Anti-Porn Protesters Arrested in Poland

News: Government
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 23, 2015   

Secular and Catholic crowds clash outside Polski Theater

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WROCLAW (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic demonstrators were arrested by Polish authorities for protesting a pornographic play.

Twelve individuals were taken into custody Saturday night following a scuffle that broke out after they blocked the entrance of the Polski Theater in Wroclaw. The demonstrators, members of a Catholic organization, were attempting to block theater-goers from attending a performance of the drama Death and the Maiden.

According to the theater's website, the play immerses the audience in the relationship between a torturer and his victim. It is separate from the more well-known show Death and the Maiden, written by Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman and turned into a filmed starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley and directed by Roman Polanski.

The play in question, which is based on the novel Princess Dramas: Death and the Maiden I-V, by Nobel Prize-winner Austrian Elfriede Jelinek, was met with opposition owing to its heavily explicit sex scenes featuring porn stars.

The protesters, who stood outside of the main doors of the theater surrounded by press and police, were confronted by angry theater-goers. Minor brawls broke out before the wall of demonstrators was soon breached by authorities.

Footage of the confrontation outside the Polski Theater captured on a bystander's phone

The protests emerged following a statement made by the newly elected culture minister, Piotr Glinski, calling for the show to be canceled before its premiere. Glinski noted that the Polski Theater is sponsored by the state budget. Opponents of the statement argue it inhibits the free expression of speech.

Theater director Krzysztof Mieszkowski has stated he intends to file a motion in parliament calling for the removal of Glinski from his post. He claimed that protestors harassed his mother, hurling eggs and tomatoes at her house.

Saturday night's happenings serve to highlight the immense cultural tension that exists between the largely secular Polish society and the newly elected Catholic government. The Law and Justice Party, the fiercely Catholic and conservative political faction in Poland, won a general election held in late October, securing 242 seats in the 460-seat Sejm, the lower House of Parliament in Poland.

The Law and Justice Party campaigned on promises to uphold traditional Catholic values, including opposing same-sex "marriage," abortion and in vitro fertilization; they also assert that the Church must remain the moral authority within Poland and should receive state financial support.

The group controversially supported closing the borders of Poland to Syrian refugees, citing concerns over individual vetting, terrorism and potential diseases.

 

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