The challenge for the left in CEE countries is to lead the growing social protests and explain how NATO’s escalation of the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed against Russia are adding to the fall in the living standards of its populations.
A Webinar discussion on women’s rights to choose, following the recent ban on abortion introduced in Poland compared to the successful struggles of women in Ireland and Argentina.
Despite demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people, Poland has now introduced an almost complete ban on abortion. The population is broadly pro-choice – 69% of Polish people support the Women’s Strike – an organisation that campaigns in defence of abortion rights. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have been intent on banning even the limited abortion rights Poland previously had.
The 2019 Polish parliamentary elections were held on 13 October 2019. All 460 members of the Sejm and 100 senators of the Senate were elected. The ruling PiS won the elections, the far-right entered the parliament, whilst the left returned to parliament.
By Gavin Rae
The annual Independence march (Marsz Niepodległości) took place in Warsaw on 11 November. Over 60,000 people attended, some of them masked and setting off red smoke bombs. Banners were carried with slogans supporting things such as a ‘white’ Poland and Europe and against refugees and Muslims. Some demonstrators wore the Celtic cross or the pre-war fascist symbol (the falanga). Representatives of other far-right parties in Europe attended the march, with the former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, boasting that he ‘had an amazing time with polish patriots marching against Islam’.
The following article by Gavin Rae, on the elections to Poland’s parliament, was originally published by transform!
The recent parliamentary elections in Poland were historic, although unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1989 a political party in Poland has won an overall majority in parliament, with the conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) winning over 37 per cent of the vote. Also for the first time in history, the left will have no representatives in parliament, meaning that Poland is presently the only country inside the European Union where there are no left MPs.