Elections are drawing closer. It is clear that PiS is afraid of Donald Tusk, who keeps touring Poland, gathering crowds even in smaller towns. PiS keeps throwing all kinds of shit at him, but nothing seems to be working. In just recent weeks I heard about him being Angela Merkel’s lapdog, a Russian agent, involved in financial scandals, responsible for terrible financial losses for our country, amassing debt, or the state of the Polish army. He was allegedly facilitating the dumping of toxic waste from Germany on Polish soil and he is also a rich man disconnected from people because he bought himself shoes worth 3000 zł. That sum seems to be growing rapidly and is already about to reach 4000 now. Perhaps it’s just the Polish currency losing value against the euro at such a quick pace.
After nothing worked, Kaczyński was so desperate that he suggest that Tusk is the “biggest threat to Poland” and should go to Germany or Belarus, where he belongs, and called him a ginger head. Of course, Tusk was never a ginger head – he is a dark blonde at best. so it’s just yet another false accusation – but this tells more about Kaczyński than he probably would like. As a kid, perhaps when I was 8 or so, I also briefly believed that ginger people are not to be trusted, but of course, grew out of it idiotic prejudice. But this aside, what kind of narrative it is? And what’s next? “Don’t believe Tusk, because he is a Jew?” Quite ironic, if we remember that amongst many other accusations, Kaczyński was this passage: “They propose hate and (…) the language of politics, that is some kind of criminal slang and not a normal, cultural language we should be using”.
So what language PiS uses? There is a common denomination to everything they say: it’s lies.
Morawiecki records tik-tok style videos in which he accuses Tusk of everything that is wrong in the country. Some days ago Twitter was full of pictures in which a very unflattering picture of Donald Tusk was placed next to one of Kaczyński holding a baby with a caption asking the reader who is a family man here (spoiler: despite the intended message of this tweet, it’s Tusk, who has a wife, kids and a bunch of grandchildren, while Kaczyński lives alone in a dilapidated house).
When recently another illegal dump of toxic waste on the outskirts of Zielona Góra went up in smoke, it somehow became something alike the Schroedinger’s cat. It was simultaneously a minor thing and there was no risk to the public (as we were assured by the crisis team, who themselves sat in air-conditioned mobile HQ wearing facemasks) and a terrible disaster for which Donald Tusk is personally responsible. The air quality monitoring systems were switched off, so you could not check for yourself which one is true.
But some journalists started digging nonetheless. Perhaps they were curious, about how it is that it’s still Donald Tusk who is responsible for this tragedy even though he has not been in power for about a decade while PiS stays in power for 8 years now. True, the problem of so-called “waste mafia” is a serious issue in Poland for many years now and we have already written about it in this series. Shortly speaking, due to a lack of regulations, pop-up waste management companies charge producers of toxic waste for its disposal, and then just dump it in random places and disappear. The government then expects the landowner to clean it up, but it of course in most cases is impossible. Landowners are often unaware of the kind of business conducted by their tenants and sometimes the criminals dump stuff in random places without landowners’ permission – there was a well-publicised case of a pensioner who is expected to clean toxic waste dumped at her land without her knowledge at a cost of over one million euro… The criminals are so blatant, that last year owner of one of such companies assaulted two workers by driving a van into them and destroyed an expensive drone only because they were to fly it near one of his dumps (they had no interest or prior knowledge of his operation, they were employees of an energy company that were setting out to use that drone to monitor one of the nearby power lines)
PiS promised to do something about it but did nothing. And so, as we learned, the toxic waste dump in Zielona Góra had been an object of bureaucratic ping-pong between the city mayor, local environmental protection services, and local and national government, as nobody wants to pay the cost of clearing the site that were estimated at up to 27 000 000 zł. Prime Minister Morawiecki was aware of the issue as early as 2018 year and yet did nothing. And now he has the cheek to blame Donald Tusk for the situation, accusing him of importing German waste to Poland during his rule.
But those pesky journalists uncovered something else. Remember Nitro-Chem, the leading TNT manufacturer that under a CEO nominated by PiS had been compromised on security grounds (we wrote about it in the previous chapter of this series)? Well, it turns out that they were also participating in this procedure, as this PiS nominee has also been paying some shady companies to dispose of its toxic waste: he signed a very strange contract in which Nitro-Chem renounced any control over the process of the utilization of those harmful chemicals. Yeah, Tusk is the bad guy here.
But you know who is good? This girl.
Uwzględniłem wniosek o przerwę w karze 21-letniej Mariki. Wyszła na wolność i teraz czeka na decyzję prezydenta o ułaskawieniu. Jej skazanie za usiłowanie rozboju było bezzasadne. To granda! Sąd wtrącił młodą dziewczynę na 3 lata do więzienia, bo protestowała przeciwko promowaniu… pic.twitter.com/L2ViwjadiY
— Zbigniew Ziobro | SP (@ZiobroPL) July 14, 2023
Just look at her, at this cute smile and a military beret and white-and-red armband. She must be a true patriot, probably a scout or something. She had been sentenced to three years in prison, which is, according to Minister of Justice and his deputy, a case of judicial crime, and she is a victim of persecution, because she opposes “leftist ideology”, as she got an enormously severe sentence for just stealing an object worth maybe a 20 złoty. Therefore the minister suspended her sentence in expectation of her being pardoned by the president.
But what? Why? Surely there is something more to it. And it is, of course. Now look at this picture of the same girl. This time symbol on her headwear is different, have you noticed that?
