Author : Greg Evans
Posted on : The Independent | November 13th, 2017
Around 60,000 people took part in a large scale far-right march in Poland on Saturday.
Many of those in attendance in the capital of Warsaw, carried fascist symbols, banners, flags and red flares.
They were reported to chant nationalist slogans such as «clean blood», «white Poland and «pure Poland.»
The march was organised to coincide with Poland’s 123rd Independence Day, but what should have been a celebration of the country’s history was instead hijacked by the controversial group.
Metro report that speakers at the event emphasised the need to stand against liberals and defend Poland’s Christian values, with a strong anti-Islam theme being prevalent.
Extreme right-wing leaders from across Europe, including Tommy Robinson, were said to be present.
Poland’s interior minister and member of the right-wing populist party Law and Justice, Mariusz Błaszczak praised the gathering.
“[The event was a] beautiful sight.
We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take
part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”
Witnesses who were at the event claim that not everyone was chanting fascist slogans but their presence still attracted a counter protest by 2,000 anti-fascists.
The protest did draw some criticism. British language teacher, Andy Eddles, who has lived in Poland for the past 27 years was appalled at what he saw.
“[I was] shocked that they’re allowed to demonstrate on this day.
It’s 50,000 to 100,000 mostly football hooligans hijacking patriotism.
For me it’s important to support the anti-fascist coalition, and to support fellow democrats who are under pressure in Poland today. “
The official ceremony for the day was held elsewhere in the city and was attended by all living former Polish presidents.
European Union president Donald Tusk was also present and took time to comment on the rise of nationalism in his home country.
The 60-year-old said:
“Independence Day has always been and will continue to be a celebration of all Poles and not just one party.
No politician in Poland has ever had nor will ever have a monopoly on patriotism”.