Media Duped or Silenced? Why the Silence about Tens of Thousands Polish Citizens on the Street?

10 April 2011 Warsaw, Poland. Tens of Thousands of people commemorated the anniversary of death of then President Lech Kachinsky and 95 people killed in plane crash in Russia a year ago. The demonstration tightly filled the square before the presidential palace and the long adjacent street (Krakowske Przedmiesce) and turned into a very strong political statement against the Polish government and it's pro-Russian politics.

See the slogans

KLaudiusz Wesolek (his youtube channel) who filmed the demostration claims there were 100.000 people. See his video

Maidan covered in details all mass political protests in Europe since “Ukraine without Kuchma” action in 2000-2001 in precise details. We know how to evaluate number of participants of protests. We estimate the number of people visible on Klaudiusz's video as 20.000. It is a conservative estimate. However, Klaudiusz and a Maidan Alliance activist, who participated in demonstration, confirm that the streets were filled with people far beyond the camera view. Most dedicated readers can study the map and try to calculate the number of participants themselves.

It was a very big demonstration with tens of thousands of people present. However polish and international media fail to assess the scope of the demonstration and write it off as mourning.

The biggest Polish newspaper with the reference to Polish MP Pawło Poncyliusz mentions 7.000 and writes that Poles “voted by legs” and avoided the occasion. Look yourself at video above again and decide yourself if more people could be present in this place and how? in the article above includes the video filmed using Goebbels propaganda practice – from close perspective that does not allow see the whole crowd. That was common practice of Ukrainian and Russian media when they covered mass protests in Ukraine.

However international media does essentially the same as – underestimate the number of participants in the demonstration. The most accurate report by the Associated Press reprinted by many media outlets stated "thousands". France24 used the words “big crowd” and avoided showing the demonstration on video. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty wrote “many Poles” and BBC did not mention the the demostration at all. The BBC totally missed what is going on.

After all this I wonder whether international media would cover what happened after the demonstration ended?

A tent was set up in front of President's Palace by an NGO "Stowarzyszenia Solidarni 2010" with young people inside prepared for tent strike demanding the dismissal of government like we did in Ukraine in 2000 within “Ukraine without Kuchma” action. They planned to set up “tent city” like in Orange Revolution in 2004. Their main accusation to Donald Tusk is that he sold out the country and there is a clear danger to independence of Poland. See on video

The tent action was legalized according to local laws, however in 11 April 2011 16:30 it was removed by the municipal guard. See video

During the the tent removal Michal Strozyk, journalist from Gdansk, who tried to film the actions of guards, was brutally beaten by them and later had to be brought to the hospital with injuries. See him in hospital

Use google translate and read comments to this video (they elaborated the offending guardian name and the badge number)

What caused the beating? "They told me to get off the sidewalk. I said that I am a free citizen in a free country and I will not step away. There was no discussion with them. They caught me by the hand and pushed into the street getting away my camera and laptop from my hands. I do not know what happened to that hardware. There was no reason for such brutal behaviour towards me" - Michal said.

Poles I inerviewed do not recall the cases of people beat by the police or other law enforcement agencies. Watchdogs that monitor tortures internationally say that these cases happen in Poland very rarely.

The strongest comment to other video says: “Since president Kachinsky was killed Poland has been occupied by the fascists, elections were falsified, secret services are occupied by criminals and serve to criminals, foreign intelligence agents to work at the MFA, right wing and patriotic Poles are deprived of job are dismissed from their work, National wealth was almost gone... What are we waiting for?”

And I wonder what international media are waiting for? What made them close their eyes at the events in Poland?

Natalka Zubar

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