The change made by Polish parliament to the Right to Assembly Act limits the freedom of public assembly, which is guaranteed to every citizen by Polish Constitution.
It introduces the concept of cyclic assembly and gives priority to those held by state or church over civil ones. It restricts the freedom of spontaneous assembly. Furthermore, it gives power to decide to the state officials-voivodes, not to local authorities. If a voivode declares a cyclic assembly on a specific time and place, all other assemblies that “could disturb it” are illegal, without regarding the local authorities’ opinion on that matter.
It is not for the first time that the government and the parliament of Law and Justice are breaking the Constitution. Yet this time it has an additional overtone. In a democratic state of law it is the citizen that is the subject and the state stands to serve him. The subsidiarity principle is literally written into Polish Constitution. Current legislator bends this fundamental principle. It openly places the government’s will over citizen’s. It is state (and religious) assmebly that is more important than civic. It is an obvious return to the PRL’s idea of state as a citizens’ supervisor.
We strongly oppose change made to the Right to Assembly Act.
We consider it contrary to the Constitution. We will resort to civil disobedience if necessary and not respect it.
The Committee for Defending Democracy’s task is to fight for civil rights, for respecting the rule of Constitution and the rule of law. We will not allow to take our rights away.
The Regional Board
The Committee for Defending Democracy