Decentralising Power

How the Internet, respect, and common sense led to nationwide protests

2 April 2019

The Black Protests (Czarny Protest) in Poland – over the implementation of a strict ban on abortion – mobilised groups from across the country in one of the largest, decentralised demonstrations in recent history.

The first protest took place in Wroclaw in Western Poland on 26 September, 2016. Around 3000 people showed up on the streets to oppose a total abortion ban.

This was in response to a new bill prepared by the right-wing Ordo Iuris organisation, which was pushing for approval in the Polish parliament. Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, and it is a common knowledge that enforcing women’s rights to legal abortions – even if the fetus is permanently damaged or the pregnancy is the result of rape – is very challenging in the Polish Republic.

The situation took a turn for the for worse when the far-right Law and Justice party decided to vote “yes” for a total abortion ban.

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Natalia Żaba

Originally from Wroclaw, Poland, Natalia Żaba has spent a decade in the Western Balkan region, first as a student, then as a reporter and media programme manager at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She covers politics and regional affairs for Al Jazeera Balkans amongst numerous other regional outlets.

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