AfterPoland amended the law governing abortion, the decision sparked vandalism and violent protests that have shaken the country and challenged Poland’s ruling conservative government.
Following Poland’s top court’s decision, far-left, anarchist and feminist groups attacked Christian shrines, statues, and churches. These groups also broke into masses, and verbally and physically insulted believers. Even one of the most popular Poles ever, Pope John Paul II, had his statue desecrated while the famous Jasna Góra Monastery, which guards the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, was attacked until the crowd of protesters was dispersed with tear gas.
At first glance, it may be surprising that there is still a left in Poland at all. Ever since the last major left-wing Polish politician, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, stepped off the stage in 2005, there only has been right-wing leadership in the country, with the Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) and the Liberal Civil Platform (PO) being the two largest political forces in the country.
PiS is now in government while PO is beginning to shift its rhetoric, strategy and political tools to the left-liberals, meaning that it is increasingly similar to a western European Conservative party and somewhat akin to Hungary’s Momentum party. Although the increasingly liberal PO stood behind the protests, along with almost the entire opposition, a sizable proportion of the demonstrators can be safely called anarchists based on their actions.
So yes, there still is a left in Poland, and as we can see, it reached its lowest, most violent form during these protests.
The answer to this chaos has also arrived. The churches are starting to organize their own defenses with volunteers. These Catholic volunteers have suffered the most violent and direct attacks, many of them have almost been lynched, but Polish football ultras, who are not exactly known for their kindness, are also helping protect the churches, and sometimes dealing with left-wing protesters with less than kid gloves.
Poland today is the heart of Catholicism and almost its last refuge. Although we consider Rome, including the Vatican, as the seat of the Catholic Church, there is no significant state in the world other than Poland that can be said to be Catholic but perhaps a nation that is not even Christian. The country of the former Eastern bloc which has been through so much it is now practically the largest Catholic country in terms of religious division.
While in the short-term we cannot expect the protesters to abolish churches or topple governments, they will still try, because that is their goal in the long run, and they will do everything in their power to do so. Not only there, but elsewhere as well, including our county. That is why we need to pay close attention to what is happening in Poland.