Since the far right nationalistic party Law and Justice scored a victory in November 2015 elections we actually knew the things would get difficult for all liberal minded people. Still the purge in public institutions, communist like propaganda in public media, growing conflict with the EU and unofficial support given by the rulers to the extreme right nationalistic and antisemite organizations surprised us as if it was a new experience in our turbulent history. Yesterday however Kaczynski and his party crossed another line putting under political control the Supreme Court and the whole judicial system. The basic constitutional rules have been broken and there is no independent Constitutional Tribunal anymore to guard the standards.
Last night hundreds of thousands of Poles took the streets protesting in Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, Szczecin, Krakow, Gdansk, Lodz and many, many others cities and towns against breaking the Constitution and giving the whole power to one man and one party. Poland is entering another dark period in its history. Repressions and persecution are expected as soon as the fall comes. Political opposition is about to be totally marginalized. Autonomy of the universities is in jeopardy. Foreign and domestic independent media will share the same fate through the new law limiting the foreign investments in tv, press and radio. Newly formed Territorial Defense Forces, composed mainly by the activists recruited from among nationalistic youth organizations (ONR) will take control over the civilians everyday life. This is not just another scary dream, it's a real perspective of a country where Solidarity movement was born and Lech Walesa broke the totalitarian chains paving the path to many others.
All people who care about the liberal democracy, individual freedom and human rights should know that a new dictatorship has just been born. A dictatorship with the scent of national socialism. Yes, we know, only the Polish people can solve the dramatic situation. Only we, through the democratic process, can restore the rule of law and respect to the basic common values. International community however cannot stand aside and keep the business as usual. We need you, your voice, your support and your action... before Poland, we all knew and loved, dies.
Dr. Ryszard Schnepf
Former ambassador of Poland to the U.S.