Growing protests against Poland's judicial reform

Thousands of people once again demonstrated against the judicial reforms in Poland on the weekend. They hope President Duda will refuse to sign the new laws - as he himself announced he would do on Monday morning. Polish media are struck by the number of young people among the demonstrators but take widely differing views of the protest movement.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Demonstrating is suddenly cool

Demonstrating against the PiS is now the hip thing to do among young Poles, Rzeczpospolita observes:

“'Cool photos' [in the social networks] have engendered a real protest trend among the young. Not so very long ago the marches by the 'old folks at [the protest movement] KOD' were seen as an embarrassment. Things are different today with the protests against the 'PiS rednecks', because they're not organised by a party or a social movement. ... Of course it would be easy to joke and claim that these protesters are just the beautiful, rich and young of the 'Warszawka' [Warsaw's upper class]. But such trends often spread extremely quickly, particularly on the Internet. The PiS has downplayed the problem as if it didn't understand how much ground it's already lost on the web.” (PL) /

Masses being controlled unawares

For, by contrast, the protests are not in any way an expression of the popular will:

“The collective hysteria has taken just the turn the engineers of social change had planned. The majority of protesters have been led astray by astroturfing. They know nothing about the judicial reform and practically nothing about the laws they're calling into question. ... Many different and very influential groups have an interest in toppling the PiS. ... The mindless repetition of slogans disseminated by centre-left media could lead to a tragedy.”