Radical protest against Poland's PiS government
A Polish man has set himself on fire in protest at the policies of the national-conservative government, sustaining serious injuries. Some commentators see him as a new symbol in the fight against the governing PiS party. For others the incident can be put down to media hype.
Hero of resistance deserves respect
The government-critical journalist Jan Hartman thanks the man for setting himself on fire in protest at the PiS government:
“I'm deeply impressed by the old man's self-immolation in front of the Palace of Culture. No one has taken the destruction of democracy by the PiS so seriously - so dead seriously. ... If this man dies, our laborious and unequal fight against the PiS regime will have a new symbol and a new hero. It will then become more serious - because in politics things get serious when someone dies. And for that - regardless of whether this man survives or not - I would like to thank him with utmost respect.”
Spurred on by hysteric media
This could only come to this because the anti-government media in Poland give a skewed image of the truth, writes Jacek Karnowski, journalist and co-publisher of the pro-government news portal wPolityce.pl:
“The man's letter expressed the conviction that the PiS is a kind of gang that has gained power and will never relinquish it, and that will continue until it has reached its goal of establishing a dictatorship. ... If you believe the opposition media, the reality in Poland really does correspond to that man's view: tyranny, the end of pluralism, the isolation of Poland, the persecution of minorities, the clearance of Białowieża Forest, the destruction of Lech Wałęsa. Each crime is followed by another that is even more heinous. A country like Venezuela or Turkey since the coup.”