Tuesday 10 August 2010

Thousands Rally in Defense of Secularism

In a rare anti-clerical action, thousands rallied late last night in front of the Presidential Palace, demanding the removal of "Kaczynski's Cross". The cross, which was placed there after the plane crash in Smolensk, has been the object of much public debate. It became something of a symbol and a place of pilgrimmage for conservatives and far-rightwingers.The anarchist group WRS managed to gather thousands of signatures on a petition to remove the cross.

Many people were against the makeshift shrine in front of the palace and authorities decided that it should be moved to a nearby church instead of standing in front of the seat of the President. Attempts to move it resulted in a violent clash.

Hundreds and thousands of people then became more vocal about their demands to move the cross. As one ZSP activist pointed out, the cross itself maybe was not so important - it was the ideology and people it represented. It somehow became a symbol of conservative Poland - although in reality there are more pressing problems with the church than this cross.

Videos from the mainstream media show the scale of the protest. There were also plenty of defenders of the cross as well. Last night's action began at 11PM and went into the early morning. Some of our comrades took an active role in the protest.

All members of ZSP however later had criticism of some things said by liberal anti-clerics. We criticized people who were saying things like "a bunch of old people are forcing their values down peoples' throats" since this is presenting the issue in a totally false light and is simply ageist. We even heard some liberals who described the situation with the cross as "anarchy". This was an interesting addition to the comments from the conservatives that the anti-clerics were all "a bunch of anarchists". As somebody then cleverly noted, if you believed these people, then it was one of those rare nights when anarchists went out to battle "anarchy".