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This is what Castle Square in Warsaw looked like after the demonstration on June 4? It's a different city

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“Does anyone know what kind of cattle that was at Castle Square yesterday?” – asked one of the Internet users, whose entry with a photo showing a littered street is becoming more and more popular on the Internet. However, it has nothing to do with the rally in Warsaw.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Civic Coalition organized a pre-election campaign so at Castle Square in Warsaw, where they spoke including Prime Minister Donald Tusk, former President of Poland Lech Wałęsa and deputy head of PO, president of the capital Rafał Trzaskowski.

The next day, one of the users of the portal X published a blurry photo showing a littered street and an empty city bike station. “It just needs to be cleaned up” – it was written in the photo. The user himself captioned his entry with a question: “Does anyone know what kind of cattle that was at Castle Square yesterday?” (original spelling). The same photo in multiple copies was also published on Facebook.

Entry on Portal X from June 5, 2024X.com

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The entry had been viewed almost 65,000 times by June 6. Some commenters followed this narrative. “What is it? POtology December 13. Ubecy, communists, thieves supported by useful idiots”; “Culture of Tusk's people”; “We already have Paris in Warsaw” – they wrote (original spelling of all entries). However, the vast majority noticed the false message. “There is Castle Square in Białystok?”; “It's Jagiellonia fans in Białystok, you liar”; “A liar and a manipulator. This is not a photo from Warsaw,” they emphasized.

The second group is right – the photo has nothing to do with the Civic Coalition rally in Warsaw, because the photo shows Kościuszko Market Square in the center of Białystok. On shot from Google Street View from July 2019, you can see the education office building shown in the photo on website Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The shot used in the entry was taken after the celebration of Jagiellonia Białystok fans, who celebrated winning the team for the first time in history Polish football championship. The team from the capital of Podlasie defeated Warta Poznań 3-0 on May 25 at home. On the occasion of the match, a fan zone was organized on the above-mentioned Kościuszko Market Square, where those interested could follow what was happening at the Municipal Stadium on a large screen. After the final whistle, they were joined by the fans who were in the stadium, and then by the players who arrived at the square in an open-air bus. As described by the portal Bialystokonline.pl, “the city was flooded with a yellow and red wave of fans,” and “Białystok has never seen such a celebration.” “There was no end to the singing in front of the Town Hall. Hundreds of flares were fired (…) Theoretically, the great celebration, which Białystok had never seen before, was to end at approximately 10.45 p.m., but a huge part of the fans will certainly party until dawn,” it was written.

A recording showing fun in the Market Square and the basilica in the background – elements typical of the photo we are describing – was published by Radio Białystok.

“Landscape” after the fans' celebration was shown a day later by Paweł Kalinowski, a guide of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society, operating on social media as Paweł Hulajnoga. In the entry published on May 26 at 4.20 showed photos and recordings from Kościuszko Market Square.

One from the films published by Kalinowski shows in the first frames a pile of garbage at the bicycle station – this is the same view that was published on website X, with the incorrect assurance that it is Warsaw's Castle Square:

An entry on the X portal from June 5, 2024 (on the left) and a frame from a Facebook recording by Paweł Kalinowski (on the right).X.com, Facebook.com

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP

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