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2017-05-31, Poland: Defense of the Theatre “Powszechny”

Sunday 4 June 2017

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Declaration Of The Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation on the Defense of the Theatre “Powszechny” and of Freedom

Gathered today in front of the Theatre Powszechny in Warsaw, we can affirm with satisfaction that it is freed from fascism and from Catholic fanaticism.

The operation of the far right ONR party, which attempted to “be done with blasphemy at the Theatre Powszechny,” ended in total failure. The theatre personnel did not submit to the ONR’s threats and attacks. The siege of the theatre did not produce its intended effect: all performances of “Curses” directed by Oliver Frljic did indeed take place, while audience members safely entered the theatre and then exited under the protection of police and citizens.

During the pauses between their deafening, kneeling prayers, the nationalists allowed themselves to indulge in acts of vandalism, throwing smoke bombs and corrosive products, while making use of physical violence.

But the presence of many committed defenders of the theatre, of freedom of expression and of artistic creation, was sufficient to repel these attacks. We will keep a close eye on the investigation of these acts of illegal violence.

This is an important victory. Supporters of Catholic-national terror failed to remove the “Curse” title display by force, as they did in the past for the plays “Golgotha Picnic” and “Death and the maiden.” This is also an important experience demonstrating that without the institutional support of state authorities, which this time had not been granted, ONR was unable to effectively terrorize society.

Therefore, we demand that state authorities cease to support forces and movements with the fascist symbols on their banners and propagating fascist ideology which, in the previous century, led to genocide on an unprecedented historical scale.

As citizens we declare that we will not allow our democratic achievements to be taken from us, achievements which were gained through difficult struggle and for which our predecessors paid with their blood. We will not succumb to national-Catholic oppression. We will defend human rights and civil liberties, including the most fundamental ones such as freedom of conscience, expression, art, science and media.

We will not allow the destruction of democracy!

Warsaw, May 31st, 2017

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