Poland defends Far-right weekend march that saw 60,000 call for an ‘Islamic holocaust’, insisting the day was a ‘great celebration of Poles’

Monday, November 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

Poland’s Foreign Ministry says Independence Day march was largely an ‘expression of patriotic values’
The event in Warsaw on Saturday, organised by far-right groups, was attended by some 60,000 people
Some attendants were carrying placards calling for a ‘White Europe’ and ‘Pray for an Islamic Holocaust’

13 November 2017

Poland’s Foreign Ministry is insisting that a large weekend march by thousands of nationalists and far-right groups in Warsaw carrying placards calling for a ‘White Europe’ was largely an ‘expression of patriotic values’.

The ministry strongly condemns racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic ideas, saying that Saturday’s Independence Day march was ‘a great celebration of Poles united around the common values of freedom and loyalty to an independent homeland’, saying it was not justifiable to define the march based on some ‘incidental’ elements.

The event, organised by far-right groups, was attended by some 60,000 people with some carrying banners with messages such as ‘White Europe of brotherly nations’ and ‘Pray for an Islamic Holocaust’.

The march organised by far-right groups was one of a number of marches organised in the Polish capital, which was celebrating Poland’s rebirth as an independent nation 99 years ago.

The far-rights presence at the event was visible for all to see, with some holding up xenophobic banners and chanting racist slogans. A demonstrator interviewed by state television TVP said he was on the march to ‘remove Jewry from power.’

Some marched under a banner which read ‘We Want God’, words from an old Polish song which Donald Trump quoted during his visit to the country earlier this year. Others spoke about standing up to liberals and defending Christianity.

Vast swathes of the crowd marched with the red-and-white flag while others let off red flares and firecrackers during their march. A banner depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating back to the 1930s, was also unfurled by a section of the crowd.

Authorities also had to ensure that anti-fascist protesters were kept away from far-right demonstrators over fears their could be violent outbreaks.

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