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When Polish Women Revolted
It was Gocha Adamczyk, a member of the left-wing Razem Party, who, through a simple Facebook event, called for Polish women to protest against the proposed abortion bill in September 2016. She invited women to post their pictures wearing black and adding the hashtag #BlackProtest.  The call for Polish women to "strike" against the proposed abortion bill was announced by Krystyna Janda, the famous actress known from Andrzej Wajda's film The Man of Steel. These simple yet powerful ideas inspired more than 150,000 Polish women -- and more abroad -- to join the online protest, wearing black to symbolically mourn their reproductive rights. Demonstrations had already begun earlier that year, in April, when the first version of the bill appeared. But it was after the bill was introduced to Parliament in summer 2016, with the #BlackProtest online and the Women's Strike on October 3 on the streets, that they reached worldwide prominence and the peak of their strength. All of this culminated in the International Women's Strike on March 8, 2017.

These "Black Protests" inaugurated a new Polish feminism that could live outside academic and nonprofit frameworks. They didn't exist just on social media, but also in the streets, with over 150 towns, small villages, and cities seeing protests on October 3, 2016. And the strike tool gave them a distinct labor dimension. For example, a group of teachers from Zabrze, a post-industrial town in Silesia, posted a picture to Adamczyk's page of their own Black Protest. When a male colleague reported them to the Disciplinary Board of Education, they were forced to fight for their political rights at work -- and won.

by das monde on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 at 02:18:35 PM EST

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