Standing up for democracy in Poland

Southwark Green Party member Ania Marzec-Manser has been supporting pro-democracy protests in Poland this month. She writes:

At the Global Greens and European Greens congress in Liverpool this year, I made contacts with the Polish Green party. I was asked to meet and help with setting up structures in the Gdansk branch of the party.

Two weeks ago I attended an international summer school where besides representatives of Polish Green party, there were representatives from Czech, German, Ukrainian and Dutch parties as well as foundations and Brussels institutions supporting green NGOs. I also met the sole Green councillor in Poland. Next year there will be local elections and for the first time the Greens want to have candidates in at least half of constituencies. It's a massive task.

As soon as I returned from the summer school, the pro-democracy protests to defend the constitution and the independence of the courts started and spilled all over Poland. I have been taking part in these protests. (News coverage here and here.) 
The peaceful mass demonstrations held that all the new judicial laws proposed by the ruling far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS) were unconstitutional. Under pressure from the demonstrations, the president, who is a puppet of the PiS party, vetoed two out of three proposed laws but is signing the third which says all regional judges will be selected by the minister of justice. The minister of justice wants to sack all the judges in Poland and put his own people in their place. Local courts judge the validity of elections so the ruling party might thereby be able to twist the results. I don't need to tell you the disastrous consequences of this!
Last night our Green group was joined by the leader of European Green Party in Brussels and German MEP Reinhard Butikofer (below).


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