Far-right march on Poland’s Independence Day attracts 60,000

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Demonstrators burned flares and waved Polish flags during the march.

Demonstrators burned flares and waved Polish flags in the course of the march.

 (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Tens of hundreds of nationalists marched in an illustration organized by far-right teams in Warsaw Saturday, as Poles celebrated their nation’s Independence Day.

The far-right march was one among many occasions marking Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918 after being wiped off the map for 123 years. Earlier within the day, President Andrzej Duda presided over state ceremonies additionally attended by European Union president Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister.

But the march has grow to be the biggest Independence Day occasion in recent times, overshadowing official state observances and different patriotic occasions. Some individuals expressed sympathy for xenophobic or white supremacist concepts, with one banner studying, “White Europe of brotherly nations.”

Participants marched beneath the slogan “We Want God,” phrases from an previous Polish spiritual track that President Donald Trump quoted from throughout a go to to Warsaw earlier this yr. Speakers spoke of standing in opposition to liberals and defending Christian values.

Many carried the nationwide white-and-red flag as others set off flares and firecrackers, filling the air with crimson smoke. Some additionally carried banners depicting a falanga, a far-right image relationship to the 1930s.

Police estimated that 60,000 folks took half, and stated there have been no stories of violence. Many have been younger males, some with their faces lined or with beer bottles in hand, however households and older Poles additionally participated.

The march has grow to be one of many largest such demonstration in Europe, and on Saturday it drew far-right leaders from elsewhere in Europe, together with Tommy Robinson from Britain and Roberto Fiore from Italy.

State broadcaster TVP, which displays the conservative authorities’s line, known as it a “great march of patriots,” and in its broadcasts described the occasion as one which drew largely common Poles expressing their love of Polands, not extremists.

“It was a beautiful sight,” Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak stated. “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”

Supporters of the anti-fascist coalition march through the downtown marking Poland's Independence Day, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.  Thousands of nationalists marched in a demonstration organized by far-right groups in Warsaw Saturday, as Poles celebrated their country's Independence Day. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

One of the demonstrators collaborating in Saturday’s counter-march

 (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist motion additionally occurred. Organizers saved the 2 teams aside to stop violence.

Independence Day marks Poland regaining its sovereignty on the finish of World War I after being partitioned and dominated for the reason that late 18th century by Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Duda oversaw ceremonies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, strolling previous a navy guard earlier than the elevating of the flags and cannon salutes. After delivering a speech he took half in a wreath-laying ceremony, kneeling and crossing himself on the monument to all unknown troopers killed preventing for the nation.

Polish Army soldiers attend the official ceremony marking Poland's Independence Day, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. European Union president Donald Tusk joined celebrations in his native Poland on Independence Day, which celebrates the nation regaining its sovereignty at the end of World War I after being wiped off the map for more than a century. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Polish troopers took half in official ceremonies.

 (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Tusk, who attended at Duda’s invitation, additionally paid his respects on the monument.

Ruling celebration chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski famous that Poland has not at all times been totally impartial since 1918, a reference to Germany’s occupation throughout World War II and the a long time spent beneath Moscow’s route in the course of the Cold War.

Still, he stated: “The Polish state was internationally recognized the whole time and that is a great achievement.”
 

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