To oust Law and Justice from power engineers of mass hysteria devised a smart-aleck plan: ”Let’s turn off the government!”
These were not spontaneous protests, although spontaneously many people participated – disoriented people who have been manipulated into thinking that Law and Justice party has changed the political system into a totalitarian one, that courts would belong to political parties and citizens lose their freedom. The scenes full of hysterical behavior which unfolded following the passage of a Bill that regulates changes in how Poland’s Supreme Court functions – prove that the sphere of influence is vast. A huge group of people has fallen prey to disinformation. Engineers of this mass hysteria will do all that it takes to use them in the battle for upholding the pre-elections’ status quo. Various scripts are being looked at, all kinds of means and institutions are activated.
A precise plan for the destabilization of the country has surfaced called “Let the country shut down: let’s turn off the government“!
The script reads like this: growing protests, rebellion of judges, general strike, refusal to pay taxes, picket lines in front of government and party headquarters and homes of Law and Justice politicians; constant provocation tactics against Jaroslaw Kaczynski which eventually is supposed to lead him to a nervous breakdown and the disintegration of Law and Justice into factions. These are just some of the steps announced by the Head of the Council for Open Dialogue, Bartosz Kramek, basing his idea on the experience from the Ukrainian Majdan. Protests are the foundation of social resistance, but they don’t exhaust the catalogue of tools that if applied will increase the effectiveness of social disobedience.
Radical means of resistance in Eastern countries are justified by the extraordinary circumstances in the III Polish republic. Authorities that are conducting the destruction of public life and the political system must meet with a congruent and analogically inspired reaction of society. The following paper presents 16 points based, among others, on observations drawn from my observer and support mission at the Ukrainian EuroMajdan – Kramek announced on Facebook. He is the chairman of the Council for Open Dialogue, founded by Ludmyla Kozlowska, privately Kramek’s wife. He claimed that he much rather would have expected “an outside threat from Putin’s Russia – than the overthrowing of the Constitution and rule of law by a democratically elected Polish government.”
We can blame former governments for a lot of things, but there are boundaries, lines which can’t be crossed. The responsibility for the current crisis rests entirely upon the shoulders of the current authorities. The arguments which Law and Justice invokes – even if true – about faults of their predecessors do not constitute justification – writes Kramek listing several media repeated charges against Law and Justice, about untreated post Smolensk tragedy trauma, and the will to turn back history. In his opinion Polish reputation is in ruins, that means it’s time to start fighting and putting pressure on the government. Protests and appeals alone are not good enough – what is necessary is immediate undertaking of extraordinary and stern actions based on social disobedience. No one wants Majdan and bloodshed in Poland – but the escalation of tension orders us to consider even the most, until now, unimaginable developments and to be ready for them. The red line has to be very clear for us – aggression, violence and blood. Weather the same is true for the government – that we don’t know – writes the Open Dialogue Foundation activist. He calls on the civic society and on the Sovereign – to “turn off the government.” He has a specific recipe for this. He presents a list of things to do which, in fact, is a detailed instruction on how to storm the government. He underlines “an extraordinary situation requires extraordinary measures and the readiness to suffer possible consequences of participation in protest actions.“
He listed 16 points to paralyze the Nation and “turn off the government.“
- Despite all and any differences – strict cooperation and coordination is mandatory among even a wide spectrum of opposition and civic circles – which will create a common joint framework to serve as key decision makers and will choose an official representation from amongst themselves . At Majdan this common platform consisted partly of the Majdan Council and the national resistance command. For us it can be the Democratic Front, within which the appropriate teams will be assigned appropriate tasks, to be carried out at the lower levels.
- To be effective mass crowds must be mobilized, but even before that occurs – the resistance of many communities can paralyze government operations. This requires talks led by the opposition and chief leaders with trade union headquarters and business reps (Polish Business Council, Business Center Club).
- A nation-wide teachers’ strike or in the case of judges, common and administrative, who are formally prohibited from striking – widely tailored protests, including stoppages during work hours, and the refraining from professional duties. This should cause serious and widespread social unrest which authorities cannot afford to ignore; this will no longer be a battle for the courts – it will be a battle for Poland.It’s worth taking a look at an open large-scale temporary tax payment boycott and other revenue related protests under the action call – “I don’t pay for Law and Justice.”
