Thousands of fascists to march through Warsaw | News

Friday

Thousands of fascists are expected to flock to Warsaw on Saturday to attend an annual “Independence March” under the banner “We Want God”.

The rally coincides with Poland’s independence day on November 11.

Richard Spencer, a well-known American white supremacist, had been slated to attend, but is no longer on the agenda.

It was unclear whether the Polish government blocked his attendance, but Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski warned on Friday that the self-described “white Zionist” should not appear publicly in the eastern European country, especially given his views on the Holocaust. Spencer has previously been accused of anti-Semitism.

According to organisers of the far-right All Polish Youth and National Radical Camp groups, the event focuses on “the vision after the collapse of the West, that is, the old world in the post-European Union era … social and economic changes and the shock of the future”.

The rally, which launched as a smaller gathering in 2009, now draws tens of thousands of supporters, including many from neighbouring countries. 

Many of the attendees are young nationalists, who protest against Islam and the EU.

The rally’s popularity demonstrates the deepening divisions within the Poland’s divided society, and often results in police clashing with protesters. 

According to the organisers, the slogan “We Want God” aims to remind that Poland is still the bastion of faith and religiosity in Europe.

The chairman of the Independence March association, Robert Bakiewicz, said during a press conference that the protesters want to confront atheist Europe and respond to the “invasion of immigrants”.

“We are recalling the fighting church, which for centuries was the keystone and fundament of Europe”, he said. “We want to show Catholicism not as a faith of weakness, but as a faith of strong people”.

Beata Szydlo, current prime minister, leads the right-wing populist Law and Justice party. On Thursday, she told a conference in Warsaw that Poland was “in favour of an EU where Christian traditions are not censorship”. 

Poland has refused to take in refugees, with officials claiming that people of Muslim background are a threat to security. Fewer than 1 percent of the Polish population is Muslim.

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