Despite a ban, thousands of Polish nationalists and right-wing extremists marched through Warsaw on Wednesday for the so-called independence march. Protesters carried white and red flags in the national colors. Slogans like “Let’s Defend Our Civilization” were featured on posters. Some threw fireworks and lit Bengali fires. The police were on duty with a large number. Many side streets were closed.
Due to the corona pandemic, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski banned the march, which right-wing organizations had called for Poland’s national holiday. In Poland, meetings are currently only allowed with a maximum of five people. The organizers then called for a car and motorcycle parade through the city center. However, many participants left cars and motorcycles in back streets and continued on foot.
In recent years, there have been repeated serious riots during the march. This year’s motto was “Our Civilization, Our Rules”. The poster features a knight crushing a red and rainbow star – an allusion to communism, socialism and the LGBT community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Independence Day on November 11 is a national holiday in Poland. On this day in 1918, Jozef Pilsudski had assumed command of the Polish troops in Warsaw and declared independence. This coincided with the conclusion of the armistice between Germany and France. With the peace treaties after the First World War, the long division of Poland by Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Russia was overcome. (dpa)