Rival marches in Warsaw mark martial law anniversary
PR dla Zagranicy
Several marches are to take place in the capital throughout Sunday, marking the anniversary of martial law, imposed in Poland by the then communist leadership 34 years ago today.
Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk
One of the biggest commemorative events to be held in Warsaw is the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's fifth March of Freedom and Solidarity, to begin at 1pm local time. The protesters, expected to number 10,000, are to show their support for the ruling government, which rose to power after the 25 October parliamentary elections, and President Andrzej Duda, formerly a PIS member.
"Let us gather at the march to show Poland that those who want to deceive Poles will not have public support, while those who act in the country's interest will receive such backing," party leader Jarosław Kaczyński said ahead of the event on Thursday.
As a way of commemorating the commnunist-imposed martial law of 1981, other groups of citizens are to take to the streets to speak out on the ruling Law and Justice's recent amendments to the law on the Constitutional Tribunal, a highly contentious issue in Polish society.
The opposition has fiercely criticised Law and Justice for pushing through the appointment of five judges in the 15-member Constitutional Tribunal in what the critics say was a breach of democratic standards. PiS itself says the step, pre-empting a Constitutional court ruling on the matter, overrides unfair appointments of the previous Civic Platform government shortly before ending its term in office.
An hour earlier, another group will protest against what they consider a distorted coverage of developments linked to the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland's mainstream media, critical of the PiS government.
Also, this evening, two separate protests of those opposing Law and Justice policies are to take place outside the home of PiS chairman and former prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński. The demonstrations allude to an annual vigil outside the house of former communist martial law leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski until his death in May 2014. For years, hundreds of citizens had been gathering at the site to commemorate the brutal crackdown of the anti-communist opposition, unleashed with the imposition of martial law on 13 December 1981. (aba/pk/rk)
Source: PAP, IAR