A New Committee with Lech Walesa, 2018

Reflections on the limitations of the continuing struggle for democracy in Poland

EssaysEventsFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

‘We, The People’ In Polish

One country’s response to a right-wing takeover

The Committee in Defense of Democracy (Komitet Obrony Demokracji, or KOD) appeared to start suddenly out of thin air. It is now the biggest mass mobilization of Polish citizens since the days of Solidarity 25 years ago. On the one hand, this is clearly a response to the electoral victory in October 2015 of the right-wing Law and Justice party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS), but on the other, it is also the result of a spontaneous idea by a certain Internet surfer.

The idea for KOD first appeared on a website called Studio Opinion, a somewhat old-fashioned site edited by respected journalists …