By: V4 Agency
The demonstration organised by Strajk Kobiet (Women’s Strike) feminist movement Friday night turned violent with clashes with police officers securing the event. The foreign press reports highlighted police use of tear gas, while Polish news sources disclose further details based on police reports.
Friday night, feminists, organised by Strajk Kobiet, yet again protested in the Polish capital over the ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court on the abortion law entering into force.
Demonstrators took to the streets obstructing Warsaw transportation by blocking the high-traffic Dmowski roundabout carrying rainbow-coloured flags, flares and banners (reading for example: “Abortion is my right,” “Abortion Without Borders”), and chanting other pro-abortion and anti-government slogans.
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The march was led by a bus equipped with a public address system. In an effort to enable the flow of traffic, the police tried to separate the procession from the bus. Clashes with police ensued, officials reported minor scuffles, protesters throwing firecrackers at police, and a man sprinkling officers with petrol. According to local press, the authorities were also taunted and insulted with obscene language.
The police report states that officers employed pepper spray, “in response to the aggressive behaviour exhibited by individual protestors and those endangering police officers’ safety.”
In a statement, the authorities underlined that they will continue to respond decisively to aggression against the police. “Their safety is as important as that of other people,” the Warsaw police said, stressing that they are also responsible for ensuring the safety all capital residents.
During the night the police released footage of what transpired when the bus leading the march reached the police line. The video clearly shows the bus while sounding its horn refuses to stop, fails to get around the police cordons and instead drives directly into the line, pushing back officers in its way.
Several police officers were injured in the clashes, two requiring urgent medical attention. Some accounts claim Marta Lempart, one of the leaders of the Strajk Kobiet movement, was also injured.
The decision of the Constitutional Court regarding abortion went into effect on Wednesday. The October decision ruled the legal provision allowing for abortion in the case of foetal defects as unconstitutional. The court’s rationale states that the likelihood of defects or incurable illness of the foetus is not sufficient cause to end the life of an individual. Pro-abortion protests and riots have flared up throughout the country in response to the ruling.
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