‘A tragic moment’: thousands gather across Poland to mourn Gdańsk mayor (The Guardian)

Paweł Adamowicz. Photograph: European Union / Laurie Dieffembacq via Flickr

Thousands of people have gathered in cities across Poland after the fatal stabbing of Gdańsk mayor PawełAdamowicz in protest at what some say is a creeping pervasiveness of hate speech in Poland’s national discourse.

In Gdańsk, thousands gathered for a minute’s silence at the statue of Neptune in the city’s Long Market, which also hosts the city hall, where Adamowicz served as mayor for more than 20 years. Adamowicz died after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening.

They were addressed by the European council president, Donald Tusk, a Gdańsk native, friend and longtime ally of Adamowicz. In an emotional address, Tusk addressed Adamowicz directly: “My dear Paweł, we are here with you today as your friends. You had to wait so long, until such a tragic moment, to see from up there just how many friends you have here in Gdansk.”

My report from Gdańsk for the Guardian can be found here.

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