The Masovian Voivode agreed to the registration of the “March of Independence” as a cyclical assembly in the years 2021-2023. This means that nationalists will have priority over other demonstrations. The Mayor of Warsaw announced that the town hall would apply to the court to block this year’s march.
The rp.pl portal informed about the decision of the Masovian Voivode, Konstanty Radziwiłł, on the registration of the cyclical assembly for November 11th. The voivode himself referred to it during a press conference. – The voivode has no right to his own assessment of the legitimacy, political nature or other aspects of the march. The voivode complies with the law when it comes to organizing cyclical events. We called on the organizer to complete various documents. The process took quite a long time and ended with the organizers meeting all the conditions, therefore, the decision could not be different – said Radziwiłł.
– This is a very important issue of the constitutional freedom of assembly. It can be said that, as a rule, all assemblies are registered in this way – he pointed out. – Calls to the voivode not to register this march, because someone has a different opinion, believes that these are people who should not demonstrate on the street, they are completely pointless – he added.
Earlier, the president of the Independence March and the head of the National Guard, Robert Bąkiewicz, told PAP that the application was submitted to the Mazowieckie Voivodeship Office three weeks ago. – We have applied for further registration of the cyclical assembly. There is no reason for us to be negative. We meet all the conditions and we are calmly waiting for the decision – he said. He also added that the march will follow the same route as every year.
Pursuant to the Law on Assemblies, “the voivode issues a decision on the consent to organize cyclical assemblies not later than 5 days before the planned date of the first assembly cycle, in particular taking into account the fact that the applicant organizes assemblies earlier and the purpose of cyclical assemblies”.
Moreover, according to the Act, if the voivode has given his consent to hold a cyclical assembly at the place and time at which another assembly was to be held, the commune authority issues a decision to prohibit this other assembly within 24 hours of receiving information about the cyclical assembly.
On Wednesday, the media reported that a private person reported another assembly on the route and on the date when the Independence March was held regularly in Warsaw.
– The regulations leave no room for interpretation. The case is clear. A recurring event, if it is registered, no matter at what point – sooner or later – it is registered on the basis of special statutory provisions and has priority over any other assembly – indicated the voivode during the press conference.
The town hall wants to block the march
– We will be applying to the court for this demonstration not to take place due to COVID issues. Let us hope that, just like last year, our arguments will be taken into account – said Rafał Trzaskowski, the president of the capital on Monday. – We know what this march looks like and how many people came to it. We also saw the consequences of the behavior of these people on the streets of Warsaw – he said.
– If this demonstration takes place, we will be examining in great detail, because security was threatened a year ago. In such a situation, demonstrations must be resolved – he added.
Last year The Independence March passed through the streets of Warsaw, despite the fact that due to the pandemic, the Mayor of Warsaw did not consent to its organization. As announced by the organizers, it was supposed to be motorized, but many participants took part on foot. During the march there were clashes between the demonstrators and the police; the police informed, inter alia, that stones and flares flew towards the policemen at the de Gaulle roundabout; a flare was thrown into one of the apartments in Powiśle, which caused a fire. The Warsaw Police Headquarters informed that the gathering of pedestrians was illegal.
At the end of last week the prosecutor’s office rejected applications submitted by deputies and senators of the Koalicja Obywatelska parliamentary club to ban the Independence March Association. Their authors argued that during the Independence Marches, participants were promoting totalitarianism and inciting hatred, among other things. They also argued that there were gross violations of the law by the management of the Independence March Association.
Main photo source: TVN archive