Over the weekend politicians tried their best to campaign. One of the candidates for the MEP came to Częstochowa… two short stories about some weird incidents taking place in Poland. Let me assure you, not all is rosy, but also not all is black. The next winter will be coming only in eight months.
Saturday, 30 March 2019, Częstochowa. 1500 nationalists take part in their annual pilgrimage to the Jasna Góra shrine, a Catholic monastery in the southern Polish city. Historically it is one of the most important religious sites in the country. In recent years it became a major site for the Polish nationalists.
On Saturday the usual offensive words are used against the cosmopolitan, multinational, rainbow, colourful, open Poland. “There is a civilizational assault on Poland. Under the sign of the rainbow flag, there is an attempt to steal the values such as truth and love“, says a Catholic priest Henryk Grządko, according to oko.press. The participants shout their regular slogans “Great Catholic Poland” or “God, Honour, Fatherland”.
Among the participants is the candidate of the far-right for the European Parliament Kaja Godek. She was clearly moved and tweeted this photo…
Sunday, 31 March 2019. Another priest of the Catholic Church organises a local book burning. Your regular after Church activity, right? Apparently the local priest has been collecting books from his parish for a few days. The targeted books and other items are all those which “bring the power of evil”. TVN24 has the full story.
Among the burned books are the Harry Potter saga, other fantasy books, books about Hinduism and amulets: a mask, a figurine of an elephant. Also targetted are an Hello Kitty umbrella and paintings.
The weekend is over. Reactions to those backward-looking incidents come in. The book burning is not welcomed anywhere. Even the PiS government is critical. Jarosław Gowin, who serves as the vice-prime minister and minister for science tweeted “censorship or book burning cannot be the response to wrong books; write the good books”. The popularity of the move, however, transcends borders. The BBC wrote about the book burning.
No specific reactions to the far-right march in Częstochowa, except for left wing commentators denouncing the activity as in fact anti-Catholic. It seems the far right becomes a new norm.
Law and Justice is heavily criticised by the far right as in fact pro-gay, pro-Jewish and pro-abortion party. Is it? Just last month the PiS leader turnout out to be a homophobe? Yet the far-right attacks the ruling party for being “soft”. See this tweet as an example “denouncing” vice-prime minister Gowin who allegedly said “Poland is the fatherland of two nations. It is the fatherland of the Polish and Jewish nations” and the Konfederacja (Poland’s far-right’s party’s current name) responds: “Mr Vice-PM, Poland is the fatherland of the Polish nation, NO OTHER”.
The PiS reaction is precious. Wait, what reaction? PiS reaction to the far right is next to non-existent. Only once the PiS minister for interior and the party candidate in EP elections Joachim Brudziński apologised for his slow reaction to the far right activity (January).
The PiS proper reaction is different. Back in December a nationalist was appointed a minister in the Mateusz Morawiecki government. It is April and the nationalist is still a sitting minister in the Polish government. Just these last days the nationalist Mr Andruszkiewicz had to defend himself against even more nationalistic comments. The issue? His engagement was in Rome, not in Poland. Andruszkiewicz: “it was a pilgrimage to the Vatican and the grave of St Peter” so he and his fiancee had an important private moment in the eternal city. Congratulations.
There are many PiS politicians who are not racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT or anti-women. It is a shame they hardly ever speak up. Instead of defending their virtues and values, the PiS politicians chose to attack, even to vocally assault the opposition, the liberal media and the various socio-economic groups who do not vote PiS.
I don’t even want to ask when was the last time someone burned books in Europe.
I don’t want to know what kind of gesture the Polish far right is making during their swearing in ceremony.
Welcome to the 2019 Middle Ages. European elections are in less than 2 months. Thank God the real electoral issue is the teachers’ strike scheduled for 8 April.
Today, 2 April 2019 is the 14th anniversary of the death of John Paul II aka Karol Wojtyła, who was the pope of the Catholic Church 1978-2005 and remains an important figure of the Polish Catholic Church. Pity the Church in Poland is less and less Catholic (=common) and more and more Polish (=nationalistic).