During the Women’s Strike demonstrations taking place this Wednesday across Poland, organized groups of men attacked mostly women protesters in several cities. The attackers were members and supporters of the extreme right, together with some football hooligan circles. Neo-nazis attacked women with clubs, knives and stun guns. In the city of Wrocław, a woman journalist was attacked, and someone slashed the face of a man taking part in demonstrations with a knife.
People taking part in protests swapped information on the movements of the far-right militias in order to safely return home. Intimidation and terror have always been the standard tactic of the far right.
Wednesday’s attacks are also the result of the appeal of Jarosław Kaczyński, the deputy prime minister and the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader, whose statement was interpreted as inciting violence. The ever-growing acts of far-right aggression, combined with the increasing number of its victims, cause panic and provide a good pretext for an attack on civil rights. The rulers will also use the threat of the pandemic. Still, the main reason for political accusations and repression is related to the alleged struggle in defence of “churches and civilization” which incites the extreme right attacks. You have to consider the potential scenario of introducing “right-wing despotism” – their last resort.
The aim of groups such as Konfederacja (Polish authoritarian far-right parliamentary party, similar to BNP or AfD), ONR (National Radical Camp, a revolutionary nationalists/neo-fascists grouping) or Młodzież Wszechpolska (All-Polish Youth, catholic integralists/nationalists) is to create a situation that will prompt the government to introduce the state of emergency. The authoritarian state is the goal in itself for them, but also a guarantee of maintaining their ideological offensive, and the attacks on people they call “faggots”, “feminazis” and “leftists”.
It is also difficult to understand the naivety of the liberal media and politicians who talk about the support of the protests by football hooligans. Their “pro-feminist” banners with demands for unity in the fight against PiS are just empty slogans, but some, unfortunately, fall into it. They do not notice that by demonstrating their aversion to PiS, the football hooligans do not intend to support or vote for any of the liberal parties. The core of the football hooligans simply sympathizes with Konfederacja. It is not noticed that on their anti-PiS banners, published by the media, they threaten left women that they would “fuck and murder them”. And who is a “leftist” is an open question that is subject to manipulation by, among others, the regime state-run television, which became adept at pointing at “the enemies of the nation”.
If someone believes in the conversion of the football hooligans, they will be sorely disappointed. It will be like when they promised in front of the cameras to improve their usual ways following the death of John Paul II in 2005, and managed to keeptheir resolution until the next round of football games, when they jumped to each other’s throats again and carried on business as usual: the riots in the stadiums continued.
As soon as the “fans” return to the stadiums, one thing you can expect is that they will carry on signing the sexist and homophobic slogans they are best known for. Alternatively, in the “national spirit”, they will present a beautiful sector show with the image of Roman Dmowski or a banner about a “Lithuanian chum”, or some other garbage.
Of course, the football hooligans are not a social monolith, but today the far-right influence within them is a fact. The rest of football fans (probably the vast majority; according to research, 80% are men) treat it as a kind of “hooligan” culture and an integral part of the football spectacle. They have been pretending for years that it is just sports fun.
We are not interested in football hooligan culture. However, when this goes beyond the stadiums, especially at a time like today, it poses a great threat to us, striking women and gender-oppressed people demanding the right to abortion.
Translated from the original text, available in Polish on Rozbrat website.