Having seen the protests against the Polish Government's court reforms grow and continue to thrive, supporters of the PiS administration are now keen to show their strength too.
Yesterday afternoon the Niezależna website, part of Gazeta Polska's media-arm, published an article that promised a huge pro-PiS demonstration in Warsaw on Sunday afternoon if the supreme court protests do not stop.
Tomasz Sakiewicz, editor in chief of Gazeta Polska, yesterday encouraged his readers to turn out in defence of the government: "We want to show, as on December 18, that you cannot overthrow Polish democracy on the street".
Jacek Karnowski, who writes for the PiS-leaning wSieci and wpolityce.pl, even went as far as to say that over a million could show up at the demonstration: "If the million march is finally going to pass through Warsaw, it's right now. It's best for this Saturday, July 29th."
Many observers have claimed the size and scale of the supreme court protests were a factor in President Duda's decision to veto two of the judiciary bills put forward by the Polish Government.
Ever since the president announced his surprise veto yesterday morning, PiS and their media allies have sought to blame the protests on "astroturfing" sparked by foreign interference, with the name of Jewish billionaire George Soros often cropping up.
However research by AtlanticCouncil's Digital Forensic Research Lab has found evidence to the contrary. The researchers found that a large amount of tweets criticising the protesters, which contained the same text, hashtags and images, were posted several times by the same Twitter accounts . They also found that the tweets did not go "grow organically" over time. This led the researchers to conclude the following:
None of these indicators are consistent with the casual, organic, grassroots growth of hashtag movements. Instead, they are typical of coordinated and artificial hashtag drives amplified by highly dedicated — and possibly automated — Twitter users attempting to make hashtags appear more popular than they actually are.
AtlanticCouncil's Digital Forensic Research Lab
Meanwhile in other PiS related news, the governing party have been buoyed by another opinion poll that shows them to be the most popular party in the country by some distance. The poll, which was conducted over the weekend for state broadcaster TVP, shows PiS way out in front on 35% – 14% ahead of PO. Kukiz 15, a party some political observers believe could prop-up a future PiS government, are in 3rd place on 11%. Ryszard Petru's Nowoczesna, the only other party to poll above the 5% threshold required to take seats, were the preferred option of 10%.