Defiant grandmother becomes opposition icon

Marcin Obara/PAP

A Polish grandmother popularly known as 'Babcia Kasia' (Grandma Kasia) has become a symbol of government opposition owing to her lengthy rap sheet of charges chalked up at anti-government protests.

Warsaw court officials told PAP on Thursday that Katarzyna Augustynek has already faced five charges and six indictments this year alone.

The charges include resisting police restraint and assaulting police officers, one of whom she was alleged to have attacked with a flagpole. She is also charged with using abusive language towards law enforcement officers.

Leszek Szymański/PAP

In her mid-60s the defiant grandmother has participated in many street demonstrations against Poland's right-wing government and has had multiple run-ins with police.

Her steadfast stance and her numerous clashes with police have made her an unlikely opposition icon.

She is also regarded as a victim of police brutality. Last month she was photographed by the press being dragged to a police van by a number of officers after she had drawn hearts and crosses on a Warsaw pavement in honour of Covid victims.

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Augustynek shot to nationwide prominence last year during the mass protests triggered by a constitutional court ruling which imposed a near-total ban on abortion.

The most recent charges against her stemmed from her participation in a demonstration in support of a court judge who is facing a possible arrest order.

Last week a Warsaw court dropped one of the charges against Augustynek.