Polish far-white nationalists march in Warsaw

Polen | Tausende Nationalisten feiern den polnischen Unabhängigkeitstag in Warschau

Polen | Tausende Nationalisten feiern den polnischen Unabhängigkeitstag in Warschau

Experts say the annual event marked one of the biggest far-right demonstrations in Europe over the past few years.

Earlier in the day, President Andrzej Duda appeared at an Independence Day event in Pilsudski square.

On Independence Day, Duda also awarded state distinctions, including three Orders of the White Eagle, the highest state distinction in Poland given for civilian and military contributions to the country. One sign read, "White Europe of brotherly nations", and another said, "We want God". Others spoke of defending Polish Christian values and standing up to liberals, Britain's The Independent reported.

The nationalist marchers carried Polish flags and threw red smoke bombs.

Protesters carry Polish flags and National Radical Camp flags during a rally, organised by far-right, nationalist groups, to mark 99th anniversary of Polish independence in Warsaw.

Police estimated the number of people who took part in the rally to be 60,000. Many were young men, some with their faces covered or with beer bottles in hand, but families and older Poles also participated.

It attracted far-right agitators from elsewhere in Europe, including Tommy Robinson from the United Kingdom and Roberto Fiore from Italy.

State broadcaster TVP, which reflects the conservative government's line, called it a "great march of patriots, " and in its broadcasts described the event as one that drew mostly regular Poles expressing their love of Poland, not extremists.

As Poland has moved further to the right, the rally has grown. He added: "We are proud that so many Poles have made a decision to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday".

Across the city a smaller counter protest was held by anti-facist groups who marched with banners reading "together against racism" and "rainbow is the new black". The second group carried banners saying "Stop Fascism".

Demonstrators burn flares and wave Polish flags in Warsaw on November 11, 2017. The accident, which claimed the lives of several high-ranking Polish government officials (including his brother, then-President Lech Kaczyński) has become a rallying point for right-wing conspiracy theorists who believe that it was a deliberate act by Russian Federation.

Tusk, who attended at Duda's invitation, also paid tribute to those who died during the conflict.

This objection most specifically references a recent announcement by Jarosław Kaczyński, de facto leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, of a competition to design a monument commemorating for next year's holiday dedicated to the victims of the 2010 airplane crash in Smolensk, Russia.

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