The Warsaw police “counts that the participants of the event do it for peaceful purposes, to celebrate the regaining of independence.” – This does not mean, however, that we should not take into account the threats, said Sylwester Marczak, spokesman for KSP. Before Thursday’s march, the police also published a safety guide for journalists.
On Thursday afternoon the march of nationalists is to start from the Dmowski roundabout by the decision of the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression, it is to be of a state nature. Masovian voivode ordered the town hall clearing all potentially dangerous objects from the march route such as building materials from the Dmowskiego roundabout, benches, litter bins or bicycle stands from Aleje Jerozolimskie. – This is important, because such paving stones that are standing in a pile or elements that are movable, in case of possible attacks, when we have to evacuate people, must be eliminated at this organizational stage – said Sylwester Marczak, spokesman of the Warsaw Police Headquarters.
Asked by a TVN reporter whether rubbish bins are being taken on all marches, he replied that “at the biggest events, the police can make decisions that are otherwise not taken into account”. – But this is mainly due to the fact that we are dealing with celebrations planned for some time and of a specific nature – he reserved.
When asked if it was not a fear that the participants of the march would throw paving stones at other people, he replied that “this is one of the variants that were taken into account in the context of the decisions made”.
– We hope that all people who decide to take part in this project do it to celebrate the regaining of independence, and this is how we approach each security, regardless of whether we are dealing with the Independence March, Equality Parade or other important events for people who decided to take part in them. We count on everyone doing it for peaceful purposes, to demonstrate their views, and not to cause any kind of brawl. This does not mean, however, that we should not take into account the threats, explained the KSP spokesman.
Police advise journalists: a good shot is not worth your health and life
The police’s safety recommendations to journalists used the phrase “a good shot is not worth your health and life.” The reporter of “Fakt” asked Marczak if it meant that the lives of journalists would be in danger during the march.
– It is not that we address such information only to these journalists. We also remind the policemen about the same. We can deal with different variants. If we prepare for potential terrorist events, we must remember that in the place where such a threat arises, it will be a threat to everyone, not only journalists, said the spokesman of the Warsaw police.
He also noted that the police very often encounter situations in which journalists risk their lives: – It is really unnecessary. If we are dealing with threats, it is better not to be here. At this point, it is better to allow services such as the police to act, because we are prepared to act decisively.
Before the previous marches, however, there were no such recommendations for journalists. – In my opinion, this is information that needs to be shown from time to time. Taking into account, for example, what happened a year and ago and various other situations that we have talked about many times, said Marczak.
He meant, among other things, last year’s riots during the march of nationalists. Clashes with the police took place, among others, in the area of the de Gaulle roundabout. KSP then reported that “groups of hooligans attacked policemen protecting the safety of other people”. Compact units started to operate, using the means of direct coercion – tear gas and smoothbore weapons. During the march, Tomasz Gutry, a photojournalist of “Tygodnik Solidarność”, was shot.
Safety guide for journalists and photojournalists of the Police Headquarters:
1. Remember your own safety – a good shot is not worth your health and life. 2. Equip a reflective vest with the word PRESS / PRESS. 3. Place your press card in a place where it is visible and easy to show. 4. Stand at the edge of the crowd and try not to get into the middle of the action – if you find yourself in the middle of two sides, immediately withdraw. 5. Monitor and analyze the situation also outside the camera / camcorder frame; when you see aggression increasing, withdraw to a safe place. 6. Park your vehicle in a safe place, away from the place of the event. 7. Avoid carrying documents around your neck on a lanyard or chain – in case of an attack, they can be used for strangling. But in an emergency, wear a helmet or protectors. 8. Watch out and listen to the announcements made by the police – if you hear that direct coercion measures will be used, move away to a safe distance. 9.Remember that police officers equipped with helmets and protective equipment have a limited field of view. 10.Do not make it difficult for policemen to perform their official duties and do not violate the law.
Main photo source: tvnwarszawa.pl