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How I rediscovered my family story during Kraków’s lockdown

Like many Polish families, especially those from beyond the Polish heartland that straddles the Vistula, we are not really all that Polish at all – at least in our origins. We are not products of the soil, but of contingency – of events, of wars, of border changes, of decisions made by imperial bureaucracies, of migrations borne of persecution and economic opportunity. As Galicians – and now as Europeans – our family stories are characterised as much by our experiences of separation from home and from one another as they are by a shared connection to a particular place.

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Bagpipes and techno blast at Warsaw pro-choice march, but menace lurks (The Observer)

It was a surreal sight – and a terrible sound. On Friday evening, as tens of thousands of pro-choice protesters gathered in Warsaw for a massive demonstration against a near-total ban on abortion, military police in red berets formed a protective cordon around the Church of the Holy Cross on Krakowskie Przedmieście, an elegant thoroughfare…

Pro-choice supporters hold biggest-ever protest against Polish government (The Guardian)

About one hundred thousand protesters took to the streets of the Polish capital, Warsaw, on Friday, in the largest demonstration of popular anger directed against Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) since it assumed office in 2015. Protests have been held across the country since Poland’s constitutional tribunal declared earlier this month that abortions…

Polish pro-choice protests continue with blockades and red paint (The Guardian)

Thousands of protesters turned out in towns and cities across Poland on Monday as a political crisis sparked by an impending near total ban on abortion showed no sign of abating. Drivers created a series of blockades in city centres and thousands of people marched to express their anger at a ruling by Poland’s constitutional…

The Polish IPO with a high price tag and even higher hopes (Financial Times)

When the IPO of Allegro, Poland’s biggest ecommerce company, was announced earlier this month it had a lofty valuation attached and some equally lofty hopes — that it would boost the country’s fortunes as a financial centre and help end the “old economy curse” afflicting the Warsaw exchange.  Allegro’s owners, private equity groups Permira, Cinven…

Law and Justice loses touch with Poland’s moderate Catholics (Financial Times)

Polish president Andrzej Duda visited Pope Francis in the Vatican on Friday, in a meeting between two men seen by many in Poland as embodying very different visions for the future of the Catholic Church.  Mr Duda, a conservative regarded by his supporters as a guardian of traditional Catholic values, drew international criticism for a…

The power struggle at the heart of Poland’s political turmoil (Financial Times)

The collapse in talks over a government reshuffle in Warsaw last week has raised the prospect of early elections and laid bare a power struggle at the heart of the ruling coalition over the long-term leadership of the Polish right. Zbigniew Ziobro, the hardline justice minister, ignited the political crisis when his United Poland party announced it…

Poland’s ruling coalition on verge of collapse (Financial Times)

Poland’s ruling rightwing coalition is on the verge of collapse, with senior members of the Law and Justice party declaring that it was prepared to form a minority government and call a new election, just a year after the party’s last victory in a parliamentary poll in the autumn of 2019. Long-running talks over a…

Poland takes a back-seat role in Belarus standoff (Financial Times)

On September 26, a star-studded concert will be held in Poland’s national football stadium in support of the Belarusians demonstrating against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. This will be just one of a series of events organised by the government under the slogan “Solidarity with Belarus”.  For many observers in Poland’s foreign policy community, however, no…

How I rediscovered my family story during Kraków’s lockdown (Summer of Solidarity)

‘Like many Polish families, especially those from beyond the Polish heartland that straddles the Vistula, we are not really all that Polish at all – at least in our origins. We are not products of the soil, but of contingency – of events, of wars, of border changes, of decisions made by imperial bureaucracies, of…

Podcast: Poland divided as right-wing populists win again (The Guardian)

The re-election of Andrzej Duda as Poland’s president this week was by the narrowest of margins and has sent liberals in the country into a tailspin. Duda’s campaign pivoted away from pro-welfare messaging to one dominated by “family values” and hostility to the country’s LGBT communities.  Having covered the election for the Guardian, I tell…

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