Protesters blocking roads in Warsaw has become something of a ritual but drivers are not amused and some have taken direct action to unblock roads. EPA-EFE/Wojciech Olkusnik


Polish police to charge motorists for clearing road of climate blockade


A group of motorists who used a fire extinguisher and pepper spray to remove climate protesters blocking a main road in Warsaw on July 9 “will have to face charges”, according to police.

While this was not the first time that climate activists have blocked roads in Warsaw, this time they targeted one of the city’s busiest streets.

According to eyewitnesses, officers were nearby but did not act to remove the protesters or stop the motorists from taking the law into their own hands.

Yet Warsaw police later claimed on X: “Our reaction to the road blockade was rapid. After a short period of time traffic was flowing again and those blocking the road had their names taken.”

Despite that, other social media posts indicated the climate protesters from the Last Generation group were actually forced to move on by motorists. Indeed, Last Generation complained on X that “the police were present but turned the other way”.

The police stated in another X post: “There is no agreement on the part of the police for anyone to break the law and this is why those who attacked the activists in Warsaw today will have to face charges.”

Most online commentators have expressed solidarity with the motorists concerned.

Among them,  journalist Grzegorz Kuczyński wrote: “It’s outrageous that the police are slow in reacting to such road blockades and in the latest case is threatening to charge drivers who took action to clear an illegally blocked road.”

Confederation MP Konrad Berkowicz said: “I understand that nothing will happen to the eco-terrorists so that they can carry on illegally blocking Warsaw streets? What a parody of justice.”

Another commentator named Jerzy Kozłowski observed: “If you [the police] continue in this way then society will have to take matters into its own hands.”