Chaos and Confrontation: Government’s Aggressive Bid for Media Control Sparks Public Outcry in Poland

    During an attempt to take over the Polish Public Television by people appointed by the new government, Joanna Borowiak, a member of the Polish Parliament, was physically attacked and injured.

    Thousands of people gathered in front of the station building, as well as Polish Radio and the Polish Press Agency. The authorities cut off TVP INFO’s signal to prevent the station’s supporters from accessing information.

    The government is attempting to seize control of state media through force, just one week after being sworn in. By doing so, it violated the Act on the National Media Council and the protection of the Constitutional Tribunal. Changes in the media are suspended until the hearing, which begins in January.

    The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, dismissed the supervisory and management boards of Polish Television, Polish Radio, and the Polish Press Agency in the morning. He based his actions on the Sejm’s resolution of Tuesday, December 19. Lawyers state that the document not only lacks legal force but also contradicts the Act on the National Media Council and the protection of the Constitutional Tribunal.

    Opponents of the forcible takeover of the media have scheduled a demonstration for 4 p.m. The organizers of the demonstration are drawing parallels to the martial law of 1989, when the communist military junta deployed the army and police to break workers’ strikes. Solidarity trade union members and supporters were arrested, with some spending years in communist prisons. Today, these heroes are among those protesting against the media takeover.

    Current TVP employees are responsible for turning off the TVP Info signal: directors Marcin Mikulski and Rafał Krawczyński. T. Sakiewicz, in turn, drew attention to reports about legally questionable actions taken by one of the security companies.

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