Police tear gas protestors in Poland calling for businesses to reopen

Police tear gas protestors in Poland calling for businesses to reopen
© JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Police in Warsaw, Poland used tear gas to subdue protesters demanding a quicker end to stay-at-home orders in the country, Reuters reported Saturday

Like the U.S., Poland has begun reopening some business in parts of the country at the start of the month in an effort to salvage the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The protesters, who claimed the shutdowns in Warsaw has threatened their income, have staged demonstrations in the capital city since late last month. The organizers planned a march that was blocked by police who cited government restrictions temporarily banning public gatherings amid the pandemic. 

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“Unfortunately we are dealing with cases of aggression towards police. Due to the attacks on civil servants, we used methods of direct confrontation such as physical force and (tear) gas,” the Warsaw police said in a statement to Reuters.

Jacek Bury, a senator and member of Poland’s main opposition grouping, told Reuters he was detained by police. Police denied detaining anybody who holds immunity from prosecution for protesting, such as lawmakers. 

Poland has confirmed 18,257 cases of coronavirus and 915 deaths, according to a count by Johns Hopkins. 

The protests mirror some of the demonstrations seen in the U.S. in states like Michigan, Virginia and California.