On October 24, the Polish conservative movement Konfederacja organized the “Great March of Freedom,” a massive protest against the koronaterror (Coronavirus terror): the ruling Law and Justice Party’s excessive restrictions on Polish social and economic life. Tens of thousands of people assembled in cities across Poland, including Warsaw. The government proclaimed this event a health threat, and the police prevented thousands from reaching Warsaw by setting up roadblocks on the outskirts of the city. Further, they ticketed participants for violating pandemic regulations. Calls went out to make the people disperse. Finally, the cops started to beat up the demonstrators and shot rubber bullets into the crowd.
Simultaneously, a separate demonstration unfolded, that of radical abortion on demand supporters. They were able to absorb some of the Freedom Marchers because the police mysteriously refrained from attacking the pro-abortion march. Some of it was Polish chivalry, because most of the marchers happened to be females, and very young ones at that. But much of it is also government orders: Warsaw does not want to be criticized in Western media for being ham-fisted with leftist radicals.
Breaking out amidst much larger anti-Coronavirus-restrictions protest marches, a wave of violent pro-abortion demonstrations has engulfed Poland, paralyzing over one hundred large and medium-sized towns, including the capital city of Warsaw. Young women have been prominent among them. They dubbed themselves as “Women’s Strike” (Strajk Kobiet) and adopted, in their ignorance, a thunderbolt—one that rather resembles the Nazi Schutzstaffel’s rune.
“Abortion on demand” is their rallying cry. “This is war!” “Hell for women,” “Pray for abortion,” “F— priests,” and “F— off” are their chief slogans. “Show us your uterus!” a bunch of thirteen-year-old girls shouted at a priest in Szczecinek. In Białystok the bulk of the feminist marchers appeared to be seventeen-year-old high school students. They swore like sailors, which has become a trademark of the Women’s Strike.
Over the weekend, the radicals attacked government installations and parliamentary deputies’ offices. They besieged the offices of the Ordo Iuris, a legal NGO fighting Poland’s culture wars from a traditionalist Catholic perspective. They doxed a leading pro-life activist, Kaja Głodek, who requested police protection as her life has been threatened. They mobbed a Constitutional Tribunal justice, following her home. In one city, the radicals took over an abandoned hospital and declared it to be an abortion clinic. They blocked streets and highways. Most shockingly, they desecrated seventy-four churches and interrupted twenty-three Masses with lewd slogans and vulgar behavior—for instance, at the Poznań Cathedral.
Also in Poznań, the protestors defiled a military memorial to the Polish-Bolshevik War and a monument to Captain Witold Pilecki, a heroic intelligence officer who volunteered to infiltrate Auschwitz during the Second World War and his dispatches were the first vainly to warn the West about the Holocaust. In Warsaw, the radicals even defaced a memorial to the Czata-49 regiment of the 1944 Warsaw Rising, a separate one to the Hungarian forces that helped the Polish insurgents, and a monument to Ronald Reagan, a much-beloved figure to most Poles. In the countryside they desecrated a statue to an unborn baby.
Some of the demonstrators waved clothes hangers and a few came dressed like extras from The Handmaid’s Tale. Both phenomena are lifted artificially from the American feminist arsenal. They are culturally alien to Poland. Until recently, such dry-cleaning artifacts did not existed on the Vistula, nor is the author Margaret Atwood a household nameg.
These protest marches bear an unmistakable mark of progressive American inspiration and influence. Some talk even about the largesse from US liberal foundations, whose Polish beneficiaries (such as George Soros’s Batory Foundation) function pretty much like China’s Confucius Institutes at Western universities. They reward activists who promote their agenda.
In Poland, however, the objective is not whitewashing Bejing’s totalitarian regime, but promoting a Cultural Revolution—which, of course, includes abortion on demand. Extremist media outfits like Krytyka Polityczna boast openly that their funding overwhelmingly comes from abroad. So-called “community organizers,” inspired by alien ideology and bankrolled by foreign money, deliver the goods in Poland, just as Saul Alinsky mandated. As American patriots call such pathologies “un-American,” so do the Poles refer to them as “un-Polish.”
