Tens of thousands of nationalist demonstrators marched through Warsaw on Saturday to mark Poland’s independence day, throwing red-smoke bombs and carrying banners with slogans such as “white Europe of Brotherly Nations”, “Europe Will Be White” and “Clean Blood.”
The weekend demonstration, organized by far-right groups, turned out an estimated 60,000 people in what experts say was one of the biggest gathering of far-right activists in Europe in recent years.
Many demonstrators chanted “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!”.
60,000 nationalists have marched through Warsaw to mark Poland’s independence day with slogans such as "white Europe of brotherly nations." pic.twitter.com/BmmzNNXzPU
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 12, 2017
A banner hung over a bridge read: “Pray for Islamic Holocaust.”
The Guardian notes:
The march organized by far-right groups in Poland is an annual event originally to mark Poland’s independence in 1918. But according to Nick Lowles, from UK anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, it has become an important rallying point for international far-right groups.
“The numbers attending this year seem to be bigger and, while not everyone on the march is a far-right activist or fascist, it is undoubtedly becoming more significant and is acting as a magnet for far-right groups around the world.”
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 encouraged attendants to stand against liberals and defending Christian values.
Many carried the national white-and-red flag while others held banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s. A demonstrator interviewed by state television TVP said he was on the march to “remove Jewry from power”.
TVP, which generally echoes the conservative government’s sentiments, called it a “great march of patriots.”
“It was a beautiful sight,” Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said. “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”