Opposition leader: outlaw “hate speech” political groups

The leader of the largest opposition party in Poland, the Civic Platform (PO) Grzegorz Schetyna has called for political groups and movements who practice “hate speech” to be outlawed. He singled out the “All Polish Youth” as an example of an organisation that should be banned.

Mr Schetyna was speaking at the Civic Platform’s conference “Women, Poland, Europe” held on Saturday in Warsaw. In his speech he concentrated on the aftermath of the murder of the Mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz.

He said that public debate was currently dominated by “grief, but also anger and frustration”. He felt that nothing good could come out of such emotions.

The PO leader appealed for the “rebuilding of common state institutions“ and for holding “the guilty to account”. He said that “unity without freedom is a straight road to fascism” and that “real unity is based on tolerance for diversity”.

Mr Schetyna appealed for the death of Mr Adamowicz to become the “beginning of the building of an open society”. He argued that there was a need to “reject ill-feelings and start afresh” and that the opposition should not “use the same weapons with which it was being attacked”.

The opposition’s leader promised that he would return the courts, public television and other institutions “back to normality” . He also called for the “outlawing of organisations that use hate speech” and confirmed that his party would call for the banning of the “All Polish Youth” movement and any other organisations which promote “aggression”.

The “All Polish Youth” movement is a nationalist right-wing grouping which served as a training ground for much of the leadership of the “League of Polish Families” (LPR) a party that was in Parliament from 2001 until 2007 and was briefly a coalition partner of the Law and Justice (PiS) between 2006 and 2007. The LPR like its youth wing was opposed to Poland’s accession to the EU. It drew its ideological inspiration from the pre-war “National Democracy” movement headed by the Polish nationalist Roman Dmowski. The “All Polish Youth” movement has been accused of latent anti-semitism and racism and is currently closest to the “National Movement”(RN) a party which polled just over 1 percent in the last set of all-out local government elections in 2018.

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