I woke up on the morning of Sunday 1st October feeling much better than I did the day before. The previous week had been marred by a cold I couldn’t seem to shake, and a persistent cough that, true to form, is still with me. Nevertheless, I snatched up the cameras, some Tri-X, and left early for the March of a Million Hearts, the rally 2 weeks before the general election, billed as the last chance for democracy in Poland. As I wandered around the gathering crowd, the mood seemed to be hopeful if not necessarily optimistic, though as the march progressed from the centre of town to Rondo Radosława, where a monumental Polish flag stands, it became more clear to those walking how historic this day might be.
Afterwards, reports of, indeed exceeding, a million people permeated the news with the notable exception, of course, of the government-controlled state TV station. The election takes place tomorrow and though progressives don’t expect that the Civic Coalition can take the majority from the Law and Justice Party (PiS), there is hope they can deprive PiS of a mandate and form a wider coalition with Lewica (The Left), and Trzecia Droga (The Third Way). Many, myself included, feel for democracy to continue in Poland, PiS must be stopped.