Poland in the Modern World

Smolensk (again!)

I’m so tired of writing about this. When a government spends so much time repeating a lie, the rest of us are forced to spend equal time rebutting them. And since the available attention span for news from Poland is so limited in the English speaking world, vital stores get buried because we have to

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Civil Disobedience

The phrase “civil disobedience” is often bandied about by political activists, but it’s a risky tactic if the goals aren’t clear. Is the purpose to solidify the commitment and solidarity of the protesters? That’s pretty easy to accomplish: being arrested, particularly as part of a group, can be a transformative experience (to say the least).

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How to Stage a Huge Protest

After writing yesterday’s post on the celebration of the EU’s 60th anniversary in Poland, I went back to compare photos taken during last October’s pro-choice march and last Saturday’s pro-EU march. The differences are stark.  Here was the scene last weekend: And here’s a photo from the same vantage point last October: The difference is

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Poland and the EU

Across Europe last Saturday there were ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which launched the process that eventually grew into today’s European Union. Poland was no exception, though here the events were emphatically not supported by the current government. In this context, the anniversary celebrations became de facto opposition demonstrations, which

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Another Rainy Protest

The democratic opposition in Poland has had the worst luck when it comes to the weather.  The now famous “Black Monday” march from last October was successful despite the elements, but similar weather today (41 degrees Fahrenheit – 5 Celsius – and a steady rain) undoubtedly kept the size of the crowd down. Under the circumstances,

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Poland, Land of Diversity

If I could abolish just one cliché, it would be this one: “Polish society is nearly homogeneous.” Just pick up any article about Poland from any source on any topic, and you are likely to find this claim. For example, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here….OK, you get the point. Sometimes

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