Protest in Cardiff as people stand in solidarity with Polish women over abortion law

“Us taking a stand will help to provide a change.”

Around 100 people stood in solidarity with Polish women today outside of Cardiff City Hall.

The protest ran for a little over an hour, where the organisers spoke up about what is happening to the people in Poland, danced and sang, and helped shed light on the ways other countries can help.

“We stand with Polish Women”

Kamil Jantos, a Polish USW graduate and one of the organisers of this event, told The Cardiff Tab that they were aiming to show their support for Polish women who have been fighting for their rights. They said: “The ultra conservative government has been hurting people for many years now. The mixture of religion and politics isn’t a healthy mix”.

Małgola and Kamil had been intending to organise the protest earlier, but had been unable to due to government rules surrounding the pandemic and the firebreak lockdown. Kamil told The Cardiff Tab: “I think there are lots of people like me and Małgola who are just absolutely angry with the Polish government and want to do something about it”. The event details were put on Facebook on Thursday 5th November.

“Reproductive rights are human rights”

Protesters were asked to wear black and carry posters, or even props like clothes hangers and umbrellas, to show support for better abortion laws in Poland. Before they began, the organisers reminded everyone to keep a safe distance and have their face masks on throughout. Sanitiser was also made available for anyone who wanted to speak or sign a petition.

Police were present at the beginning of the event, as well people from ‘Abortion Rights Cardiff’. Protesters were invited up to the front to share their thoughts and feelings about the movement, ranging from serious talks to singing and dancing – with one person stating: “All I want for Christmas is free choice”.

“What f*cking year is it?”

One protester told The Cardiff Tab: “It’s disgusting that the Polish government have taken away the freedom to choose what happens to a woman’s body”. They went on to say that hopefully the protests around Europe will help bring awareness to the issue that polish women are facing. They added: “Us taking a stand will help to provide a change”.

Signs were in both Polish and English, with one saying ‘I wish I could abort the government’, and another reading ‘Don’t tell someone you love them and then vote for someone who will hurt them’. One sign simply said ‘Wyperdalać’ which translates as ‘get the fuck out’ and is one of the slogans being used in the strikes in Poland.

“Jebać PiS” Translates to Fuck PiS – the current ruling party

On a more positive note, one protester told The Cardiff Tab: “It’s amazing to see global movements and protests”. They said that it was amazing to see such an outreach in Cardiff even though it was raining and dark, and added: “It’s a testament to the power of a passionate people fighting for what’s right.”

They went on to express the importance of standing up for your own beliefs. They told The Cardiff Tab: “Our individual power is perceived to be overshadowed by the government up until people realise the government is nothing without them.”

“It’s insane that we’re still protesting this. We’re meant to be growing not going backwards!”

More information on how you can help stand with Polish women is available on the Facebook page.

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