Tens of Thousands in Streets, on Strike in Poland Over Draconian Abortion Ban
Solidarity protests were also held in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, and elsewhere in Europe and the United States
Tens of Thousands in Streets, on Strike in Poland Over Draconian Abortion Ban
A woman observes thousands of people taking part in Monday's demonstration against plans for a total ban on abortion in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: Reuters)
By Deirdre Fulton / commondreams.org

Wearing black as a symbol of mourning for lost reproductive rights, tens of thousands of women in Poland and beyond took to the streets on Monday to protest a draconian ban on abortion.

As part of "Black Monday," more than 100,000 protesters vowed to boycott work or school, and "in an act of solidarity, a number of businesses and corporations have reportedly pledged to shut their doors as part of the strike," The Independent reported.

According to France 24:

The private news broadcaster, TVN24, with some of its own newscasters in black, showed images of establishments joining the strike, including a museum in Krakow where none of the women showed up to work.

In Czestochowa, a symbol of the country's Catholicism due to the presence of a major shrine, more than 60 percent of employees refused to show up to work, according to TVN24. City employees responsible for providing essential services came to work wearing black.

The Telegraph reports that Gazeta Wyborcza, a Polish newspaper, "decided to put out an edition without its female staff contributing."

Solidarity protests were also held in Paris,BerlinBrusselsLondon, and elsewhere in Europe, as well as in the United States

As Common Dreams reported, the recently introduced bill would ban abortion in almost all circumstances, unless pregnancy threatens the life of the mother—and even then, women would be put at risk. As Amnesty International explained: "With no clear guidelines about how close to death a woman or a girl must be for performing an abortion for medical reasons to be lawful, the onus will be on doctors to delay for as long as possible."

The legislation, which the BBC notes "has cleared one parliamentary hurdle so far," sets prison terms of up to five years for women seeking abortion and doctors who perform them. It is now being examined by a parliamentary commission, which could amend it. A vote is not expected for weeks.

Organizers said Monday's strike and protest was inspired by the "Women's Day Off" that took place in Iceland 40 years ago, during which an estimated 90 percent of womenrefused to work or perform housework in protest of economic inequality and workplace discrimination. 

"A lot of women and girls in this country have felt that they don't have any power, that they are not equal, that they don't have the right to an opinion," Polish strike co-coordinator Magda Staroszczyk told the Guardian on Monday. "This is a chance for us to be seen, and to be heard."

Seen and heard they were, carrying signs that read, "We Won't Be Degraded" and chanting "Stop the fanatics!"

"Black is the color of today on the streets," said Jolanta Switala of Poland's Center for Women's Rights.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

0.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 24,046 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 17,519 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 12,065 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 11,890 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 7,434 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 6,230 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 5,006 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 4,799 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 3,336 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 2,646 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 2,132 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,814 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 1,301 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 1,247 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 1,116 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
The Important Difference Between Love and Being Loved
2 min · 1,022 views today · We talk of love as if it were just one thing: in fact, it’s two very different moves, Loving and Being Loved. You start to grow up when you stop focusing on the latter and get...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 864 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 762 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 759 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 680 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Tens of Thousands in Streets, on Strike in Poland Over Draconian Abortion Ban