Saturday, 10 November 2012

Demonstrations in Warsaw 1997 -1998


I have scanned some old photographs of demonstrations in Warsaw shortly after I came here. They are from around 1997 to 1998. Most are after the election of the right-wing coalition government of Solidarity Electoral Alliance and Freedom Union (AWS-UW). This government incorporated the different currents from the right, including those that now make up Citizens' Platform (PO) and the Law and Justice Party (PiS). Introducing the so-called 'second Balcerowicz plan' and its 'four reforms', it was probably the most disasterous government of the past twenty years, as economic growth slumped and unemployment doubled to nearly 20%. 

At this time the major opposition came from the left.Alongside the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) was the trade union confederation the OPZZ, which organised a number of protests against the government. Also at that time the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) had a few MPs in parliament as part of the SLD's electoral bloc, providing a left alternative inside and outside of parliament. Also peasants' movement Self-Defence (Samoobrona) was growing, as those in the countryside were particularly negatively affected by the governments reforms. 

 OPZZ demonstration against the government 1998:



  

PPS and OPZZ: 




  
Campaign against Education Fees ( 1997 or 1998) led by the PPS youth:




PPS Conference 1998:


May 1st 1997:
 
 (The banner reads - good luck Tony Blair (sic) - it was the day he got elected)

Samoobrona (first photo is of Andrzej Lepper):




Slogans on Demos



:
 (Enough Anti-worker Policies of AWS - UW)





(Him again)



 (Krzaklewski (then PM), Balcerowicz - Gravediggers of the nation)

 CounterDemonstrators:



 (May Day 1997)


(Polish Thatcherites)



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