– I am observing the radicalization of TVP Info’s coverage and I have the impression that they are preparing people to take to the streets. Increasing hatred has a completely different goal than a month ago, warns the head of Agrounia, Michał Kołodziejczak, on social media. The statement was made in the context of appointing a candidate for prime minister. Public television announces that PiS won the elections and will form a government. – Dangerous media coverage systematically suggests people what to do even before Donald Tusk is appointed prime minister – adds the MP-elect. – Causing a social revolt is a very complicated issue – replies prof. Rafał Chwedoruk, political scientist.
Agnieszka Kaszuba, “Directly”: Michał Kołodziejczak claims that TVP could encourage PiS supporters to take to the streets if the president chose Donald Tusk as a candidate for prime minister first. Do you think this is a realistic scenario?
Prof. Rafał Chwedoruk: Causing a social revolt is a very complicated matter. Even if it were to be a local rebellion, you would need to have really powerful means and appropriate conditions to bring about such a thing. To be honest: apart from not very successful attempts to consolidate one’s own camp or radicalize it, I would not expect anything more from PiS for now, and certainly not street demonstrations.
Firstly, such protests are usually attended by young or middle-aged people – they have time and physical abilities. Secondly, the protests concern groups with a relatively high level of competence. Social protests were most often the work of social groups, such as metal industry workers, who had high qualifications and could talk to each other while working… And thirdly, they must be spatially concentrated people. Farmers’ protests are often very spectacular, but they do not have the same social reach as protests in cities. Meanwhile, when we look at PiS’s base, none of these three groups is there.
First of all, there is no youth. This lack can be described as appalling, something that the rulers themselves do not hide.
Secondly, qualified groups with a certain awareness of their own uniqueness and competences, such as teachers or various segments of the public sector, are completely outside PiS, and miners no longer play such a role. When it comes to the spatial factor, Law and Justice is obviously overrepresented in areas with a low level of urbanization. Therefore, even if PiS wanted to, even if someone in the party actually thought of something like this, organizing such protests would be simply impossible.
So even if Andrzej Duda had bypassed PiS and appointed Donald Tusk as prime minister first and entrusted him with the mission of forming a government, PiS would not have managed to bring its supporters to the streets? After all, they have the right to dissatisfaction and to express it, just like the supporters of the current opposition…
I will say this: with all due respect to every person, their age, life achievements and so on, the vision of a revolution carried out by 70-year-old retirees from Rzeszów does not seem to me to be a vision that can come to fruition. I would rather see her in cabarets, not in the world of politics.
However, PiS will soon have the opportunity to stoke various emotions, because crowds will appear on the streets Independence March November 11. PiS often used this event for its own purposes… And all the conditions you mentioned will be met: people of different ages will come, different social groups and the spatial factor will come into play, because the march is in the capital…
I think not. Firstly, because this march is suspended in a strange space: between a riot and an attempt to present itself as a mainstream event. If the March wants to be recognized as something more than a march of radicals, it must avoid all excesses, even censoring the symbols of the far right. That’s the first thing. And secondly, PiS no longer controls the circles that could start any trouble. After all, PiS does not control football fan circles. This is where the Confederation took its toll.
In short, it would be very difficult to find among young people those who would like to die for PiS in any political way.
But PiS politicians maintained positive relations with the Independence March, as well as with NSZZ Solidarność, precisely to have such a base for protests…
I think it was actually not accidental. PiS politicians were aware that these were entities that could offer something that Law and Justice did not have and would not have for a long time. The electoral analysis of the social structure of the electorates is ruthless for Jarosław Kaczyński’s party and there are no grounds for any strike, even in larger workplaces, schools, etc. This is because there are apolitical attitudes there or one hundred percent of employees are mentally on the other side of the barricade than PIS.
So PiS will in no way be able to bring about such demonstrations as, for example, those that took place during the Women’s Strike? Even using TVP?
There is absolutely no way. Just check who watches TVP. It is mainly watched by older provincial residents. These are not social groups that are capable of protesting, even for purely physical reasons. At a certain age, it is not possible to stand for many hours, march or create an entire logistics or media network that will disseminate information and that will also break through any information blocks of the other side.
And is there any desire in PiS for its supporters to take to the streets now? Maybe Michał Kołodziejczak is wrong in his judgments?
It’s hard to say whether Law and Justice would want this. It’s a bit like Mateusz Morawiecki’s mission. You can repeat a hundred times that he is a candidate for prime minister, but everyone knows that nothing comes of it. The same here: you can talk about it, but in reality there are no resources, no physical possibility to organize such protests. The Civic Platform managed to do this and thus showed that it can do something that PiS cannot do. This second march in particular was perfectly timed – on the eve of the elections, that is, when public opinion began to realize how powerful the opposition could be. A lot of young and middle-aged people came, as well as numerous local government officials who could additionally support party structures in activities to mobilize the electorate.
Finally, one last thing: why would PiS supporters take to the streets now? It would be difficult for anyone to reasonably explain what is happening so extraordinary that it would oblige a person to devote their free time and money to stand frozen in the street in a protest of, I estimate, 200-300 people, which would have no meaning.