The Polish movements Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Komitet Obrony Demokracji) and Polish Women’s Strike (Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet) warn that a number of street initiatives have been announced on social media to happen between 1st to 3rd May. According to the latter, “many of these initiatives are being set up by unverified people or internet entities or, what is worse, by populist circles on the extreme right.” The group reported to the European Civic Forum that the organisers of the actions have used narratives close to extreme right – („God, Honour, Homeland”, „Poland Fighting” – the World War II resistance symbol, hijacked by nationalists etc.). Some of them include suggestions of violence. The two movements took distance from any action organised during these days. They warn that these mobilisations should not be used as an opportunity by the government to squeeze even further civic rights, especially freedom of peaceful assembly, and democratic civic movements in the country.
„ On behalf of Polish Women’s Strike we inform you (and we ask you to share further) that none of the street initiatives planned and announced for the dates from 1st to 3rd May is an initiative of the Polish Women’s Strike and/ or is supported by us. Many of these initiatives are being set up by unverified people or internet entities or, what is worse, by populist circles on the extreme right. We ask you to watch out for the announcements, calls to action and protest events. Please check with whom and where you are going.”
Committee for the Defence of Democracy’s statement
„The Committee for the Defence of Democracy informs that it does not organize or co-organize any protests, demonstrations or pickets that could break the safety rules during the announced state of the epidemic on 1-3 May 2020 throughout Poland.
We would like to remind you that already on 10 March 2020 we made the following decision: “The Committee for the Defence of Democracy is suspending until further notice the organization of all events: meetings, concerts, lectures, debates, as well as demonstrations and pickets, in which more than one hundred people are planned to participate.”
At the same time, we appeal to everyone to be very careful and avoid possible provocations that could happen in the coming days in connection with demonstrations of unknown circles organized in several Polish cities.”