- Under no circumstance can the Supreme Court capitulate to legal dictate. Even in the case of unconstitutional Bills taking effect, the Supreme court should officially recognize them, due to their striking contradiction to the Constitution and their paralyzing effect on the Constitutional Tribunal – as remiss of legal power and, in so much, nonbinding. The anticipated judgments by the Supreme Court on Mariusz Kaminski and Julia Przylebska must be made. Judges must not willfully surrender judiciary buildings to party nominates. Judges could be protected from physical harm by Municipal Police and a human chain of citizens. Common courts must apply the Constitution directly. Courts have to be surrounded by special civic protection, symbolic support and, in case of need, material aid and perpetual protesters.
- Social pressure in the form of protests and manifestations must be constant and high. Tent towns or loud and frequent demonstrations can originate and be coordinated not only at the Sejm or the Presidential palace, but also from the Prime Minister’s Chancery, the HQ of Law and Justice party on Nowogrodzka street, and in front of the home of Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Perhaps in time – these facilities could be completely blocked paralyzing their operations?
- Taking care of good organization, image and attractability of protest locations: the protests themselves should be enhanced and enlivened by engaging wide scale entertainment support as well as by specific cultural offer (concerts), and educational offer (lectures), meetings dedicated to the history of parliamentarism, the Constitution, rule of law, etc. Security improvement demands the presence of parliamentarians – opposition members who are protected by immunity and their accessibility – in case of need for intervention.
- Consequences for chief Law and Justice politicians and members are mandatory – their purpose is social ostracism. This could be achieved using such methods as demonstrations, under the windows of Kaczynski’s home (let’s not let Kaczynski sleep in peace – he destroys Poland ), or ever-present handouts, posters, billboards exposing their hypocrisy and complexes, including using their own quotes (about traitor’s muzzles and scumbags) – all which will find their way, daily, to their families and neighbors. Perhaps Kaczynski’s house in Zoliborz should be flooded by posters with the words of Lech Kaczynski, which refer to the respect due to the Constitution and Constitutional Tribunal decisions. The Law and Justice majority is small, pressure and discomfort felt by its’ members, on a daily basis, might cause their breakdown and crossover to the citizens’ side.
- It’s absolutely critical to maintain good relations with the police, and other forces subordinated to them – thanking them for their hard work and protection; reminding them and accenting the peaceful character of the protests, offering them water and warm beverages – at the same time focusing their attention on due loyalty to the Constitution and law; therefore the necessity to refuse carrying out commands in contradiction with them. We don’t have and we don’t want any conflict with the police.
- Wide scale educational action is mandatory. Trained volunteers and activists should be at subway stations and at corners of every major street, armed with petitions, up-coming protest invitations, informational materials explaining transpiring changes and clarifying myths about alleged de-communization of the Judiciary, maybe even gadgets ridiculing “sultan Kaczynski” as Lilliputian, as well as his acolytes (there is power in humor and laughter). Copies of the Constitution must be handed out, town hall like meetings should be held throughout the country. The financial support should come from local governments and party means. Very important: media (including social media) must, in a easy way, explain to society the reasons for the protests and the inconvenience they may be causing.
- Attempts to negotiate with the potentially constructive wing of the ruling elite cannot be overlooked. Gowin’s faction (though hopes for this are low) could become such a faction, also individual Members of Parliament can surface, as well as groups, frightened by the developing situation. Once more – the Law and Justice majority is brittle, and Kukiz will not sell Kaczynski his hide so easily and cheap. Their bargaining can buy us time.
- The power in Poland belongs to local governments. Warsaw, the capital city should play a special role. City council should pass a resolution on the unconstitutionality of Law and Justice actions and support for the protestors. Municipal authorities should secure protest facilities, support those who spend the night in the vicinity of the Parliament (and other government buildings) see to the provisions of bathrooms, water and food. If a widespread social protest could turn the government off, then why Warsaw could not turn off the Upper and Lower chamber of Parliament, Ministry of Justice, Chancery of the Prime Minister and President? Under the pretext of a remodeling job at the headquarters of Law and Justice – can’t the lights go off? Young people call this trolling – but do we not have this right in light of evident unlawful rule?
