Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The crowds mourning outside the Presidential Palace turned ugly

From: NPE
The crowds mourning outside the Presidential Palace on Krakowskie Przedmiescie almost turned ugly on Tuesday when a young man turned up with a megaphone and began announcing that the deaths at Smolensk were part of a massive conspiracy.

It was just before noon on the pavement nearby the Le Meridien Bristol hotel when the young man began haranguing the people in the queue waiting to file past the coffins of the President and First Lady. Eyewitness Filip Klimaszewski, a photographer for Gazeta Wyborcza described the incident, “Suddenly I saw this man shouting through a megaphone, calling, ‘People, it’s time to tell the truth! This is an awful crime! A conspiracy by Tusk, Obama and Putin. They wouldn’t allow the president to fly to Katyn earlier.”

The crowd, though, turned on the man and a scuffle almost began, with bystanders shouting the man down, saying, “This is not the time or the place!” The young man was rescued by an elderly gentleman who stepped in and persuaded the protester to kneel down and say the Lord’s prayer with him. After saying the prayer, the young man stood up and walked away.

The Last President

Large crowds have been gathering outside Belweder to pay their respects to Ryszard Kaczorowski, Poland’s last president in exile. The coffin, which went on display at 4pm on Thursday in Belweder Chapel, was greeted by crowds in front of the palace when it arrived, ninety minutes earlier, then a queue rapidly formed on Al. Ujazdowska to file past the body of the last man to act as President of Poland’s Second Republic, a post maintained in exile in London for almost fifty years, throughout the cold war period.