Poland: Far-right rallies and military parade to coincide on independence centenary

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Poland’s far-right groups have vowed to use the same route and timing for their march as the state military parade. The right-wing government, however, has insisted that the military cavalcade has a legal priority.

Polish Neo Nazis (picture-alliance/AP Photo/C. Sokolowski)

Polish authorities beefed up security ahead of a Sunday rally organized by Eurosceptic politicians and far-right groups to commemorate the country’s century of independence.

The state military parade in the capital Warsaw could clash with a march planned by far-right groups that have vowed to take the same path and timing as the military procession.

Last year’s far-right rally, organized by the “anti-Semitic” National Radical Camp (ONR), drew global condemnation for its use of explicitly racist and anti-immigrant banners and slogans.

Critics say the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) government is tacitly supporting groups with roots in the fascist and anti-Semitic movements.

Read more:Hitler ‘forced’ to invade Poland, AfD youth leader claims

The PiS government held talks with far-right groups on Friday to reschedule the two events, but it was later confirmed that the two would coincide.

President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday the state military parade had a legal priority.

Far-right groups, however, refused to back down after a court in Warsaw overturned a separate banimposed by the capital’s mayor citing the risk of a clash and hate speech.

“There is a clear red line between patriotic behavior and nationalistic or chauvinistic (behavior), or neo-Nazis,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told media Thursday, vowing that authorities would act against those who would display fascist symbols at the Sunday rally.

Tense ties with the EU

Ties between Poland and the European Union have deteriorated since the PiS took office in 2015.

No senior EU official or leader of a fellow EU state was due to attend the centenary celebrations that coincide with the World War I Armistice.

European Council President Donald Tusk on Saturday criticized the PiS-led government for repeatedly clashing with the EU. Tusk has also warned against the emergence of a nationalist front in EU elections next year.

Tusk also lashed out at Poland’s ruling politicians, likening them to “contemporary Bolsheviks”who threaten the country’s independence.

SOURCE: Deutsche Welle




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