As Gladden Pappin has perceptively noted, America’s Big Tech loathes the current Polish government and the nation’s Christian and patriotic tradition. It is squarely behind the protests. Amazingly, no matter how vulgar, incendiary, and anti-Christian the messages of the radicals are, there is no cyber censorship whatsoever. Social media remains the main tool of the revolutionaries: to spread propaganda, to organize, and to assemble. The tweets and Facebook entries by their opponents are erased. Sound familiar?
Further, according to Declan Leary of The American Conservative, the radical agenda also enjoys the backing of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw. Other Western diplomatic missions likewise support the Cultural Revolutionaries’ postulates, if not overtly the actions of the protesters. The echo chamber produces predictable results back in America, where these Polish Revolutionaries are depicted as righteous “freedom fighters,” and their detractors are (of course) canceled.
Anti-Catholicism is a constant theme in these demonstrations. The top leader of the Women’s Strike, Marta Lempert, stated in no uncertain terms: “Overthrowing the concordat [between the Holy See and Poland] and stripping the church of its rights is insufficient. Right afterwards there must be a ban introduced to disallow the katols”—an anti-Catholic slur—“from fulfilling public functions.”
The tactics of the Polish demonstrators are straight out of the radical ACT UP organization, and their anti-Christian antics are of a kind with the sacrilegious “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” outfit which specializes in disrupting the Holy Mass in San Francisco.
In congruence with the American feminist ideology, private is now public in Poland. Whenever opposed, the abortion champions turn to hysterical violence with impunity, because, in general, the Polish culture recoils from physically confronting women. Along with the attacks on churches, turning to female-executed violence, these demonstrators have broken yet another important taboo: women turning to aggression. This is precisely what American radicals quite consciously did during the student demonstrations in the 1960s. Now, their blueprint has been deployed in Poland.
Perhaps the best description of these enragés comes from the pen of James Lileks: “What is it with these women? They are always screaming at big beefy cops, who are standing impassively while 97 pounds of concentrated bile shrieks the F-bomb because the police are not letting the protesters destroy/occupy/deface something. Luke Skywalker did not have this level of father issues. The rage is so off-putting and all-consuming you imagine it continues when they get home, and all their cats are deaf.”
Lileks was referring to our own American woke Furies. Yet it’s perfectly apt for their sisters in Poland.
What triggered the rage? The pro-life laws of the Polish government in general, and a pro-life ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal in particular.
For a while now, the center-left Law and Justice (PiS) government has pursued a pro-life agenda, whether of conviction or to gain votes or both. For example, on October 22, Polish diplomats joined a U.S.-led “Geneva Initiative” to protect life.
On the very same day, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that eugenic abortion is unconstitutional. Poland’s abortion laws are very restrictive, but exceptions were made if a doctor suspected that a fetus is seriously ill or handicapped. The Court decided that the Constitution protects all equally; hence, discrimination against the ill and handicapped promotes eugenics and therefore should be illegal. Apparently, the day for the verdict was picked symbolically to commemorate the elevation of Saint John Paul II to the papacy in 1978.
In any event, all hell broke loose. Demonstrators flooded the streets. They were aided and abetted by corporate media and opposition politicians. Calls for moderation and playing by democratic rules, such as issued by Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki, were either ignored or jeered at. Incidentally, the silence of the Polish Episcopate has been deafening. Only Szczecin’s Archibishop Andrzej Dzięga called male parishoners to form self-defense outfits. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Krakow condemned the church invasions. The Warsaw government’s stance has been ambiguous at best.
