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 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 11,142 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 9,750 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
This Polish Ad Will Give You The Feels, For Reals
3 min · 8,804 views today · This is an ad for Allegro, a Polish company similar to eBay, and it's heartwarmingly lovely.
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 7,588 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump
Tim Dickinson · 7,238 views today · Though it's important to fight Trump's policies, "it's at the values level that we need to do a reset," says Jones
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 5,964 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 4,589 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 3,915 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Time-Lapse Satellite Images Give a Startling Snapshot of Past 30 Years on Earth
2 min · 3,661 views today · Working with satellite images from NASA and the US Geological Survey, Google has created a searchable snapshot of the past 3 decades on Earth, creating startling time-lapses of...
Why You Should Stop Apologizing for Doing All That You Can
Kelly Hayes · 3,418 views today · I’ve noticed lately that a lot of allies and accomplices I talk to about NoDAPL and other struggles will name what they are trying to contribute to the cause, and then promptly...
David Graeber: We Need a Revolution in the Way We Think about "Work"
4 min · 3,161 views today · David Graeber on the Value of Work. Does the world really need neuroadvertisers, PR researchers and branding consultants? Renowned academic and coiner of the ‘we are the 99%’...
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 3,046 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
Black on Black Crime Isn't a Myth
Donyae Coles · 1,876 views today · Let’s talk about Black on Black crime. Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, specifically likely in regards to Black people murdered by other Black people. Perhaps you’ve...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 1,793 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Swanage Protectors Camp - Campaigning to Stop New Oil and Gas Exploration in Dorset, UK
7 min · 1,682 views today · The planning permission for an exploratory oil rig near Swanage ran out on 3rd December 2016. A good day all round for those campaigning against the fossil fuel industry. Hear...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,608 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
It's The Damn Police
Walter Fields · 1,316 views today · From an early age Blacks are socialized to live defensively and to absorb the mental body blows that come from the day-to-day indignities that are hoisted upon us by the very...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,300 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,254 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...
Seven Must-Have Skills for the 21st Century
Tommy Lehe · 1,096 views today · We live in a world that moves faster than we do. Trying to keep up can be an overwhelming task that at times feels hopeless, like we are falling further and further behind—but...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Tens of Thousands in Streets, on Strike in Poland Over Draconian Abortion Ban