General Jaroslaw Szymczak, Chief of Police, announced that according to official police data, 430 thousand people went to the streets in Poland to protest the abortion ban on Wednesday, October 28th. The protests took place in 410 cities and towns.
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During an interview with the Polish state radio broadcaster Channel One, General Jaroslaw Szymczak, the chief commendant of the Polish police forces, presented a summary of the Wednesday's protests in the country. He said that the police officers detained about 80 people in connection with aggressive behavior during the protests. He did not specify whether this concerned the attackers who assaulted the protesters - like in Wroclaw - or those who protested peacefully against the anti-abortion ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal.

In addition, the police are conducting about 100 proceedings related to the devastation of buildings. - I assure you that in every case of aggression or devastation the police response is immediate", said Szymczak.

He also pointed out that despite the prohibition against gatherings of more than five people, police officers cannot detain people taking part in large protests, because the violation of the ban is an offence and not a crime.

- Deescalation of these emotions, so that there is no violence, aggression and devastation, is of utmost importance - said the chief commander of the police.

When asked by a Polish Radio journalist whether the reaction of the officers is not too "soft", Gen. Szymczak, replied that he did not agree with it.

- Where we observe cases of violence, aggression, devastation or attacks on people or property, the reaction of the police is always decisive - he assured. He added that the police officers are carrying out the proceedings in the case of the spray-painting the monuments of the Home Army and the Polish Underground State in Warsaw, among others.

According to police estimates, about 430 thousand people took part in nearly 410 protests across the country. In Warsaw several dozen thousand people marched on the streets on Wednesday. This has been the single largest protest following the Constitutional Tribunal's last Thursday's ruling on the ban on abortion. With the protest organizers preparing a massive march on Warsaw for Friday afternoon, they expect that this record will soon be shattered.


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