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Polish Protesters Support Walesa

Lech Walesa in 1989

Several thousand Poles took to the streets of Warsaw in a show of support for former Polish President Lech Walesa and to protest actions by the new conservative government that many feel could undermine basic freedoms.

Crowd estimates on February 26 were between 15,000 and 80,000.

Protesters held portraits of Walesa, who has recently faced renewed allegations that he cooperated with the country's secret police in the 1970s. Walesa says he signed a cooperation agreement, but never acted on it.

His supporters say the government is attacking Walesa for political gain.

The ruling Law and Justice party took control of the government in November. Its supporters say it is promoting Catholic values and helping Poland's poorest citizens.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and Reuters