Flares lit up Warsaw city centre on Friday as tens of thousands of people from across Poland joined a march in a Polish capital, the biggest in nine days of protests against a ruling by the country’s top court last week that amounted to a near-total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation.
The demonstration started in three different locations around the city from which the protesters marched at the main roundabout near the iconic Palace of Culture, passing by governmental offices and parliament buildings.
Crowds later moved near the house of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in an affluent Warsaw neighbourhood, as police in vans with flashing lights kept them away and a helicopter hovered overhead.
Military police lined the streets, some of them in riot gear, as the demonstration began.
Organizers said some 100,000 people gathered in the capital, following a Constitutional Court ruling on October 22 outlawing abortions due to fetal defects, ending the most common of the few legal grounds left for abortion in Poland and setting the country further apart from the European mainstream.
Daily protests have taken place in towns and cities across the country in the past week, and have turned into an outpouring of anger against the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government and the Roman Catholic church closely allied with the ruling party.
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