Poland's Independence Day march sees drop in violence
PR dla Zagranicy
An annual Independence Day march led by Polish nationalists in Warsaw passed on Wednesday with fewer incidents than in previous years, and only one arrest.
Participants in the Independence Day march in Warsaw. The banner proclaims the slogan 'Stop the Islamisation of Poland'. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak
Police estimate that about 70,000 people took part in the march, which was held under the slogan of 'Poland for the Poles, Poles for Poland', in reference to the ongoing the refugee crisis.
The one arrested marcher was detained for insulting a policeman. Several other participants set off flares, and a car belonging to public television station TVP was slightly damaged.
However, the tally paled in comparison with the 2014 march, during which 51 police officers were injured and over 250 people detained.
Poland's incoming conservative government, which will take part in the first session of the newly elected parliament on Thursday, is expected to take a harder line on refugees than its centrist predecessor, which agreed to take in 7,000.
Some politicians campaigning on behalf of the victorious Law and Justice party ahead of parliamentary elections on 25 October used anti-refugee rhetoric, leading to accusations of xenophobia from Polish liberals.
During Wednesday's gathering, Adam Andruszkiewicz, head of the nationalist All Polish Youth organisation, called for a Poland “with a strong army... without any immigrants.
“Because we have an obligation to take in our fellow citizens who are beyond our borders, and we don't have any obligations to be the lackeys of Germans and take in immigrants, because Mrs Merkel told us to,” he argued. (nh/rk)