Thousands of far-right people have participated this Wednesday in Warsaw in the annual march to commemorate Poland’s Independence Day. The demonstration took place despite the fact that the City Council of the Polish capital had prohibited it due to the restrictions imposed in the country to stop the coronavirus.
The concentration has traveled several streets of the city center with people who carried red and white flags of Poland, torches and flares and they displayed posters with the slogan written “Our civilization, our rules.”
The vicinity of the National Museum and other points in the center of Warsaw were the scene of clashes between the security forces and ultra-nationalists, including mixed hooligans and other extremist groups, reports Efe.
The riots escalated when the participants in that march they took down security fencesd placed around the building, while the riot police tried to maintain the security cordon. The protesters also threw torches at the building, while in other parts of the center of Warsaw there was harassment of the media and more clashes with the police.
The act has shown the polarization that the country is experiencing between extreme right-wing groups and supporters of the ultra-conservative and nationalist government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), on the one hand, and the opposition, on the other. In recent weeks, Warsaw has also been the scene of massive protests against a Constitutional Court ruling that introduced an almost total ban on the abortion in the country, with a strong Catholic tradition.
The Warsaw authorities, which is governed by a downtown mayor, have accused to the state police to facilitate the march. “The law is being broken here,” warned Karolina Galecka, spokeswoman for the City Council. “The police have spent 12 hours preparing to secure the march. We have not been informed of this. It could be said that the police have also participated in the organization of the march,” he added.
The police, for their part, have reported on their Twitter account that some flares had been confiscated and that they had warned the participants that the march was illegal.
The far-right MP, Rober Winnicki, has called on the radicals to “rebel in the name of values and national unity.” “The left claims to defend freedom. What kind of freedom does it refer to? It is freedom to drink, consume drugs and have free sex. That is all the freedom they have to offer,” he shouted in the middle of a demonstration surrounded by shouting supporters “God, honor, country”.
Apart from the extremist demonstrations, some groups of citizens had gathered in the center of Warsaw with the intention of celebrating the day peacefully and a motorized caravan had also been called, theoretically to be able to keep the distance safety and hygiene standards imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. There were also flower offerings in front of the Independence monument, particularly from the liberal opposition, although with reduced delegations of representatives.
This year, the Government had explicitly called on citizens to stay at home, in response to the situation created by the pandemic, which in this country is accumulating successive record daily highs since the beginning of this month. Last Saturday a new battery of restrictions on social life and economic activity in Poland came into force, after having reached the daily maximum of 27,875 infections in 24 hours.