At the beginning of his speech, the President of Warsaw referred to the speech of Lech Wałęsa to the US Congress in November 1985. – Today our government would like to write its own version of history and erase Lech Wałęsa from textbooks – he began.
– Poland has not yet been transformed into an undemocratic regime only thanks to the strength of the opposition’s parliamentary party and the courage and dynamism of civil society – he said. He stressed that Poland is today a “battlefield” between “freedom” and “authoritarianism”, as well as between “a democratic society and a populist government”.
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Rafał Trzaskowski: The government is trying to paralyze the institutions that are to control its excesses
He noted that the latest polls indicate that if the opposition united, it would win the next elections. At the moment, however, the current government is trying to “paralyze” and “politicize” state institutions that are to control the excesses of power.
The Mayor of Warsaw argued that “he accepted the invitation not to complain, but to share the problems and possible ways in which we intend to deal with them.”
The politician listed the actions that, in his opinion, PiS is using to undermine the rule of law in Poland. He recalled, among others on repeated voting in the Sejm, attack on the judiciary, election of judges of the Constitutional Tribunal and politicization of this body, rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal, tightening of anti-abortion law, unsuccessful envelope elections, politicization of the prosecutor’s office and the National Council of the Judiciary, establishment of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.
Then Rafał Trzaskowski spoke about the “media campaign against the LGBT + community”, hate speech and calling this group of people “ideology, not people”.
The Mayor of Warsaw appealed to Congress to continue promoting democratic values and human rights, they maintained their commitment to Poland and Europe, and supported the initiatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Apart from Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayors of Budapest, Prague and Bratislava took part in the hearing. All four are signatories to the Pact of Free Cities. The aim of this initiative is to promote mutual cooperation and the shared values of democracy, freedom, human dignity, sustainable development and the fight against populism, nationalism, the climate crisis, and social inequality and stratification.