Polish leaders to participate in march with far-right groups

By REUTERS
November 11, 2018 02:02
2 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Authorities in Poland stepped up security in the capital on Sunday ahead of a march planned by eurosceptic leaders and far-right groups to celebrate a century of national independence.

The march is a focus of debate about whether the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) party of government tacitly encourages groups with roots in the fascist and anti-Semitic movements.

Last year, an annual march organized each Nov. 11 by the far right for nearly a decade in Warsaw was dotted with racist banners such as "pure blood, clear mind" and "Europe will be white or uninhabited."

The slogans fueled concern about the rise of xenophobia in Poland at a time when other European countries are also grappling with a resurgence of the far right.

Warsaw's city mayor sought to ban this year's march but a court overruled her. The government then agreed with organizers after last-minute talks to hold a joint event to mark a 100 years since Poland's 1918 declaration of independence after an 18th century partition by Russia, Austria and Germany.

"What brings us together is (Poland's) white and red flag," Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told state broadcaster TVP on Saturday. "I invite everyone to attend."

PiS says it rejects anti-Semitism and racism but critics accuse it of quietly siding with the far-right.

Since its election in 2015, the party has seen Poland increasingly isolated in Europe amid accusations of a tilt towards authoritarian rule. It promises more Catholic values and patriotism in public life and more state say in the economy.

The party taps into frustration with liberal values and anti-establishment sentiment that has galvanized far-right voters in other parts of Europe.

"Remember the shameful slogans of last year's Nov. 11 march?," centrist lawmaker Marcin Kierwinski said on Twitter. "A year later, their authors are meeting with the president and prime minister instead of a prosecutor."

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday any "extremist" banners would be eliminated from Sunday's event.

The United States embassy in Warsaw issued a security alert ahead of the march.

The defense ministry said a military display including armored vehicles would accompany the march, but said they were not part in any security arrangements.

Before the late-night agreement with the government on Friday to hold a joint event, organizers had said they expected the march to be the biggest far-right event in Europe in years.

Foreign participants who had confirmed their attendance earlier included Milan Mazurek, a Slovak lawmaker who once said on social media that the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust had been "distorted."

On Nov. 11 Poles commemorate the establishment of the second Polish republic in 1918 from territory seized by its eastern and Western neighbors in the 18th century, made possible by the defeat of Russia, Germany and Austria in World War One.

Also on Sunday, world leaders gather in Paris to mark the end of the war.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
November 14, 2018
Magnitude 6.1 quake hits Russia's Kamchatka - USGS

By REUTERS