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Poles march to denounce government, eroding democracy

AP  |  Warsaw 

Thousands of Poles marched in today to demand respect for their country's constitution while denouncing a populist government that they accuse of eroding

Many participants carried Polish and flags during an event promoted as the "March of Freedom" and chanted slogans such as "Constitution!" and "Free courts!" Two pro-European and centrist opposition parties, and Modern, were the key organizers of the protest, along with a pro-civic group.

In speeches, their leaders accused the ruling right-wing of chipping away at democratic freedoms with an overhaul of the judicial system that gives the party vast powers over the courts.

leaders have urged the to reverse some of the changes. The government insists it has the political mandate to reform a broken justice system.

said the government's opponents are fighting for "freedom, dignity, democracy, the constitution, the independence of the Constitutional Tribunal, the independence of courts and in " Some protesters held up small copies of the Polish Constitution.

The march was also an attempt by political opposition parties to gain some momentum against the ruling party ahead of local this fall and the next year.

"We want to show that we are, we are together, and that we have a plan," Michal Stasinski, a lawmaker with Civic Platform, told

Many march participants also expressed support for a protest that mothers of disabled children have held for more than three weeks in the The mothers are demanding more state funding to care for their children, but so far have been unsatisfied with what the government has offered them.

Across Warsaw, there were other rallies Saturday, including the annual pro-EU Schuman Parade and a march of about 250 farmers, foresters and hunters angry at environmentalists. Some ultra-nationalists turned out for the latter event.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 00:40 IST