The ban on wearing military uniforms or parts thereof by participants in strikes, demonstrations and assemblies is provided for in a draft regulation prepared by the Ministry of National Defense. The head of this ministry, Mariusz Błaszczak, announcing the draft changes, wrote that “anti-vaccine terrorists cannot pretend to be soldiers of the Polish Army”.
The prohibition applies to the wearing of a uniform or part of it during demonstrations and strikes. It is to include signs of nationality, including the coat of arms and the flag of Poland. The proposed regulations will not affect – the authors note – the sale of items of uniforms withdrawn from the armed forces, it will still be allowed to wear such garments as recreational outfits.
“Anti-vaccine terrorists cannot pretend to be soldiers of the Polish Army. We have completed the work on regulations that will clearly prohibit the wearing of uniforms by such groups and introduce sanctions,” wrote the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, informing that the project was submitted to inter-ministerial consultations.
According to the project promoters, in connection with the escalation of conflicts, manifested, inter alia, in the growing aggression of certain groups and recent attacks in Poland, for example, on vaccination sites by people who abuse or use uniforms or parts of them that have already been withdrawn from use in the armed forces, “It is essential to take immediate action to prevent such practices.”
In what situations is it prohibited to wear a uniform?
The draft provides for a ban on wearing a uniform or its parts by persons “participating in activities that may harm the good name or interests of the armed forces; strikes, demonstrations, demonstrations and assemblies aimed at joint expression of a position on public matters; assemblies and undertakings violating public order and peace. “as well as” in activities aimed at destroying or damaging property, including public property, or which may lead to such destruction or damage “.
It will not be allowed to use the components of uniforms in “activities aimed at violating the bodily inviolability of persons performing tasks for the common good” or in “undertakings aimed at public manifesting views that may violate the freedoms, rights and obligations of people and citizens”.
According to the authors, the precise definition of the catalog of cases in which the use of uniforms will be prohibited means that the proposed regulation will not affect the possibility of wearing uniforms or their parts by people using them for recreational purposes, e.g. anglers or hunters. “The proposed regulation will not adversely affect the conduct of economic activity consisting in the trade in uniforms, the pattern of which has been specified in the regulations that are no longer applicable” – was assured in the justification.
The current regulations prohibit the wearing of a complete military uniform – both field, dress and gala – by unauthorized persons, even if it is devoid of marks of ranks, corps and specialties. The uniform can be worn by students of uniform classes, students and members of associations cooperating with the military. Students can wear the eagle according to a special pattern developed for them; in the case of paramilitary associations, a badge with the name of the organization is required.
Attacks on vaccination points
Friday’s entry on Twitter by the minister of defense and the announcement of the amendment alluded to information that members of associations opposing pandemic restrictions and vaccination campaigns wear the uniform of the Polish Army, which sometimes means that they are considered soldiers.
In recent days, there have been physical attacks on vaccination points, a mobile vaccination point and the building of the Sanepid in Zamość have been set on fire, there have also been attempts to enter vaccination centers.
Deputy Prime Minister, PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński deemed it necessary to tighten penalties for such acts. He expressed the belief that “at least some of the attacks” are part of a hybrid war, “and that links between attackers may extend to Russia.”
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski called setting fire to the vaccination point “an act of terrorism”, demanded that the Minister of Justice, Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, place special supervision over cases related to attacks by anti-vaccine agents.
On Wednesday, the Police Commander in Chief, Superintendent Jarosław Szymczyk, announced that he had given the order to provide 24-hour protection of mobile vaccination points and ad hoc protection of all other vaccination points.
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