A huge crowd took to the streets of Warsaw on Sunday at the call of the opposition, for an anti-government demonstration, "the largest in thirty years" according to the organizers, who expected 300,000 people.
Coming from all over Poland, the demonstrators - wearing the Polish colours white and red and those of the European Union - responded to the call of the leader of the main centrist opposition party (Civic Platform, PO), former head of the European Council Donald Tusk, to protest against "the high cost of living, fraud and lies, in favour of democracy, free elections and the EU".
The leaders of the majority of opposition parties encouraged their supporters to join the big march against the ruling populist nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his allies.
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Enough!", "We do not want an authoritarian Poland", "The PiS is the high cost of living", proclaimed placards directed against the majority in power in Poland for almost eight years, in the run-up to the general elections scheduled for the autumn.
White and red hearts stuck on their chests, PO officials led the way, accompanied by the legendary leader of the first free trade union in the communist world in the 1980s, Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1983.
In a brief inaugural speech, Tusk stressed that the opposition's mission is "of comparable importance" to that of the 1980s and the fight against communism at the time.
Long absent from the political scene, Walesa said he had waited "patiently" for the day when the nationalist party and its leader Kaczynski would have to leave. "Kaczynski, we came to get you. That day has arrived," Walesa said.
The date of the demonstration, which the opposition sees as a decisive moment in its march towards a possible electoral victory, is the 34th anniversary of the first partially free elections in Poland, which precipitated the fall of communism in Europe.
Lech Walesa's movement then succeeded in placing 160 of its candidates in the lower house, thus winning almost all the seats to which it was entitled, i.e. 35% of the mandates of this assembly, and 99% of all the positions of senators.