Tensions on the border with Belarus have occurred in the last few years when tens of thousands of far-right marches came to the streets on Thursday to commemorate Poland’s regaining national sovereignty at the end of World War I. Clash with police and other demonstrators who could burn the passion that led to the ugly scene.
A day that evokes unity and solidarity, in recent years Poland Independence Day has often helped to emphasize the division that is tearing the country.
In downtown Warsaw, demonstrators began their march by igniting red flares and singing the national anthem. A small group of young men trampled on a rainbow flag outside a subway station.
This year’s march occurs when migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gather on the border with Belarus and attempt to invade the EU nation of Poland. Western officials say Belarusian leaders have organized.
The Polish government, led by the conservative Nationalist Law and Justice, uses the crisis to gain support within the European Union, which was previously terribly tense due to the debate over the rule of law, LGBT rights and other issues. Did.
However, the underlying tension with the block remains.
And Independence Day has long been a flash point during the feuds of political groups in Poland.
The opposition had planned to hold its own rival march, but the women’s group hosting the event decided to cancel it on Wednesday to avoid the risk of violent conflict with nationalists. Announced that it was decided. It accused the government, which approved the march of nationalists despite a court order banning it, openly siding as a “neo-fascist.”
In 2017, right-wing group demonstrators created an international headline when demonstrators chanted “pure Poland, white Poland” and “refugees, get out!” With violent clashes with police. ..
A year later, Polish ruling party leaders joined the far-right group.
When the march, led by a liberal opposition, became a point of friction with the local government of Warsaw, city officials challenged the registration of the rightmost march in court and won both the first proceeding and the appeal.
Zbigniew Ziobro, the state’s prosecutor’s chief and minister of justice, said the court’s ruling was false and “restricted the constitutional freedom of the assembly.”
The head of the office for war veterans and victims of oppression said he gave the march a formal position this week, allowing it to move forward.