As Poland celebrates its Independence Day, far-right groups organize rallies

WARSAW — Tens of thousands of nationalist protesters took to the street of the capital on Thursday to commemorate Poland’s independence, warning that the country was attacked by migrants from the Middle East die tried the eastern border over to sting with Belarus.

An event traditionally dominated by anger at Polish liberals instead focused on the deadlock of migrants, die according to European officials was orchestrated by the leader of Belarus.

In a speech at the start of the march, Robert Bakiewicz, de head of a nationalist group that organized the event, drew cheers and applause when he praised Polish soldiers, border guards and police officers at the border who he said they were defending the nation.

“Poland is under attack,” he said. “Today is the duty of every Polish patriot to support the state.”

In previous years, the march was marked by violence and xenophobia; in 2017, right-wing protesters collided with the police and chanted: “Pure Poland, white Poland” and “Refugees, get out!” This year, organizers and the government seemed eager to avoid street fight at the same time of escalating international tensions.

collected in a sea of red and white Polish flags, protesters started their march by lighting red torches and the national hymn. AN small group of young men trampled a rainbow flag outside a metro station, in near stalls met books die denying the holocaust and celebrating fascist leaders like Francisco Franco of Spain.

But while the crowd was solid young men who raised their arms in fascist-like greetings to chants of “Greetings, Greater Poland” and another group yelling “Border Guards, open fire,” the also featured peace-loving young couples pushing baby strollers.

“We are here to celebrate Polish independence. We just want to teach patriotism to our children,” said Monika Arbaszewska, 38, a mother of two, who joined the rally with her husband, Szymon.

November 11 is the birthday of Poland regains its sovereignty in 1918, more than a century after being swallowed by his neighbors. Commemorations are meant to evoke unity, but in in recent years they have more often served to underline the division die tore the nation apart.

This yearthe march comes like thousands of migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere have gathered just over the border with Belarus, try their way to Poland, an EU country where anti-immigrant sentiments runs high.

opponents of Poland’s right-wing government called off plans for their own Independence Day rally in the same place as the nationalist gathering, die had aroused fear of collisions in the streets. Instead they kept a small counter-demonstration in a different part of Warsaw under the slogan “Yes to independence, no to fascism.”

Polish leaders have used the border crossing to rally support in the EU, met Poland as its defender.

But the government is to the right moves put it bitterly at odds with the European Union for year, over issues like judicial independence and LGBT rights, and die tensions persist.

Mr Bakiewicz, in his speech cursed against what he called “internal collaborators”, declaring that “there is a war going on” on, not just the one on the border, but also the war with Germany and the European Union.” He denounced plans to reduce CO2 emissions as “green devil” cooked up by ecologists and Germans to keep down Poland, a major coal producer.

a protester set fire to a photo of Donald Tusk, en former prime minister and top executive of the EU who is now from Poland main opposition leader and others paraded met a banner on which St. George thrusts a sword through a draped dragon in the blue EU flag. like the sun set on a glorious one clear day, however, there were no notifications of serious violence.

Anatol Magdziarz contributed reporting.

Read More: World News

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