02 November 2020
Impressive drone footage of protests against the Polish government's attempt to essentially outlaw abortion show the size of the movement opposed to the new measures. The protests are reportedly more militant and with a broader base than those that have taken place in previous years.
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Drone video shows scale of Poland's abortion protests (Reuters, link):
"Drone footage has captured thousands of protesters taking to the streets of Warsaw over the past seven days to protest a court ruling further limited the country's restrictive abortion laws."
On the nature and makeup of the protests, see: Poland’s Historic Fight for Abortion Rights (Tribune, link):
"Poland is on fire. During a historic recession, amid the worst pandemic since WW1, the Constitutional Court decided that abortion is unconstitutional in cases of lethal foetal abnormalities. This decision unleashed a wave of furious women’s protests, without precedent in democratic Poland.
The Polish abortion regulation bill from 1993 stated that abortion was legal in three cases: when pregnancy is a result of rape, when the life of the mother is at risk, or in case of lethal foetal abnormalities. In the last decade, an estimated 95-97% of legal abortions in Poland were carried out due to the latter condition, meaning that the recent verdict is an effective ban on abortion, with only the remaining 3% of cases remaining legal.
If the mobilisation in 2016 was big, 2020 is a force of nature. Picketing, chanting, spontaneous walks in over 80 towns and cities, several marches of over 50,000 people. The current protests take place after the decision has already been made, when we know for a fact that roughly a thousand women each year will be forced to carry to term foetuses with severe abnormalities.
The protests are massive, furious and unusually vulgar. “Get the f*** out!” is the official slogan of the protest: only a few months ago, this kind of language would have been unthinkable. The previous wave of political protests maintained a certain liberal decorum: witty slogans, caricature, satire, imagery, a blasphemous rhyme here and there. Now the slogans are both violent and clearly anti-government. As we roamed the streets of Warsaw in an eleven kilometre march, people gathered on balconies to wave and swear together, drivers sounded their horns to reinforce the slogans; a display of solidarity I have never seen before."
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