Inquiry into 'racist', 'fascist' Independence March banners
PR dla Zagranicy
Warsaw prosecutors have launched an inquiry into the alleged public promotion of fascism and racism following a controversial Independence March in the capital on 11 November.
Photo: Mathiasrex, Maciej Szczepańczyk/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
To mark the 99th year of Polish independence, roughly 60,000 people marched through the streets of the capital, some of them carrying banners with allegedly racist and fascist slogans.
According to prosecutor Magdalena Sowa, the prosecution is still collecting police evidence, including footage from security cameras.
Under Polish criminal law, the public promotion of fascism and racism carries penalties of up to two years in jail.
The annual Independence March was organised in cooperation by the National Radical Front and the All-Poland Youth organisations, which both call themselves nationalist.
In 2017, the march's slogan was “We Want God” but some banners carried by a number of marchers bore other phrases, including: “All different, all white” and “Europe only for whites”.
According to reports, some of the marchers chanted: “Seig Heil”, “White power”, “Jews, get out of Poland” and “Remove Jewry from power”.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński condemned such slogans, adding that only a small fraction of the 60,000 marchers were responsible for the offending banners.
Independence March spokesman Damian Kita said that some 50-60 people were behind banners at the march which referred to “pure blood”.
He added that the event's organisers wanted people who called the march “fascist” or “Nazi” brought to justice.
The 11 November event was widely commented both domestically and abroad, with some news organisations and public figures calling the march “racist”, “fascist” or “Nazi”. (vb/pk)