Riots in Poland after death of a young man

The death of a 21-year-old local man has triggered riots in the northern Polish city of Ełk. The man was allegedly stabbed during a fight with several employees at a kebab diner. The police have arrested four men from North Africa. One day later at least a hundred people gathered to demonstrate outside the diner and threw paving stones at it. The Polish press is incensed.

Open/close all quotes
Polityka (PL) /

Government fuelling xenophobic incidents

The government should on no account tolerate riots like the one in front of the kebab shop, Polityka warns:

“The anti-Muslim tirades of the PiS politicians do nothing at all to help the police and other officials who have to deal with such incidents. ... Today the mob attacks the shop of an Arab migrant. Tomorrow it might even be a state institution. No government should tolerate this kind of anarchy on the streets or citizens taking the law into their own hands in any way. If it does, then it will no longer be a democracy but instead a state where there is no security anymore and one that does not function effectively. ... The government must therefore learn the following lessons from Ełk: if it tries to make itself popular by showing its own aversion towards minorities, then this will lead to the law being broken on the street. ” (PL) /

Left-wing media destroying Poland's image

Left-wing media are to blame for the fact that Poland is being described as xenophobic once more, the nationalist portal wPolityce argues by contrast:

“What lessons can be learned from the provocations in Ełk? … The [left-wing] media will now fuel anti-Polish sentiment and create a negative image of Poland abroad, depicting it as an unsafe country and spreading the view that all Poles are racists. That the government is ruled by a PiS regime that is intolerant towards foreigners, and that for this reason other countries need to teach us what is meant by democracy and the rule of law. They will write that Poland is in chaos and that there is fighting on the streets that requires foreign intervention. … What should we conclude from all this? That we must be very sensible and prudent and more considerate in our behaviour.”