Demonstrators in the Polish capital Warsaw have renewed their protest against government plans to restrict journalists' access to parliament.
Crowds gathered outside the presidential palace on Saturday morning over the populist right-wing government's plans to limit the number of reporters allowed to cover parliament.
Amid a heavy police presence, a crowd of about 2000 people gathered outside the presidential palace on Saturday chanting "freedom, equality, democracy". Some held up copies of the constitution. They later marched to parliament itself.
Several thousand people protested in Warsaw and other cities after police broke up a blockade of the entrances to parliament in the early hours of Saturday.
Opposition leaders served hot tea to the police and some of the 5000 demonstrators who held banners saying "Free media" and carried Polish and European Union flags.
Inside the building, opposition MPs continued a sit-in that began on Friday.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, in a televised address, called the MPs' actions "scandalous". She said people were free to protest, but had to respect the views of others.
The leading Law and Justice party, abbreviated PiS, has been accused of restricting press freedom since coming to power last year. Next year only a few reporters will be allowed into parliament, with five selected TV stations permitted to make recordings of parliamentary sessions.
But despite criticism at home and abroad, the eurosceptic PiS enjoys steady support among many Poles eager to hear its message of higher welfare, more Catholic values in public life and less dependence on foreign capital.
"The situation ... has nothing in common with the real condition of our country," Prime Minister Szydlo said in a televised address.
"On the contrary, it reflects a sense of helplessness and frustration on the part of those who lost power and don't have nay ideas how to attract Poles to their views."
European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, urged the government to respect the constitution on Saturday.
Addressing reporters in the western city of Wroclaw, he criticised the government's plans, saying that without media access "democracy becomes dictatorship".
In extraordinary scenes on Friday, opposition MPs blockaded the parliamentary plenary chamber, forcing MPs from the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party into another room to vote on next year's budget.
It was the first time since the restoration of democracy in 1989 such a vote had been held outside the main chamber of parliament.
Outside parliament, several thousand protesters gathered overnight on Friday. Police had to forcefully remove people to allow MPs to leave the building.
Protester Szymon Roginski said on Saturday that the confrontation was entering "a new, more aggressive phase".
"Every day we hear news that makes us understand that we are further and further away from democracy. People have had enough," he said.
Ryszard Petru, leader of the opposition Nowoczesna party, accused the government of usurping parliament's authority.
"They [the government] do not allow journalists [access], they close themselves off and meet in other places and call it the parliament," he said.
"This is an usurpation of power and there will be no consent from the opposition or Polish society for it. We will protest both at the parliamentary podium and on the streets of Polish cities."
PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Friday the proposals were no different to the media access in many other European nations.
He accused protesters of hooliganism and threatened them with unspecified "consequences".