Absolutne niewiniątko. pic.twitter.com/JiLiGodej2
— Ani ta, ani tamta. (@anita_fogler) July 14, 2023
Her name is Marika Matuszak and she is a neo-Nazi right-wing activist. She had been sentenced in 2020 for aggravated robbery after she and some other people attacked a woman carrying a bag with an LGBT flag on it. They were violently attacking the victim while abusing her verbally and caused serious injury to her palm, so according to the law (which was reformed to provide harsher punishments for aggressive crimes by no one else but Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro himself) 3 years of imprisonment is a minimum sentence. The court could use leniency, but in this case decided not to, as Marika and her crime companion were not only not showing any remorse, but were ridiculing the victim in the court and openly expressing their pride for what they did. Their only line of defense was that it was not a robbery, as they did not want to steal the item, but just destroy it as it was representing LGBT ideology which they hate as if that was to make things somehow better.
The government likes to look closely at women recently, but what kind of interest the government institution will show in you depends on what actions you take. If you are a neo-Nazi criminal, the minister himself will defend you. But if there is some suspicion you might have had an abortion (which is, I can’t stress it enough, NOT A CRIME – it is only illegal to help OTHERS to have an abortion), then you can expect the full force of the state.
Recently we heard about the case of a woman who had a miscarriage and ended up in hospital. She was barely off the operating table when the police arrived at her house and then met her in the hospital. Her blood was taken and a septic tank to which their house is connected was drained in search of the fetus – as she miscarried on the toilet. I am not sure what they were hoping to do with it, but luckily the sewage truck owner had more common sense and refused to filter all the contents of the tank through a sieve as requested by the prosecutor.
This woman came forward and told her story after another case hit the news. Another woman named Joanna, who DID take an abortion pill (again, NOT A CRIME if you do it to yourself!) contacted her doctor due to a psychological breakdown (she was in therapy before). The doctor called 112 and informed the emergency services that she had an abortion and now she wants to commit suicide, so an ambulance and a police car arrived at her house and she was taken to the hospital. I spare you details, enough to say that police were bursting into the examination room during the medical treatment, threatening doctors who protested against it with legal action, stole a woman’s laptop, and forced her to crouch and cough to ensure she hasn’t hidden her smartphone in her vagina (despite the fact that the woman was just examined by a gynecologist). Again, I can’t stress it enough, neither having an abortion nor attempting suicide (which Joanna denies) is not a crime, so the police had no reason to do any of those things other than trying to intimidate a woman who decided to rid of her pregnancy. The police’s behavior sparked a countrywide outcry, the police issued a statement that was outrageous, so they replaced it with an even worse one, but finally, the police chief himself assured everyone that there are no grounds to suspect any procedures were broken. This comes from the guy who shot a grenade launcher in his office and sees nothing wrong with it, so make of it what you wish…
Who knows, maybe for their servitude for the good of Gilead the cops will even be allowed to use their kettles again after they had them taken away from them and were banned from bringing their own to work on the basis of energy savings – yes, I am really not making it up. My friend suspects they were indeed not taking energy conservation into consideration – some of the police cars have no air conditioning, so if they kept their kettles inside, the water would easily reach 60-70C even before they were plugged in.
Ok, but let’s get serious for a moment. Because when PiS came to power, they promised they will listen to people. And yet, despite unprecedented protests against tightening anti-abortion laws, not only have they ignored the will of the people but now use police to persecute even those women who did nothing illegal. They instead focus on their internet propaganda. Pro-PiS trolls for example dug up some pictures of Joanna (apparently she is a model or perhaps a makeup artist) and try to portray her as a person in need of psychiatric help if not exorcisms:
Jakby z czeluści piekielnych 👹👺 pic.twitter.com/J8YJjdv4Ao
— Kasia (@Kasia67934013) July 20, 2023
I briefly experienced the power of PiS troll farms after I posted a movie about the utterly stupid behavior of police officers who parked their van across the motorway, almost causing a severe crash, because they wanted to let a convoy in from the slipway. I wrote, according to my original source, that this is alleged to protect a motorcade of some PiS politician and despite the fact that I corrected this information as soon as I learned that it was actually some weapons convoy for Ukraine, for a few days I was swarmed with PiS trolls who were attacking me in the most vulgar and aggressive ways I experienced on Twitter so far, so I had to spend a fair amount of time deleting and blocking sinister tweets from the accounts that are pretty obviously set solely for the purpose of spreading PiS propaganda…
So that’s online. But despite being driven around in police-escorted motorcades and meeting mostly their party members bussed to them from a wide area, sometimes it happens that members of the government face people who are not the fans of the ruling government. And then we can see their real faces. The clip below shows the dialogue between deputy agriculture minister Janusz Kowalski (left) and a member of farmers’ movement (right):
Poland’s deputy agriculture minister in dialogue with farmers leaders pic.twitter.com/HK74ocXVgH
— Daniel Tilles (@danieltilles1) July 28, 2023
When I shared it on Twitter, Minister Kowalski himself reached out to me and provided me with a link suggesting that the man he was talking is a dodgy dog breeder who mistreats his animals. I don’t know what I should think about it, as from what I can make out, Minister Kowalski is not shouting at the man “How dare you treat dogs and cats so bad, you scamp!” but is outraged that the man does not want to listen about his usual rants against Donald Tusk.
But what I learned from the link provided to me by Kowalski is that despite the man having had over 150 dogs taken away from him, he still remains unpunished. And that Kowalski, as per his party standards, would rather try to dig some dirt on his opponent than apologies for his scandalous behavior. I don’t know about you, but in my book, neither of these things testifies well about Janusz Kowalski’s work in the agriculture ministry.
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Picture: screenshot from video of exchange between Janusz Kowalski and a farming activist