Ban overturned on Polish independence march by nationalists

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Media captionThese have been the scenes in 2017 when a nationalist march and counter-protest passed off in Warsaw

A Polish court docket has overturned a ban on a nationalist march in Warsaw to mark 100 years of Poland’s independence.

“We’re victorious,” mentioned the organisers of the annual occasion, which has change into a magnet for the far proper and has been marked by violence in recent times.

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The ruling comes a day after Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz barred the rally, saying the town had suffered sufficient from “aggressive nationalism”.

After the ban, President Andrzej Duda vowed to organise an official march.

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“Everyone seems to be invited, come solely with red-and-white flags,” he mentioned, referring to the march that was anticipated to observe the identical route because the nationalist rally – solely beginning one hour later.

The president warned that anybody carrying the form of offensive banners seen final yr can be handled by the police.

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Why are nationalist marches controversial?

Though the yearly occasion is in style with hundreds of peculiar, patriotic Poles, together with supporters of the ruling Regulation and Justice (PiS) celebration, it’s partly organised by the far-right Nationwide Radical Camp (ONR).

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Reuters

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In 2015, some individuals carried a banner that learn Poland for Poles – Poles for Poland

Among the many Polish flags final yr have been smoke bombs, together with racist and anti-Semitic chants and banners. A number of the marchers have been far-right agitators from different international locations together with the UK and Italy.

A smaller counter-protest attracted some 2,000 individuals.

The march was cited in a European Parliament decision final month, which referred to as for a ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi teams.

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What did the mayor say?

Ms Gronkiewicz-Waltz, a member of the opposition Civic Platform celebration, defined that safety on Sunday was a priority and her appeals to the federal government for assist had fallen on deaf ears.

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Getty Pictures

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The mayor complained that no fees had been introduced in opposition to individuals who had damaged legal guidelines ultimately yr’s march

Strike motion by police would additionally make it tough to safe the occasion correctly, she mentioned, and Warsaw had suffered traditionally from aggressive nationalism below German occupation.

“Poland’s 100th anniversary of independence should not seem like this, therefore my resolution to forbid it,” she mentioned. Poland’s second republic was established on 11 November 1918 on the finish of World Warfare One, after greater than a century of rule by Prussia, the Austro-Hungarian empire and Russia.

Ms Gronkiewicz-Waltz additionally complained that no fees had been introduced in opposition to individuals who had damaged legal guidelines ultimately yr’s march.

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