Paweł Adamowicz

I had jury duty Monday and Tuesday so I missed some headlines. I missed the very public murder of the mayor of Gdańsk.

The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, was stabbed on Sunday evening in an apparent assassination attempt in front of thousands of people during a charity concert.

Adamowicz, who has served as mayor of Gdańsk since 1998, was resuscitated at the scene and rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent five hours of surgery. Doctors described his condition as “critical” and “serious”.

And he didn’t make it.

Adamowicz is a powerful liberal voice in a country that has been governed by the rightwing Law and Justice party since 2015. He is best known in Poland and internationally as a staunch supporter of LGBT rights and the rights of migrants and refugees during a period of rising anti-migrant sentiment. “I am a European so my nature is to be open,” Adamowicz told the Guardianin 2016. “Gdańsk is a port and must always be a refuge from the sea.”

There were demonstrations.

In Gdańsk, thousands gathered for a minute’s silence at the statue of Neptune in the city’s Long Market, which also hosts the city hall, where Adamowicz served as mayor for more than 20 years. Adamowicz died after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening.

They were addressed by the European council president, Donald Tusk, a Gdańsk native, friend and longtime ally of Adamowicz. In an emotional address, Tusk addressed Adamowicz directly: “My dear Paweł, we are here with you today as your friends. You had to wait so long, until such a tragic moment, to see from up there just how many friends you have here in Gdansk.”

The assassination of Adamowicz, a six-term mayor who often mingled freely with the citizens of his city, sent Poland into shock. In Gdańsk, the city flag was lowered to half-mast and a mass was planned for later in the day.

Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the stabbing, including the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, the interior minister, Joachim Brudziński, and other members of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS). Adamowicz was known as an opponent of PiS.

I suppose if someone murdered a popular lefty big city mayor in the US, the Trump gang would condemn the murder, but they wouldn’t mean it.

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