60,000 nationalists march on Poland's independence day

60,000 nationalists march on Poland's independence day

edited November 2017 in News & Events

Sunday 12 November 2017

Xenophobic phrases, far-right symbols and religious slogans mark event also attended by families and branded ‘a beautiful sight’ by the interior minister

 Polish nationalists light flares as they march through Warsaw on Poland’s Independence Day. Photograph: Bartłomiej Zborowski/EPA

Tens of thousands of nationalists have marched through Warsaw to mark Poland’s independence day, throwing red smoke bombs and carrying banners with such slogans as “white Europe of brotherly nations”.

The march organised by far-right groups was one of many events marking Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918, overshadowing official state observances and other patriotic events.

Police estimated 60,000 people took part. Many were young men, some with their faces covered or with beer bottles in hand, but families and older Poles also participated.

Those marching chanted “God, honour, country” and “Glory to our heroes”, while a few people also shouted xenophobic phrases like “pure Poland, white Poland” and “refugees get out”.

Some participants marched under the slogan “We Want God”, words from an old Polish religious song that the US president, Donald Trump, quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year. Speakers spoke of standing against liberals and defending Christian values.

Many carried the national white-and-red flag as others set off flares and firecrackers, filling the air with red smoke. Some also carried banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s.

Far-right marchers brandish banners depicting a red falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s. Photograph: Janek Skarżyński/AFP/Getty Images

The march has become one of the largest such demonstration in Europe and drew far-right leaders from elsewhere in Europe, including Tommy Robinson from Britain and Roberto Fiore from Italy. It also attracted a considerable number of supporters of the governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.

State broadcaster TVP, which reflects the conservative government’s line, called it a “great march of patriots”, and in its broadcasts described the event as one that drew mostly regular Poles expressing their love of Poland, not extremists.

“It was a beautiful sight,” the interior minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, said. “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”

A smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist movement also took place. Organisers kept the two groups apart to prevent violence. However, there was one incident in which the nationalists pushed and kicked several women who chanted anti-fascism slogans and had a banner saying “Stop Fascism”.

Polish nationalists carry a banner translating to ‘we want God’ during a march in Warsaw. Photograph: Jacek Turczyk/EPA

“I’m shocked that they’re allowed to demonstrate on this day. It’s 50 to 100,000 mostly football hooligans hijacking patriotism,” said 50-year-old Briton Andy Eddles, a language teacher who has been living in Poland for 27 years. “For me it’s important to support the anti-fascist coalition and to support fellow democrats, who are under pressure in Poland today.”

But main march participant Kamil Staszalek warned against making generalisations and said he was marching to “honour the memory of those who fought for Poland’s freedom”.

“I’d say some people here do have extreme views, maybe even 30 per cent of those marching, but 70 per cent are simply walking peacefully, without shouting any fascist slogans,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the president, Andrzej Duda, presided over state ceremonies also attended by the European Union president, Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister.

Tusk’s appearance comes at a time when Warsaw has been increasingly at odds with Brussels because of the PiS government’s controversial court reforms, large-scale logging in a primeval forest and refusal to welcome migrants. Relations between PiS and Tusk have been so tense that Poland was the only country to vote against his re-election as EU president in March.



  • A potom tu piste o ''xenofobii'' !
  • Nationalists = patriots. Or name ''patriot'' is just for americans and west europeans ?! Slavs are just ''nationalists'' ?!
  • I don't like the word "patriot". It implies fat old men talking about law and order and how everything would be wonderful if the hostile foreigners living among them would accept and live according to their "superior" standards.
    And how that would make them just as bulgarian as you and me.
    Burn them all, I say.
  • The Independence March gathers a lot of people with different views - ONR is the extreme one, but also people with a variety of different, more moderate views participate.

    Naturally, only marginal groups are mentioned by the journalists. 60000 of people were present, but how many are assosiated with any kind of extreme? Apparently it is unimportant for the media.
  • I don't think every country should accept refugees.

    If its important for the nation to preserve its culture, language and faith; then good on them.  Some countries just can't accept them because they are not economically equipped to accept them.

    There are other countries that will accept refugees.
  • Once upon a time McCarthy blamed everyone in America for being communist. Now the buzzwords are different, but the narrative is much the same.
  • edited November 2017
    Eh, McCarthy was right to be worried about communist Jews, who were actively ilfiltrating the US goverment at the time. His error was focusing on them being communist, rather than being Jews (even back then an observation like that would've been problematic in the US). The Frankfurt school tripe which is the religion of the west now is to communism what Protestantism was to Christianity - a revision. That and that couple what was their name were actual spies and did actually hand over classified data to the Soviets.
  • Karpivna can you stop reading and posting this American "independent" news? Fake news...of course there were also a few groups and individuals that they are far right but mostly people were normal and they celebrated independence day in patriotic ways...

    Nationalism is just ideology...good or bad as anyone else. But nowadays is not good for capitalism and globalists (it is supported in cases when is needed by them) becouse is stop free market, make common identity, etc. :)

  • „Im shocked they are allowed to demomstrate”
    whos the fascist?
  • It's also amazing how the author of the article freely labels everyone as "Polish nationalist" under the photos. 

    On the first one there is a group of people holding a banner that says "Armia Krajowa". And they are holding flares, what a big deal. :) 

    On the second photo there is a group of idiots who happen to be extremely far-right oriented, okay.

    But claiming that people on the third photograph are evil nationalists is even somewhat funny. How the author figured out their political views? By them being Catholics? :D 
  • There were only a few hundred nationalist idiots present at the rally, the vast majority of people present were regular Poles who were celebrating independence from Germany. I do find it funny how you literally cannot celebrate being independent from another country without being called "far-right". It's ridiculous.
  • @Bernhard Why do you consider them idiots? Just because they are nationalists?
  • @Shaokang No, because they're racists. 
  • edited November 2017
    Hey mate, if some gang of north-africans raped your mother or sister or daughter (as it happened to one Polish married couple in norther Italy couple of days ago) you would say it in a different way. The polish man was bitten to unconscious and his wife was several times raped by those african immigrants. Both they ended up in a local hospital with hard injuries.
     So, what do you say now ???!!!
  • But they hadn't, they aren't and they won't. 
  • @SLOVISK sick bastards come in all shape and colors
  • edited November 2017
    If the majority of Polish people is against accepting refugees, that should be the bottom line. Forcing them to do otherwise is anti-democratic. The labels 'fascists', 'racists', 'nationalists' are dumb and completely besides the point. 

    their community -> their decision

    According to what logic does US get to poke the hornets' nest (čačka mečku) and everybody else has to suffer the consequences but them? They didn't even take 10,000-12,000 they said that they would. It is f-ed up.
  • edited November 2017
    There's no such thing as "racism" - it's a nonsense terms that seeks to delegitimize duty to one's neighbor, starting with family all the way to nation. If one puts the interests of foreigners above the interests of these close to them then they're a hypocrite and a traitor and should be made a gruesome example of, to discourage future traitors.
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