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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Warsaw. Independence March organized by nationalists. Journalists’ comments

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On the occasion of the Independence Day, on Thursday, a nationalist march is going through Warsaw, which this year is of a state character. The parade started just before 2 o’clock. On TVN24 its course was commented on by journalists. Wojciech Szacki from Polityka Insight stated that “it is a pity that the state has given the most important holiday to radical organizations”. Roch Kowalski from RMF FM assessed that “this picture goes to the world every year”.

The route of the march runs from the Dmowski roundabout to the de Gaulle roundabout along Aleje Jerozolimskie and then through the bridge and Poniatowskiego avenue to the vicinity of the National Stadium. The end of the event is the laying of wreaths in front of the bust of Ignacy Jan Paderewski at the entrance to Skaryszewski Park.


Szacki: it is a pity that the state has given away the most important holiday to radical organizations

Journalists commented on the march on TVN24. Wojciech Szacki from Polityka Insight stated that he “has a problem” with the assessment of this event.

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– We watch more or less the same every year. Sometimes it is a bit more colorful, sometimes less colorful, but more or less every year we see the same ritual in the center of Warsaw and every year we meet in a similar group and say similar things, which is quite depressing – he said.

– For me, a fairly general reflection is that it is a pity that the Polish state capitulated so much and gave the most important day of the year, the most important holiday, to radical organizations – added Szacki. – Where’s the president? Where is the prime minister? They do not follow this march, it is not really a state march, even if PiS granted this state patronage at the last moment – he said, referring to the decision on the organization of the nationalist march.

Szacki: it is a pity that the state has given away the most important holiday to radical organizationsTVN24

“This picture goes into the world every year”

Roch Kowalski from RMF FM referred to the organizers’ attendance data provided to the Polish Press Agency. They show that over 100,000 people take part in the march. – If there are more participants in this march, it is also a consequence of accepting that homophobic slogans appear in the public debate and that no punishments are made for aggressive, hate and discriminatory behavior – he emphasized.

– If we look at the prosecution proceedings, or even in the case of hanging portraits on the gallows, or in cases reported for reasons of hate speech directed, for example, at the LGBT community, if we look at the settlements after the last Independence March last year, everything indicates impunity and legitimizing these attitudes – added Kowalski. “Society is becoming radicalized,” he pointed out.

March of nationalists in WarsawWojciech Olkuśnik, PAP

According to the journalist, “this picture goes into the world every year”. – In recent months, Poland has rather not provided positive information to the West and the East. However, our concern is definitely more than how the march will be read about the rule of law, the conflict with Brussels and the border issue. And how the dispute over the rule of law affects how Poland deals with this crisis – he added.

The march is of a state nature

The March of Nationalists is an initiative of the March of Independence association, led by Robert Bąkiewicz. However, the capital city office did not record his march, because he was preceded by a group of 14 Women from Most, who had previously reported the event on the same route. Warsaw officials also explained the refusal to register the march of nationalists as a cyclical event by the fact that it did not meet the statutory condition of taking place in a given place for at least three years in a row. President Rafał Trzaskowski recalled that last year’s march took place, but it was illegal.

The decision of the president of Warsaw was corrected by the voivode of Mazovia, Konstanty Radziwiłł. The city went to court, which agreed with him. The appeal of the voivode did not bring any effect either, because the sentence was upheld in the appeal. The interventions of the Prosecutor General, Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, also did nothing. Robert Bąkiewicz assured that the march would take place anyway, an appropriate legal formula was being sought.

March of the Nationalists 2021Leszek Szymański / PAP

Two days before November 11, the state came to the rescue in the person of Jan Józef Kasprzyk, the head of the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression. He decided that the march would be state-owned. Despite this, the president and the prime minister did not decide to take part in it, as reported by their colleagues.

Main photo source: PAP / Wojciech Olkuśnik

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