The Leader

A former Polish opposition protest leader who has now become a hairdresser

The Leader In 2015, Poland saw its largest pro-democratic protests in the post-communist era. Discontent emerged as the authoritarian Law and Justice Party took power. Since 2015, what has become of one of the individuals at their helm?
Today, Mateusz Kijowski is a hairdresser. But in 2015, he was a leader of pro-democratic protests against the Law and Order party in Poland. Since then, he has been accused of misappropriation of funds during his time as leader of The Committee for the Defence of Democracy. 'After I was accused of dishonesty, I could not find a job for three years', explains Kijowski. 'The owner of a hairdressing shop extended a helping hand'. Though he is no longer a figurehead of the pro-democracy movement, he continues to organize and attend small demonstrations: 'I am sure that we can build a better world together', he says, practicing for a speech.

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