Polish activist Mateusz Kijowski has been making international headlines for leading the largest civic protest movement in Poland since Lech Walesa’s Solidarity. This talk will feature a conversation with Kijowski to outline a perspective on the constitutional crisis in Poland since the new government of the Law and Justice party took office last year.
Kijowski founded the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Komitet Obrony Demokracji - KOD) in November 2015 in response to the Polish constitutional crisis provoked by the newly elected right-wing government. European Union and international human rights groups have criticized the government of the Law and Justice party for its moves to consolidate power and weaken the power of leading institutions. KOD has taken center stage in its fight against the erosion of rights. Its weekly demonstrations have attracted tens of thousands of people protesting against the threat to the rule of law in Poland.