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MP calls for Jaruzelski funeral blockade

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 29.05.2014 10:31
An MP for conservative opposition party Law and Justice has appealed to Poles to block the funeral of the country's last communist leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski.

The quarter of the Powazki Military Cemetery in Warsaw where General Jaruzelski will be buried. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The state funeral is due to take place at the Powazki Military Cemetery in Warsaw at midday on Friday.

“We will take rosaries, and we will go to Powazki on Friday and kneel,” MP Stanislaw Pieta told staunchly Catholic weekly Fronda.

“Let ZOMO [communist era riot police] try and drag us away,” he said.

“There won't be a funeral there of Wojciech Jaruzelski,” he said.

“If there will be 10,000 of us or more, the funeral won't happen,” he argued.

Jaruzelski, who introduced martial law in December 1981 in a clampdown on the Solidarity trade union, remains a divisive figure among Poles.

The general invariably argued that the action was necessary to forestall a Soviet invasion, a claim that many historians take issue with.

Nevertheless, Law and Justice politicians have attempted to distance themselves from Pieta's remarks. The MP sparked controversy in 2013 by likening homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality.

Meanwhile, Stanislaw Iwinski, an MP from the Democratic Left Alliance (a party led by Leszek Miller, a former member of the communist party) has lambasted Pieta's comments.

“If the word fanatic still has any meaning, then this is a case of fanaticism,” he told television channel Superstacja.

Over 30,000 people have joined a Facebook page protesting against the general's burial at Powazki. However, the student body that administrates the page has ruled out that it will try and physically block the funeral ceremony.

General Jaruzelski's family as well as army veterans requested that he be laid to rest in the military cemetery, and city hall approved the application on Wednesday. (nh)

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