Both demonstrations in the Old Town of Warsaw were legal; the police is not about judging which assembly is more important – said in the Sejm deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Paweł Bossernaker, when asked about the lack of police reaction to the “I stay in the Union” protest by counter-demonstrating nationalists.
On Thursday evening in the Sejm, the deputy minister of internal affairs and administration replied to the question of the members of the Civic Coalition regarding “the lack of police response to the disruption of the pro-EU demonstration by nationalist movements.” The demonstration under the slogan “I stay in the Union” was held on the initiative of the PO chief Donald Tusk on Sunday at Castle Square in Warsaw. Nationalists organized a counter-demonstration nearby.
Kierwiński: the police acted like protecting pro-Piss militias
KO MP Marcin Kierwiński said in the Sejm that next to the pro-EU demonstration “an illegal counter-manifestation of extreme groups, groups spreading a lot of hatred in Polish public life, was set up”. According to the MP, “the police acted like protecting pro-Piss militias.”
– What will be left of this counter-demonstration is total police passivity in this matter. The fact that the police did not respond to the calls of the Warsaw City Hall to remove the illegally installed sound system. Publicity, the purpose of which was only to disturb nearly one hundred thousand Warsaw residents and Poles from listening to even the important words of the participants of the Warsaw Uprising – emphasized Kierwiński. The information that 80-100 thousand people participated in the demonstration was given by the capital city hall.
Bossernaker: The police are not there to judge which assembly is more important
Bossernaker said that there was false information in the KO’s speech. As he emphasized, both assemblies were legal. – All assemblies registered by the city hall of the capital city were legal. The mayor of Warsaw did not ban any of them – he noted. He also noted that, according to police estimates, several hundred people took part in the assembly in Podwale, i.e. the counter-demonstration, and over 25,000 at Zamkowy Square.
– The police is not about judging which assembly is more or less important. The role of the police is to ensure the safety of all participants of legal demonstrations, said the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.
Bossernaker also referred to the submission by the President of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, to the prosecutor’s office in connection with the counter-manifestation of nationalists and the construction supporting their publicity. “On Wednesday, I also filed an application to the prosecutor’s office – including for the installation of an illegal structure that could pose a threat to others,” wrote Trzaskowski on Twitter on Thursday.
– If there was any knowledge about any threat caused by the structure, the role of the president was to dissolve this assembly – emphasized the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.
Reporting on Sunday’s events, the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration said that the policemen from the organizers of the demonstration at Castle Square had received information that the speeches of the people gathered there were disturbed by the publicity of the assembly in Podwale. As he explained, the officers, inter alia, contacted the municipal crisis management office. As he continued, the representatives of the town hall then came to Podwale to try to convince the counter-demonstrators to turn down the sound. These negotiations were unsuccessful.
– The representatives of the town hall (…) stated that they had no legal grounds to dissolve the assembly organized on Podwale Street – said the deputy minister.
Referring to the information from the Capital Police Commander, Bossernaker also noted that the representative of the city office orally reported to the police commander on the spot information about the arrangement of structures with loudspeakers in the road lane without the consent of the road administrator. – In this case, an investigation is being carried out on the basis of the code of conduct in cases of petty offenses – he explained.
Main photo source: PAP / Albert Zawada