democracy and show our discontent regarding what is being done to institutions in a democratic state," the founder of the KOD movement, Mateusz Kijowski says.
Public figures expected to address the gathering in Warsaw include the head of the Modern party, Ryszard Petru, the leader of the United Left coalition Barbara Nowacka, alongside the communist-era opposition activist and co-founder of the Solidarity trade union, Henryk Wujec and former Labour Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz of the Polish People's Party.
The protesters are to gather in front of the seat of the Constitutional Tribunal and march through the city center to the Presidential Palace.
Similar demonstrations are to be held in the eastern city of Lublin, Poznań, mid-western Poland, and Wrocław, in the south-west, among others. On Sunday crowds are to stage protests in the northern city of Gdańsk. (aba/rk)