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Police criticized for role at nationalist march in Warsaw

Participants burn flares and wave a Polish flag as they take part in Poland's Independence Day march organized by nationalist groups in Warsaw on November 11, 2022. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP)
Participants burn flares and wave a Polish flag as they take part in Poland's Independence Day march organized by nationalist groups in Warsaw on November 11, 2022. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP)

WARSAW — Opposition politicians in Poland criticize police for detaining anti-fascist activists but not reacting to the appearance of a Nazi-era symbol during a nationalist march.

The detention of the activists occurred during Friday’s yearly far-right-led Independence March in Warsaw.

Many liberal groups who oppose the march have accused the police for years of displaying favorable treatment toward the nationalists while treating protesters of the event unfairly.

The counter-protesters held white roses and a banner reading “Nationalism is not patriotism” before police removed them from a location near the march route.

An opposition lawmaker, Michal Szczerba of the centrist Civic Platform party, accuses the ruling Law and Justice party Saturday of creating “an oppressive state” with its treatment of peaceful protesters.

A Polish senator who also is a member of the political opposition, Krzysztof Brejza, tweeted a photo from the march of participants carrying a banner with the “Black Sun” symbol of Nazi Germany’s SS guards. Brejza noted that police did not intervene.

The promotion of totalitarian ideologies is illegal in Poland.

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