Meanwhile, the political opposition to the PiS government hitherto furiously defended both the post-Communist judges and the post-Communist custom-made Constitution, charging the current center-left administration with interfering with the judiciary and with violating the basic legal instrument of the land. No more. Now both the Constitution and the judges are suddenly evil. The slogan of “Abortion on demand” reverberates through Poland’s legislature, the Sejm, where radical deputies disrupted the proceedings.
However, Poland is not Western Europe. The patriots are not just going to roll over and play dead. The Furies have immediately encountered opposition. It is not the police; they have been ordered not to interfere except in cases of egregious violence. At worst, the cops leave the marching abortion supporters alone and threaten their pro-life opponents with tickets for assembling to protect their churches in violation of the Covid-19 regulation. Therefore, it falls on the general public to respond to this anti-Christian aggression.
As in the United States, there are still people in Poland who love Christianity and their nation. They also remember the Communists and their anti-religious propaganda and violence.
Like MAGA stalwarts in the United States, assorted Polish volunteers yelled, No! They flocked to defend their churches. Sometimes it’s enough for them to stand guard outside, and the demonstrators disperse, as was the case with Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. In some places, the defenders gave the male invaders a chase—for example, at Warsaw’s Saint Aleksander Church or at Poznan’s Most Holy Maiden Mary in Sumo. In Katowice, in front of the local Christ the King cathedral, the guardians endured a hail of bottles, stones, and garbage coming from the pro-aborts.
Who are these defenders of life and civilization? They are a multifarious and multi-generational phenomenon. The most dynamic of them are indubitably soccer fans, including the Legia team in Warsaw and the Lech squad in Poznań. There are also various outfits affiliated with the conservative Konfederacja. The most prominent among them are the Christian nationalist kids from All-Polish Youth (MW) and the National Radical Camp (ONR).
In Krakow, certain Konfederacja sympathizers patrol the entire town, moving from church to church to thwart the troublemakers. Among the patrolmen, arguably the most prominent one is MW activist Bawer Aondo-Akaa, half-Polish and half-Nigerian. He suffers of cerebral palsy and zooms around in his wheelchair. He never tires of stressing that had his mother chosen the eugenic abortion option, he would not be around to earn a Ph.D.
The consensus among the defenders is that the barbarians must be stopped now before it is too late—before Poles wake up in an occupied country, as Americans have, because we failed to fight back early on. The defenders, therefore, have vowed to create a Polish National Guard
The Women’s Strike still enjoys support in the polls but, rather than approval for their methods or demands, the surveys reflect a general dissatisfaction with the PiS government. Most progressives and post-Communists cut themselves off from the radicals. Left-wing former presidents Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Bronisław Komorowski condemned church invasions in no uncertain terms.
In the meantime, the attendance at the marches has dwindled significantly. In some places, marchers were attacked by soccer hooligans, which further discouraged participation. There were further rumors of Antifa reinforcements from Germany, which made the demonstrations even less popular among the general public. The Furies have now taken to blocking streets and highways, but that plan has already backfired. Not even pro-aborts like to sit in traffic.
There is also strong pushback on the internet. Pro-life women and their supporters introduced the hashtag #Niestrajkuje (“I am not on strike”). A war of memes and counter-memes persists. The pro-lifers seem to have the upper hand—until, of course, they are banned by Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech.
The government has finally resolved to clamp down. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, who heads the Catholic, nationalist Solidarna Polska (United Poland), has vowed he would charge the Covid regulation violators of the Women’s Strike to the full extent of the law. Church invasions in conjunction with violence can result in up to eight years in jail. The police have shown more initiative to thwart anarchy, although it largely limits itself to warnings and tickets, perhaps.
Thus, pace Rod Dreher, we are not witnessing the “de-Catholicization” of Poland—at least, not yet. Radical fury will be met with a steadfast wall of patriots. Their rallying cry is “Hands off the Church.” None is waiting for either the Catholic hierarchy or government officialdom to lead. It’s entirely a grassroots movement. They’ll persevere, Covid or no.
[Photo credit: Omar Marques/Getty Images News]