On Saturday, there was a protest in Warsaw against the sanitary regulations introduced by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several hundred people manifested, the demonstration was formally dissolved due to the “threat to health and life”. There were scuffles with the police. The officers detained several people and used gas and gas grenades. Two policemen were taken to the hospital. The behavior of the demonstrators was described by the Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, as “scandalous”.
Announced in social media, the so-called The March for Freedom began around 12 o’clock at Plac Defilad. Several hundred people gathered. Some of them had banners with the words “False pandemic”, “Stop sanitary segregation” or “AstraZeneca Vaccine – Dangerous”. There were also white and red flags with the crossed out COVID-19 inscription and the inscription game over. – Many people did not wear masks – described Tomasz Zieliński from tvnwarszawa.pl
Intervention of the Department of Health
After 12 o’clock, the Warsaw Police Headquarters on its Twitter profile informed that in connection with receiving information from representatives of the sanitary and epidemiological station that the behavior of people participating in the assembly at Plac Defilad lead to a threat to human health and life, she addressed a representative of the commune authority for dissolution of the assembly.
“The representative of the commune authority acceded to our request. Therefore, the assembly in question was dissolved. Relevant messages are addressed to the participants of the already dissolved assembly” – wrote the Warsaw police on Twitter.
Earlier, policemen reported that “there are several hundred people at Defilad Square who do not maintain a social distance. Moreover, many people do not cover their mouth and nose. This situation creates favorable conditions for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections” – it was written.
On site, in addition to the police, there were representatives of the Sanepid and the Capital City Hall.
Despite the formal dissolution of the rally, the protesters went in small groups to Pole Mokotowskie. Most of them were without masks, they had banners with the words “Stop compulsory vaccinations”, “Stop the plandemic”, “Stop genetic therapy”, “Children to school”. They sang: “All of Poland is singing with us you ******** with masks”.
The speakers on the stage argued that there is no pandemic and that sanitary regulations introduced by the authorities limit freedom.
There was a scuffle, the police used stun grenades
Several participants in the demonstration lit flares. The police called on the audience to separate, citing laws prohibiting gatherings. Firecrackers were thrown as the crowd slowly moved away. The policemen wrote down some of the participants in the demonstration.
There was a struggle between the police and several people taking part in the demonstration. The crowd began to surround the intervening officers. Stones were thrown at them. Police used stun grenades and gas.
The demonstrators scattered, but they stormed the road of Al. Niepodległości, obstructing the movement of cars and trams. The police intervened again and several arrests were made.
“Currently, on the streets of Warsaw, in several places, policemen take decisive action against people who disregard the restrictions. (…) In individual cases, policemen use direct coercion measures in the form of physical force, truncheon and manual gas throwers. There are the first detainees. Among them is the person wanted. to serve a sentence of imprisonment “- wrote KSP in the afternoon on her Twitter profile.
In a later entry, the police informed that “in the course of today’s actions one of the policewomen was kicked by the aggressor”, and “another policewoman was hit with a stone in the head. The officers were taken to the hospital. The policemen used stun grenades. There are also other detainees” – added .
The police reported that the persons were also detained in connection with the possession of drugs as well as insulting and violating the bodily integrity of police officers.
Niedzielski assesses the behavior of the demonstrators: a scandalous situation
During Saturday’s press conference, Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski was asked to evaluate the behavior of people protesting against the safety rules. “Obviously this is a scandalous situation,” he said.
He added that “this demonstration was absolutely illegal because it exceeded the gathering limit of five people.” He recalled that “the demonstration was banned after the police reacted.”
– At the Government Crisis Management Team, we have been talking a lot now about the zero tolerance policy for all who do not wear masks or wear masks inappropriately, for example keeping their nose open. Now is the moment, due to the growing number of infections, that the actions of the police and the sanitary service will be ruthless – he informed.
Main photo source: PAP / Rafał Guz