Europe

Poles fearing attack on democracy by government join protest

Thousands of Poles in cities and towns across the country are marching in freezing temperatures to protest a slew of measures by the country's new right-wing government which they say are anti-democratic.

The motto of Saturday's march, the most recent of several that have taken place since Law and Justice took power in November, was "in defense of your freedom."

Protesters are furious about government steps which they fear limit checks and balances on the party, which has a majority in parliament and also controls the presidency. Soon after taking power, Law and Justice took steps to curb the power of the Constitutional Tribunal, increased government control over state media, and widened the scope for police surveillance.

Protesters in Warsaw shouted "democracy!" and many carried Polish and European Union flags.