Thursday, 15 December 2011

The anniversary of martial law in Poland, 13/12/11

"Martial law in Poland (Polish: Stan wojenny w Polsce, "the state of war") refers to the period of time from December 13, 1981 to July 22, 1983, when the authoritarian government of the People's Republic of Poland drastically restricted normal life by introducing martial law in an attempt to crush political opposition to it. Thousands of opposition activists were interned without charge and as many as 100 people were killed.  Although martial law was lifted in 1983, many of the political prisoners were not released until the general amnesty in 1986."  (From wikipedia).

Surely this is a time for calm reflection of the events, and to pay respects to those who were killed and tortured, no?

Thanks to Gazeta Wyborcza, we know that that everyone's favourite bunch of rabid xenophobic homophobes PiS held a march to commemorate the beginning of martial law.  "Tusk to Berlin!", they shouted.  As the article says, members of the march they also paid respect to the fascist anti-semite Roman Dmowski, as well as having a homophobic banner.  Jarosław Kaczyński said that the "Polish state is sick".  He agrees with me!?  Nah.  His accusations were more towards Tusk and the rest of the ruling party, PO.

Meanwhile, in Wrocław, another mild well-reflected group paid their own respects:

Yes, the people who attack Jews, deny the Shoah, honour a fascist (see photo above) and attack a Romany house in Łódż.  The NOP.

During their march they chanted "Communists will hang", thus demonstrating, for the hard of understanding, that they are fascists (wanting to kill your political opponents is a big clue.)  They walked from the Cathedral Island to the city centre.  As I said here, this kind of thing is an attempt to claim the public space.  Unfortunately there was no protest against the fascists.  I daresay, that they think that we are all Stalinists, that a counter-demo would need some police protection.  Again.  If we had been there, we would certainly have been, to quote Professor Andrzej Rychard, "left alone".

So, the rabid right claim the public space and narrative again, with no counter-voice.  That, as Andrzej Rychard said is because Polish civil society is weak.  What we need is for democrats to do their own events, to stop enabling fascists and other xenophobes to dominate the narrative and therefore take control of the space, and bring other people to their message.

Oh, by the way, I've discovered an excellent blog looking at such matters.  This article supports the thesis that there is no "left-wing extremism" and that we need to concentrate on Nazis.

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