Polish opposition activist handed paltry fine after beating police officer with a flag pole

Pro-abortion protests in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A prominent Polish anti-government activist known as “Grandma Kate,” who is a regular participant in opposition protests against the ruling party, has walked away with a fine after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer.

A retired English and Spanish teacher, “Grandma Kate” has become one of the most recognizable faces of the protests against judicial reforms and restrictions on abortion in Poland.

And this was not the first conviction against her. She was previously arrested for abusive, aggressive behavior and has been indicted at least a dozen times.

After being convicted this time around for attacking a police officer with a flag pole, the court sentenced her to pay a small fine of €100 and a victim surcharge of just €70 to the officer involved, a decision that has sparked widespread criticism.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro criticized the leniency of the sentence, contrasting the small fine with the three-year prison sentence received recently by a young radical nationalist for grabbing a rainbow-colored bag after an LGBT pride march.

“Look! It turns out you can beat a police officer — even with a stick — on the condition that you are fighting for opposition leader Donald Tusk to come to power and for LGBT rights,” Ziobro tweeted sarcastically. “Then you will pay a few hundred złotys at most and you can go beat someone else.”

“It’s different when you protest against LGBT. Then you mustn’t even snatch a rainbow bag, because the caste will put you in prison for three years,” he added.

“Caste” is a term used by the ruling conservatives to describe judges who oppose the government. 

The justice minister confirmed that public prosecutors intend to appeal against the leniency of the sentence, a sentence he claimed was “especially puzzling given that the court shared the prosecutor’s view that the crime committed was of a hooligan nature.”

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