Police break up a blockade of exits from the Polish parliament by protesters who say ruling party lawmakers violated the constitution by illegally passing the budget for next year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Police early Saturday (December 17) forcefully broke up an hours-long blockade of exits from the Polish parliament in Warsaw by protesters who said ruling party lawmakers violated the constitution by illegally passing the budget for next year. The passage sparked the biggest political standoff in years in European Union member Poland and the sharpest escalation of the conflict between the opposition and the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party since it came to power in October 2015. The head of the PiS party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, left parliament in the early hours of Saturday after police used force to remove protesters blocking the exit from parliament. The blockade by protesters was an attempt to prevent the convoy of cars carrying Kaczynski and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo from leaving the building. Police said the gathering before the parliament has been declared illegal starting from midnight. By 0237 GMT, many protesters had left the building, but some remained. Several opposition lawmakers said they would spend the night in parliament.