KATOWICE, Poland — Miners’ brass bands led celebrations Tuesday honoring the patron saint of miners in the southern Polish city that’s hosting this year’s U.N. climate talks.
Musicians began Miner’s Day, dedicated to Catholic Saint Barbara, with a traditional sunrise concert in the streets of a historic district in Katowice.
The performers, dressed in black uniforms with red plumed hats, marched to church for a Mass in honor of the patron saint, who they believe watches over the miners as they toil underground.
Katowice has been a center of coal mining for more than a century and its culture is closely intertwined with the industry that is largely blamed for global warming. Many mines have closed in the Silesia region in recent years due to financial pressure and the drive for climate protection.
President Andrzej Duda vowed to miners that he would protect their jobs, saying coal mining is “one of the foundations of Poland’s economy.” “Don’t worry. As long as I’m Poland’s president I will not allow anyone to murder Poland’s mining,” Duda said.
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