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Warsaw court bans far-right march; nationalists plan to appeal

In this file photo from November 11, 2018   marchers burn flares during the annual March of Independence organized by far right activists to celebrate 100 years of Poland's independence marking the nation regaining its sovereignty at the end of World War I after being wiped off the map for more than a century. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)
In this file photo from November 11, 2018 marchers burn flares during the annual March of Independence organized by far right activists to celebrate 100 years of Poland's independence marking the nation regaining its sovereignty at the end of World War I after being wiped off the map for more than a century. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

WARSAW, Poland — A Polish court upholds the Warsaw mayor’s ban on an annual march organized by nationalists on Poland’s Independence Day, but organizers pledge to appeal the ruling and insist the march will go ahead as planned.

The November 11 march has attracted large numbers of participants in recent years, underlining the rising support for the far right in Poland and elsewhere. Nationalists from other countries also travel to Warsaw to take part, while organizers have received funding and other support from the right-wing Polish government.

Konstanty Radziwill, the governor of the region where Warsaw is located and a member of the ruling Law and Justice party, approved the march last week. But Warsaw’s District Court rules today in favor of an appeal by Rafal Trzaskowski, the liberal mayor of the capital, who sought to ban this year’s march following violence a year ago.

Independence March organization head Robert Bakiewicz calls the ruling “shameful” and says his organization will appeal and “the march will take place.”

The November 11 national holiday marks when Poland regained its sovereignty after World War I.

It’s only in recent years that nationalist groups have turned out in large numbers to overshadow commemorations with marches that have turned violent at times. Some participants have voiced white supremacist and antisemitic ideas in the past.

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