WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Daily anti-government protests in Poland entered a third week Thursday with grandmothers rallying in Warsaw and smaller demonstrations held in other cities and towns.
Women’s rights activists say the nationwide protests they lead will be taking on new forms, including on the internet.
Massive street rallies held in the past two weeks have disregarded an anti-COVID-19 ban on public gatherings. The government blames them for the recent spike in the number of new infections — over 27,100 Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of Poles took to the streets after a top court ruled Oct.22 to further tighten Poland’s abortion law, that is already one of the strictest in Europe. They are demanding the right of choice for women and calling for the right-wing government to resign.
Women who described themselves as grandmothers rallied in downtown Warsaw with signs reading “Freedom, Equality, Women’s Rights” and logos of the “Women’s Strike” rights organization that leads the protests. Some also had signs with an obscenity used by protesters to urge the government to go.
Protest marches were held in two Warsaw satellite towns of Otwock and Pruszkow and in other places in Poland.
City councilors in Koszalin, in the north, adopted a resolution saying they back women’s demands.
Facing the massive anger, the conservative government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is delaying the formal publication and implementation of the court ruling and Morawiecki has called for talks with the protesters and the opposition.
When the ruling takes effect, abortion will be permitted in Poland only if the pregnancy endangers the woman’s health or results from rape or incest.
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