On Sunday, more than 100,000 Poles demonstrated Sunday in support of European Union membership following a Polish court’s ruling that parts of EU law are incompatible with the constitution raising fears that Poland could potentially leave the bloc.
Politicians across Europe voiced concern over the ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal last week, wherein the court undercut a legal pillar on which the 27-nation EU stands.
Poles protested the ruling in more than 100 towns and cities across Poland as well as several cities abroad, with 80,000-100,000 people gathering in the capital Warsaw alone; protestors waved Polish and EU flags and shouting “We are staying”.
In a statement Donald Tusk, a former head of the European Council who is now a leader of the Civic Platform, the main opposition party in Poland, said the court ruling was jeopardizing Poland’s future in Europe.
“We know why they want to leave (the EU) … so that they can violate democratic rules with impunity,” said Tusk.
“Just as Brexit suddenly became a fact, something no-one expected, the same thing can happen here,” said Janusz Kuczynski, 59, standing in a street in Warsaw’s historic district leading up to the Royal Castle.
Speakers at the demonstrations included politicians from across the opposition, artists and activists.
“This is our Europe and nobody is going to take us out of it,” said Wanda Traczyk-Stawska, a 94-year old veteran of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Nazi German occupiers.