Władza Rad 29/05/2019 www.1917.net.pl
See also: http://www.1917.net.pl/node/23719
Note of the Editorial Board: The RCIT sharply condems the ultra-reactionary law. We stand in full solidarity with this call of the Władza Rad comrades!
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The authoritarian PiS regime wants to ban communist ideology in our country i send people to jail for “wrong” views. This could be the end of democratic liberties and freedom of speech. We cannot sit idly by.
The anti-democratic PiS regime is going to adopt a law penalizing the propagation of communist ideology. A person publicly presenting communist views will serve three years in jail. While only the „propaganda for a totalitarian state system” have been punished so far, hereafter the communist ideology itself is penalized.
This is another assault on democratic freedoms in our country. After removal of the names of the streets and monuments connected with the left, last year mass campaign of repressions against communists (trial of the Communist Party of Poland – ultimately acquitted, police intervention in the flat of the owner of the “Władza Rad” web domain on 30th April 2018, police intervention during the scientific conference on Karl Marx in Pobierowo) the regime of Jarosław Kaczyński decided on an amendment of the Polish penal code, which effectively abolishes freedom of speech and political pluralism in Poland – i.e. freedom to organize in political parties and to propagate ones views by people with a communist worldview. This is the first step on the road to ban the Communist Party of Poland, to which so far – despite intimidation, repressions and court trials lasting years – not a single crime or violation of Polish law was proven.
Can one imagine a similar situation in Western Europe? Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Spain or Portugal without communist parties and communists’ rights to present their views? Meanwhile in Poland under the rule of authoritarian and semi-fascist PiS regime, communist propaganda would be punished by a three year jail sentence.
Communism – a victim of Catholic Church pedophilia
The law, which have been prepared for several months in the Ministry of Justice under Zbigniew Ziobro’s supervision, has been passed in the immediate mode in Sejm (lower chamber of parliament) among immense media noise surrounding pedophilia in the Catholic Church. The law have been forwarded to the Senate (upper chamber of Parliament), which have send it back to Sejm. The next vote is shedulled on the 12th of June.
Current Polish constitution contains articles, which guarantee recognition of human rights (Article 5) and international law (Article 9). Ziobro, who increases penalties for rape, violates the civil liberties himself. The adoption of the act can have much wider consequences than next wave of anti-communist repressions. PiS accuses social-democratic Together party („Razem”) of communism and tried to ban it, which shows, that the anti-communist legislation can be ultimately a tool used for mass repression against any kind of political opposition, even one ideologically far from communism.
Ziobro is a coward, who passes the radical changes in law through the back door. The reactionary politicians like Ziobro are full of terrible anxiety about the haunting spectre of communism although in Poland (unlike for example in Greece or Czechia), the communist party is neither a mass party or a major political force. The necessity of the legal changes shows, that the previous repressions against the Communist Party of Poland and Władza Rad were unlawful and political in nature.
Every previous attempt to “de-communize” Polish public life by the anti-democratic right-wing ended in its devastating defeat. The attempt to remove left-connected street names, which was initiated by the law of 1st April 2016, resulted in social protests. Ultimately the courts struck down most of the proposed changes. After three years of trial, despite strong political pressure, on 18th January 2019 court in Dąbrowa Górnicza acquitted the editors of “Brzask” magazine published by the Communist Party of Poland.
“Władza Rad” editors call on all leftists and all those who value human rights and civil liberties, including freedom of speech and the right to organize in political parties, to put pressure on Poland’s anti-democratic regime in order to prevent legal changes, that would abolish democratic liberties in Poland.
As a result of this amendment new anticommunist provisions are introduced in the infamous Article 256 of the Penal Code:
a) § 1 shall read: „§ 1. Who publicly propagates Nazi, communist, fascist or other totalitarian state system or encourages hatred on the basis of national, ethnic, racial or religious differences or lack of religious beliefs, is subject to penalty of jail up to 3 years.”, b) after § 1 there will be added § 1a reading: „§ 1a. Subject to same penalty is anyone who publicly propagates Nazi, communist, fascist ideology or an ideology encouraging the use of violence to influence political or social life.”, c) § 2 shall read: „§ 2. Subject to same penalty is anyone who, for the purpose of dissemination, produces, secures or imports, buys, sells, offers, stores, holds, presents, transports or transmits a print, recording or other object containing the content specified in § 1 or 1a or which is a carrier of Nazi, communist, fascist or other totalitarian symbolism, uused in a way that propagates the content specified in § 1 or 1a.”.