Protest for trade union rights at AELIA

In today's episode from the "One rule for the rich, another rule for the workers" series, a well-known journalist, trade union activist and socialist, Piotr Nowak, was faced with a choice of either spending 20 days in prison or paying a 1000 Zloty fine. The “crime” stated was the organisation of a small protest outside of the Fryderyk Chopin airport in Warsaw back in 2014.

On the surface, the wave of political earthquakes shaking Europe and the world seemed to have left Poland unaffected. The seething anger growing from decades of privatisations and austerity has produced neither a Corbyn nor a SYRIZA. Eight long years after the economic crash of 2008, an election for the first time in the new republic's history produced a majority government of the nationalist, ultra-Catholic Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, Law and Justice Party, (PiS), ousting the previous Civic Platform led government, considered “right of centre”.

Polish women staged magnificent demonstrations and strike action all over the country on Monday 3 October. They are fighting against a proposed law that would ban abortion under all circumstances, even in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s life. Even in this country where the Catholic Church is so powerful, and where the right-wing Law and Justice party won power just a year ago, the spirit of struggle is alive and explosive.

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