‘This is what a revolution looks like’: Poland’s abortion law protests, in photographs — The Calvert Journal
On 22 October, the Polish Constitutional Court imposed a near-total ban on abortion, making it practically impossible for women to legally end their pregnancies.
This change in legislation led to a nationwide strike in #Poland, with protests following in other European capitals and across the world. With each day, the frustration and anger of the crowd intensified: protestors of all ages and genders donned elaborate makeup and costumes, painting their faces with lighting bolts, or dressing as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale. Others are blocking major roads and bridges, chanting anti-government slogans, and taking to the streets with coat hangers and black umbrellas, two symbols of Poland’s pro-choice movement.
The protests draw inspiration from demonstrations in October 2016, on a day which became known as Black Monday. It saw more than 24,000 Poles dressed in all-black marched in the streets of Warsaw to protest a similar bill against abortion. Four years later, on 30 October, around 150,000 people protested across Warsaw, with supporting action taking place in other Polish cities, in what has become the biggest demonstration in the country since the fall of communism in 1989
“I am a photographer from Warsaw and I have spent the last week photographing the protests in the capital city. During the strike I saw a policewoman who was separating radical nationalists and Nazi-supporters with rosaries, who were protecting the church from protesting women. I felt genuine embarrassment in the eyes of the policewoman that she couldn’t stand with us.”