After parliamentary opposition destabilised in the wake of recent votes on citizen initiatives regarding abortion rights, the left decided to take advantage of the opportunity and close ranks. On 28 January in Warsaw, the first meeting of the cycle announced by the leader of Inicjatywa Polska and the face of Ratujmy Kobiety project, Barbara Nowacka, took place.
A new party?
Campaign marathon started by PSL’s convention and joined by Nowoczesna and PO, which started open coalition talks, together with the recent OKO.press poll that suggested united left could secure a two-digit electoral score, made the public opinion believe a party would be established or a common list for local elections would be set up during the meeting. None of these happened, though.
As Barbara Nowacka assured in the inaugural speech during the meeting, “we are not founding any parties today, as it is not the time. We are not composing any lists”. Having said that, she pointed out that some of the parties present on the meeting, like Razem or SLD (S&D), have already stated they would run in the upcoming election alone.
However, the leader did not conceal that “we have to make sure to enter the Sejm” – that this is the ultimate goal. She recognised that “to be in the Sejm, you need to stay credible and have specific proposals” and “for this to succeed, we have some work to do”.
Need to act
Nowacka emphasized that “Just anger and just dreams of fair Poland, of good Poland, of Poland of equal opportunities and rights do little, unless actions follow them”. Reminding of the cooperation that occured between the left-wing forces on the Ratujmy Kobiety project and on collecting signatures under the referendum to repeal the education reform, Nowacka suggested the left arrange a European citizen initiative whose aim would be to “defend the access to contraception for women”. The way Nowacka sees it, such an action would show Europe that “even though we are being pulled away, we are determined to be in Europe and get to shape it”.
Other projects that the host invited the guests to participate in were to put forward a guarantee of secularity and philosophical impartiality of the state, as well as touching on environmental protection.
Most important matters
The organizer invited to join the debate on four matters that she considers the most important – an education reform that would cause schools to “nurture values such as openness, cooperation, solidarity and not just hardline PiS-like patriotism and religiousness”, a health care reform and a change of “unjust, harmful” pension system that “discriminates against women and gives no chance for a decent life”.
According to the leader “Prawo i Sprawiedliwość questioned Constitution”. Nowacka stated that “institutions were weak, and there were no checks” and that PiS “managed to destroy the triparite separation of powers” and “demolish certain base on which the country and citizen-country relations were built”. As she has marked, “it’s no more” noting that “there is no chance of returning to the state of things from two or three years ago”. She has also remarked that “previous years were years of disappointment in many moments”.
At the same time, she invited those who want “Poland that is stable, safe, open, European and based on respectability” to begin the debate about new civic constitution which would be to “really give laws, freedoms, dignity and safety to all the Poles, no matter what religion they are, where they come from, or with whom they want to live”, but would also guarantee environment protection, rights of workers, would care about social policy and “safety from right-wing populisms, nationalism, and fanatics, be it religious or right-wing”.
“Foundation for action”
Claiming the civic constitution debate as the foundation for action for the nearest time, Barbara Nowacka has announced a series of similar meetings “wherever possible”. Calling for cooperative work she has pointed out that “we do not have to be on the same lists, but we need to cooperate if we’re driven by the same values which I mentioned. Cooperate, without forming any new parties, because there’s enough of them, but creating what is incredibly important – social movement, political movement”.
Barbara Nowacka has also expressed hope to present the “basis of works” on April 15.
Zdjęcie Adriana Grycuka (Praca własna) za pośrednictwem Wikimedia Commons