Ruling party deputies call for halt to hate speech
PR dla Zagranicy
Two deputies from Poland's governing Law and Justice party have called for a shift away from hate-filled language in public debate after their offices were vandalised on New Year's Eve.
Łukasz Schreiber, a member of parliament, and Kosma Złotowski, a member of the European Parliament, had the doors of their offices in the northern Polish town of Nakło nad Notecią damaged and their buildings vandalised with signs which read: “You have blood on your hands, you caused the death of Piotr Szczęsny,” a Polish man who last year died after setting himself on fire in Warsaw in protest at the government's policies and decisions.
Schreiber and Złotowski said they drafted a “declaration against hate speech” because the opposition was attacking the ruling party, thus -- the pair claimed-- legitimising aggression and hate in the community.
“The language of public debate is very aggressive. Words are used which should not be used in public debate,” Złotowski said, adding that while PiS was in opposition it did not criticise the government as much as it offered an alternative direction.
Schreiber said that with PiS now in power, the opposition “refers to extreme comparisons, accusing the government of totalitarianism,” and that this paved the way for escalating hate speech against the ruling party.
They also said that they were counting on other politicians as well as journalists and public figures to sign their declaration to promote zero tolerance for name calling and belittling, zero tolerance for lies and manipulation, respect for private life, and curbed emotions.
They invited other people to sign the declaration on 22 January, adding that the document is a local one but that they would welcome signatories from beyond their region. (vb/pk)