Thousands upon thousands of women left their jobs, schools, and homes on Monday to flood the streets of Poland.
The #blackmonday strike was organized to protest a proposed law that would essentially ban abortion for any reason.
When we say "thousands of women" — we mean it.
As in, seriously a lot of women.
In the capital of Warsaw alone, there were 25,000 women declaring their opposition to the bill.
They also came out in Krakow...
...Lublin... and other Polish cities and towns.
"I have no idea who started it," said Marta Szostak of ASTRA, the Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health. "It was not an NGO. It was not a person who’s been fighting for women’s rights to abortion for many years. What’s happening now is more a civil movement, a grassroots movement — because women are very furious. They’re very scared."
The protests even went international — to Berlin, Germany and Helsinki, Finland.
Women marched in London, England
and Limerick, Ireland...
and even in Aleppo, Syria, people showed their support.
For Donadio, the international resonance makes sense. "I think that in Poland it’s extremely terrifying, but it’s not isolated [there]. We see constant attack to women’s rights all over Europe and also all over the world," she said.
Social media was full of love for the protests, but inside Poland, the story looks a bit different. "The national media are trying to make it look like a gathering of hysterical feminists," Sztoska, of ASTRA, said. "And some Catholic Church officials have called the protest 'a manifest of the civilization of death.'"
The European Parliament (EP) is scheduled to debate the law in a session on Wednesday. Elly Schein, an EP member from Italy, declared her solidarity — but it's still unclear which side the debate might favor.
Jina Moore is the global women's rights correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Berlin.
Contact Jina Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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