Right-wing nationalists march on Poland's independence day

Poland celebrates Independence Day

Poland celebrates Independence Day

Other events were also held in the city for Independence Day, which marks the country regaining independence 123 years after it was carved up by Tsarist Russia, Prussia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Some participants marched under the slogan "We Want God", words from an old Polish religious song that the USA president, Donald Trump, quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year.

They were campaigning for a "white Europe", as well as spreading messages about "standing against liberals" and "defending Christian values".

Some of the nationalists who participated in the road flare-heavy rally were seen holding black, white and red Polish Falangist flags, a variant of the National Radical Camp Falanga, a Polish nationalist movement, somewhat associated with Francisco Franco's Falangism in the 1930s. "The numbers attending this year seem to be bigger and, while not everyone on the march is a far-right activist or fascist, it is undoubtedly becoming more significant and is acting as a magnet for far-right groups around the world", Nick Lowles, from anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate, tells the Guardian.

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Polish nationalists carry a banner translating to "we want God" during a march in Warsaw.

There were also many families and older people in attendance.

The march has become one of the largest such demonstration in Europe, and on Saturday it drew far-right leaders from elsewhere in Europe, including Tommy Robinson from Britain and Roberto Fiore from Italy. State broadcaster TVP, for example, called it a "great march of patriots", making it seem like the march was about Poles expressing love for their homeland.

An estimated 60,000 people marched through Poland last night, carrying far-right symbols and chanting racist slurs.

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"It was a handsome sight", the interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, said.

"We are proud that so many Poles have chose to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday", he said. Organisers kept the two groups apart to prevent violence. The second group carried banners saying "Stop Fascism".

Independence day is taken seriously in Poland, which was wiped off the map for over 120 years prior to 1918. The accident, which claimed the lives of several high-ranking Polish government officials (including his brother, then-President Lech Kaczyński) has become a rallying point for right-wing conspiracy theorists who believe that it was a deliberate act by Russian Federation.

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