From Poland With Love – August

Topic of the Month

Stop the Nonsense

Małgorzata Szutowicz, best known as Margot, who is a non-binary anarchist activist and one of the founders of the Stop Bzdurom (Stop the Nonsense) collective, was put in pre-trial detention for two months for acts of civil disobedience, including using a knife to cut the tires of a van that drives around broadcasting anti-LGBT messages, including a claim that “homosexuals are preparing society to accept pedophilia.” Such a detention is normally used in cases of serious crimes and dangerous criminals.

Currently Szutowicz is facing one more charge, of hanging a rainbow flag on a Jesus monument belonging to a church downtown Warsaw. Szutowicz’s lawyer said she could face up to two years in prison for offending people’s religious feelings “by outraging in public an object of religious worship”, as well as a fine or community service for the second crime of profaning a monument.

According to witnesses, the activist was forced to endure “transphobic comments and jokes” during her arrest. She was also set to be detained in a male facility and denied access to a lawyer. She has been publicly misgendered by the police and PiS politicians.

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From Poland With Love – July

Topic of the Month

5 More Years with Duda

Andrzej Duda has won the Polish presidential election by a wafer-thin margin. He narrowly beat Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski with 51,2% of the vote. Both candidates collected over 10 million of the votes, something that had been done only by Lech Wałęsa before. Turnout in the second round of the election was reportedly 68,2%, the highest of any presidential poll since the start of free elections in post-communist Poland.

Duda’s slim victory was very disappointing for the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. Bearing in mind all the support the incumbent president got from the government, state television station TVP, state agencies and state owned companies, Jarosław Kaczyński expected a clearer victory and a green light for a series of new radical reforms. However, he received a clear signal that the support for his ideas is narrower that the power he actually has in Poland.

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From Poland With Love – April

 

PART I: COVID-19 IN POLAND

 

(Some) Restrictions Lifted

After Easter, the Polish government announced its plans on how some of the restrictions introduced in response to the Covid-19 epidemic would be lifted. In the first period, parks and forest were open for the public. Bigger changes were planned for May 4th.

As part of the second stage of exiting the lockdown, Poland opened a number of facilities on the first day after the long weekend (May 1st and May 3rd are bank holidays in Poland). The list of facilities that were opened includes: Continue reading

From Poland With Love – February

Topic of the month

The Race

After 2019’s pivotal elections for the Polish parliament, in which the PiS kept its hold on power, albeit slightly weakened without the majority in the upper chamber, Poles will soon have to make another important choice, this time for president. Poland will hold the first round of its presidential election on May 10th.

Half a dozen candidates are in the game, another 13 might be eliminated in March. Why so? The first official step of the registration process requires delivering 1.000 signatures to the National Electoral Committee. This step was completed by 19 candidates, including very exotic ones like Jan Zbigniew Potocki, self-appointed duke and anti-Semite. Now all of them have time until March 16th to deliver 100.000 signatures. Only six are expected to complete this task and find themselves on the ballots in May. And they are… Continue reading