To screams of ‘White Europe’ and ‘God, Honour, Country’, some 60,000 marched in the Polish capital Warsaw yesterday to remind the conservative government of the strength of right-wing groups in Poland.
The march which passed along all the major sights in Warsaw was called upon by far-right groups to mark Poland’s rebirth as a nation in 1918, and was attended by more people that various official state observances.
Many young men, some with their faces covered and chanting “We Want God”, to refer to the older Polish religious song that President Donald Trump also quoted during his visit to Warsaw earlier in the year. Older people and families also participated, but to a lesser extent.
The men chanted “God, honour, country”, “Glory to our heroes”, while some also stated phrases like “pure Poland, white Poland” and “refugees get out.”
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">People singing the National Anthem. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Warsaw?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Warsaw</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Poland?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Poland</a> <a href="https://t.co/5vz8TfXPhm">pic.twitter.com/5vz8TfXPhm</a></p>— BeautifulWarsaw🇵🇱 (@BeautifulWarsaw) <a href="https://twitter.com/BeautifulWarsaw/status/929689053867528192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">12 November 2017</a></blockquote>
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Some participants marched under the slogan “We Want God”, words from an old Polish religious song that the US President, Donald Trump, quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year. Speakers spoke of standing against liberals and defending Christian values.
Many carried the national white-and-red flag as others set off flares and firecrackers, filling the air with red smoke. Some also carried banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s.
The Polish interior minister, Mr Mariusz Błaszczak joined on behalf of the governing conservative party and gave a speech to the crowds afterward.
“It was a beautiful sight,” Mr Błaszczak, said, “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”
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The Polish State broadcaster, TVP, which reflects the conservative government’s line, said the event was a “great march of patriots”, and during the broadcasts of it on TV, described the event as one that drew mostly regular Poles expressing their love of Poland.