We are publishing the statement from the Rector of the University of Warsaw on the protests (12th June 2024).

Dear University Community,


I am addressing the recent protests that have taken place on the Main Campus. We are aware that these events have raised concerns and emotions across our academic community.


Today I was obliged to take one of the most difficult decisions in my professional path at the University of Warsaw. Due to escalating tensions and reports of unsafe behaviour of the protesters, I have requested assistance from the local law reinforcement to help manage the situation on the Main Campus. The decision was preceded by careful consideration and analyses of the recent events that raised safety concerns for all members of our community.


I want to reiterate that the University of Warsaw is committed to openness, tolerance and respect to human rights as these are fundamental values that we hold as an educational institution. I want to affirm that the University respects and supports the right to diverse viewpoints and freedom of peaceful expression. I will always adhere to these principles. However, the right to demonstrate is not followed by breaching the law and freedom of other people, violating bodily integrity, destroying property, hindering free movement or blocking the exit from a building.


Members of our academic community should not be hostages of a group of dozen aggressive protesters. The protest we have witnessed for the last two days has unexpectedly disrupted our campus operations and raised safety concerns, anxiety and resistance. I find it deeply appalling when the protesters do not allow to leave the campus by a pregnant woman, a parent with a sick child to administer a medicine at a particular time, parents whose children wait for them in kindergartens. Furthermore, I think all of us disapprove the fact of hindering the access to the lecture halls of students with disabilities. The range of the law violations is much wider: the University guards have been physically attacked, their bodily integrity has been violated, destruction of property (a broken window, damaged monuments and cars), classes disrupted by groups of the protesters, academic employees had their cars blocked by the protesters. Such behaviours should not be justified by any underlying issues.


Dear University Community,


First and foremost, as the UW Rector, I am committed to providing a safe work environment to each member of our community. Considering the responsibility as well as limited powers of the University guards and the administration staff, I have requested assistance from the local law reinforcement. The presence of the police on the campus was intended to ensure that the protesters realise the legal consequences of their actions as well as to restore peace and order. For the safety of our entire community, the UW gates have been closed temporarily. The gates will be opened only to allow certified vehicles and verified persons to enter the campus. I believe you all understand the challenging situation and ongoing precautions. Nevertheless, I hope that these decisions to navigate this situation will be fully accepted from your side.


Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak

UW Rector