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Thousands Of Poles Protest Against Government

Thousands of people demonstrated in Warsaw and 20 other Polish cities on December 19 against the country’s new conservative government for the second weekend in a row.

The ruling Law and Justice party came to power in October and has since installed five of its own judges in the country's 15-member Constitutional Court.

They refuse to recognize the judges appointed while the previous liberal Civic Platform party (PO) was in power.+

The protests were organized by the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD), a civil movement created to oppose what critics say is an attempt to politicize the top court.

A Warsaw city official said that 20,000 people gathered in the square outside the parliament. Protesters shouted "Stop destroying democracy!" while waving Polish and EU flags.

The conservative party controls the presidency and both houses of parliament, which leaves the Constitutional Court as the only check on its power.

The ruling party is also debating a law that would require a two-thirds majority by the 15-judge tribunal for a ruling to be found valid.