Polish leaders mark alongside far-right to mark country’s rebirth after WWI

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s president, prime minister and other top leaders lead an Independence Day march that includes members of nationalist organizations, the first time Polish state officials have marched with the far-right groups.

Some 200,000 people march in Warsaw to mark the 100th anniversary of Poland’s rebirth as an independent state at the end of World War I, according to an initial estimate by police.

Over the past decade, nationalist organizations have held Independence Day marches on November 11 which have included racist slogans, flares and in some years, acts of aggression.

President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the powerful leader of the conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, march in a group led by soldiers with a large flag bearing the words “For You Poland.”

Walking a small distance behind them are the nationalists, many of them burning flares, creating flashes of red light and smoke. Many in that contingent carry national flags, but a handful of other emblems are observed.

Those include the flag of the National Radical Camp, a far-right group that was one of the main march organizers. The camp’s flag has a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s of a stylized hand with a sword.

There are also a few flags of Forza Nuova, an Italian group whose leader, Roberto Fiore, describes himself as fascist.

— AP

Supporters of the far-right National Radical Camp attend a march on November 11, 2018, in Warsaw to mark 100 years of Polish independence. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP)

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