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Farmers from the “Orka” Agricultural Union who protest in the Sejm – who are they? Szymon Hołownia comments

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A group of a dozen or so farmers from the “Orka” Agricultural Union is protesting in the Sejm, they entered it thanks to passes from the Confederation and PiS. Marshal Szymon Hołownia admitted that this is an organization that is “not particularly well-known”. – This group is headed by a man who was not elected to the district council in the last local government elections. It is also a desire to make up for some political failures, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Michał Kołodziejczak.

A group of a dozen or so farmers from the “Orka” Agricultural Union began an occupation of the Sejm on Thursday afternoon. They demand a meeting with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and want to talk about the Green Deal. According to their announcements, they intend to spend the night in the Sejm. – We came here. And today we would like to protest against the Green Deal, against opening the border to products flowing into the country from Ukraine. We would like someone to finally take us farmers very seriously, a representative of the protesters told journalists.

Thursday evening with protesters The Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, met.

READ MORE: Big confusion in the Sejm. “They do plowing, but in the image of Polish farmers”

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Relationship registered two weeks ago

TVN24 reporter Maja Wójcikowska reported that the union of protesting farmers was registered two weeks ago, and the social media profile was created only on Thursday.

Protesting farmers in the SejmPAP/Paweł Supernak

She asked Szymon Hołownia if he knew anything more about them. – I have the same knowledge. In a conversation with me, the MPs emphasized that they know these protesting farmers personally, that they are people from their constituencies, he said.

– I convinced them even more that since these were people they knew and had relationships with them, they would talk to them about how to most effectively reach with their demands to those who could do anything about it – he added.

– Indeed, this organization is not particularly well-known. I also talked about it with the Minister of Agriculture, whom I invited. Despite this, Minister Siekierski, who today spent half a day talking with Solidarity of Individual Farmers (NSZZ Rolników Indywidualnych “Solidarność” – ed.), willingly agreed to talk with this association, with this organization tomorrow. And I understand that such a meeting may take place if, of course, the protesters want to talk, said the Speaker of the Sejm.

Hołownia: we will change the regulations regarding admitting people to the premises of the Sejm

Hołownia also talked about security issues regarding the presence of people who are allowed into the premises of the Sejm with the consent of MPs. – We have to be really very careful, especially in places like this, which provoke so many emotions, where so much is happening – he emphasized. He added that “this is about safety, including physical safety, of all of us.”

He also announced a change in the regulations related to admitting guests to the Sejm premises. – We will change the regulations and the appropriate forms to make it clear that we take responsibility for each other and for our safety – he added.

Kołodziejczak on “the desire to react to political failures”

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Michał Kołodziejczak spoke more about the protesters. – This group is headed by a man who was not elected to the district council in the last local government elections. It is also a desire to make up for certain political failures and the actions we see are actually “Orka” (which – ed.) can only plow Polish agriculture – he said. He added that “these actions harm Polish agriculture.”

Farmers from the “Orka” Agricultural Union in the corridor of the Sejm in WarsawPAP/Paweł Supernak

Where did the protesters come to the Sejm?

One of the protesters' representatives, Mariusz Borowiak, told the media that farmers did not want to politicize their protest, and they sent a request for an invitation to MPs of all clubs.

According to information from the Polish Press Agency, farmers were to apply for tickets to all clubs, while they entered the Sejm thanks to MPs from Confederation and PiS. Confederation spokeswoman Ewa Zajączkowska-Hernik explained that only one of the farmers who protested in the Sejm was invited by Confederation MP Włodzimierz Skalik. According to information provided by a PiS MP, former Minister of Agriculture in the United Right government, Robert Telus, the remaining tickets were issued to them by PiS. – This is the farmers' idea and they approached all the clubs and we agreed – said Telus. When asked whether the Confederation knew about the planned protest in the Chamber, Zajączkowska-Hernik replied that “farmers often meet in the Sejm” and “the decision to protest could have been a spontaneous decision.” – However, if a farmer needs to enter the Sejm, our MPs do not refuse to do so – she emphasized.

Main photo source: PAP/Paweł Supernak

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