Poles protest populist government with large rally in Warsaw

Thousands of Poles are marching in Warsaw to protest the policies of the populist ruling party under Jaroslaw Kaczynski, describing them as attacks on the country's democratic foundations.

Speakers at the "March of Freedom" Saturday said the government under the Law and Justice party has eroded the independence of courts and other institutions to such an extent that the country would not be accepted into the European Union or NATO today if it didn't already belong.

Participants gathered for speeches in a large square and then marched through the city. City hall gave an initial estimate of crowd size of 50,000 people, much smaller than the 240,000 who took part in the largest anti-government march, in 2015.