- Local government should install special assignment teams taking advantage of every civil criminal and administrative instrument of law – to sabotage illegal acts of the government and procure consequences for those responsible (including officials who are realizing illicit unconstitutional acts – following orders of their superiors). Members of Parliament pursuing parliamentary obstruction should be backed with, for instance, the production of countless amendments. All international law means of exerting pressure should be used. If we can bring Polish authorities to stand before international tribunals – let’s do it – in great numbers. Potential victims of Law and Justice persecution – should be guaranteed free legal aid.
- Europe and the world. Close cooperation with the world is critical (including organizing human rights watch missions to Poland, as well as hearings regarding the situation in Poland on the forum of the European Council, the European Union, but also national parliaments of those countries most important to us and most interested). Poland must be visited, and this should be strongly encouraged, by EU Parliamentarians, US Congressmen and journalists worldwide. Chairman Kaczynski, PM Szydlo, President Duda, Speakers of the House and Senate should all be flooded by, not only firm petitions, but requests to meet with key European Union politicians and ambassadors. Similarly, Polish ambassadors should be called to appear before Heads of local Ministries of Foreign Affairs. International sanctions should be one of the options on the table. Perhaps personal sanctions’ mechanism could be triggered against political decision makers and officials who are breaking the law.
- Internet and social media: their potential should be utilized in full. These are tools which we cannot overestimate, in principle the goal is to have: visibility in foreign languages; access to those who are passive and unconvinced; the elimination of damaging myths, fake news and propaganda generated by media loyal to Law and Justice; obtaining support including financial; culturally discrediting functionaries of Law and Justice. We must monitor social media and utilize analytical tools – which proved so effective in the recent election campaign in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom. At present this electronic communication allows us to reach groups and individuals, especially those most interested in our message, as well as various discussions forums.
- Business circles, self-government, but also the whole of society engaged in our cause should contribute to a special civic fund – that would serve to finance the above detailed activities. This is the key!! By having appropriate means – we can do anything! What is necessary is absolute certitude of transparency, so as to avoid fraud which submerged the reputation of KOD.
The chairman of the Open Dialogue Foundation insists that it is necessary to activate all of the elements – outlined in this scenario. He also suggests employing that kind of manipulation – which would spin Jaroslaw Kaczynski out of control. The recent parliamentary fury of Kaczynski is our success – not only does it expose his true motivation, but it challenges his authority in his own circle; his impulsive behavior can lead him to further lose control over not only himself – but over his own collaborators, which in turn, means increased probability that he will make continuous mistakes. Law and Justice – lacking the strong leadership of Kaczynski will divide into several mutually competing factions. The engine of Kaczynski’s destruction is hatred; let us offer him our compassion, and his anger against delusional injury turn on himself. Above all let us work with one another consequently and systematically – Poland is at stake – writes in his instruction Bartosz Kramek, chairman of the Open Dialogue Foundation.
It’s worth noting that at the occasion of the December Coup attempt in Warsaw – precise instructions on how to carry out Majdan also appeared. Their author was Michal Broniatowski from Forbes. Both initiatives originate from people who are connected to business and media. You don’t have to be an inquisitive observer to notice, that, all the steps outlined in Kramek’s instructions were scrupulously being carried out. From the social to the political ones. Friendliness with Civic Platform’s representatives was very visible already in 2013 – during the Ukrainian based Majdan.
Also worth noting are finances of the Foundation and its close cooperation with the Warsaw City Hall. The financial statements show that the foundation has about 900 donors, most of them anonymous. Among sponsors who generously finance the organization are also Bartosz Kramek and his wife, the heads of the foundation. The total sum of their donations was over 135 thousand PLN in 2015 and 222 thousand PLN in 2016.
The plan to paralyze the state is precise. Its details should be closely monitored. This is not a phony fight. The opponents of reforming the state are ready to “turn off the government”.