COPS, POLISH ACTIVISTS CLASH DURING ABORTION PROTEST
A fresh demonstration against the attempt to tighten Poland's abortion law resulted in minor clashes with police, while officers used tear gas against protesters, Krzysztof Bastian reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Several thousand people protested amid high police presence in central Warsaw. The protest, organized by the Nationwide Women's Strike, was initially to take the form of a blockade of the parliament building in the capital, but during the day parliament was cordoned off by police forces.
Forced away from the parliament building, the crowd started marching through central Warsaw and eventually staged a protest in front of a building of public television broadcaster TVP. Tear gas was used in response to aggressive behavior towards police officers, Warsaw police wrote on social media.
Emotions were running high also in parliament. "You have blood on your hands," Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's governing social conservative party Law and Justice said towards opposition politicians, who voiced their support for the protest. Pro-government politicians have repeatedly accused the protesters of threatening public safety through staging demonstrations amid coronavirus restrictions in the country. The Wednesday protests were yet another instance of large nationwide street demonstrations that have followed a late October ruling by the Constitutional Court. The court ruled that abortions carried out due to irreversible congenital defects - covering a wide range of conditions from Down's syndrome to fatal illnesses - were illegal under the constitution, effectively introducing a near-total ban.