WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Police carried off protesters blocking a street in Poland’s capital Monday, the 19th straight day of nationwide anti-government protests that were triggered by the tightening of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation’s abortion law.
The protesters were sitting down in the street in Warsaw in front of the Education Ministry to demand the firing of the new minister who has made some statements on education and human rights that have angered many people. A few hundred protesters then marched in downtown Warsaw to drumming, blocking streets, and chanted that the right-wing government’s policies have made them very angry.
More protests were also held in some other cities, like Katowice or Bialystok, with participants demanding abortion rights for women and for the government to go.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has been appealing to people to stay home and express their anger on the internet because of the coronavirus pandemic. Public gatherings have been banned as part of COVID-19 regulations.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in regular peaceful protests that have been held across Poland since Oct. 22 when a constitutional court ruled that abortion of fetuses with congenital defects violates Poland’s supreme law.
When the ruling takes effect, at an unspecified date, abortion will be permitted only when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s health, or results from crimes like rape or incest.