Pol­ish pres­i­dent sharply con­demns week­end na­tion­al­ist march

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - WORLD -

WARSAW, Poland — The Pol­ish pres­i­dent has sharply con­demned ex­pres­sions of xeno­pho­bia and racism at a week­end march by na­tion­al­ists, say­ing there is no place in the coun­try for anti-semitism and “sick na­tion­al­ism.’’

It was the strong­est and first un­equiv­o­cal con­dem­na­tion by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the coun­try’s con­ser­va­tive lead­er­ship of the white su­prem­a­cist and racist views ex­pressed by some of the 60,000 peo­ple who took part in a march on the In­de­pen­dence Day hol­i­day Satur­day in Warsaw. Gov­ern­ment mem­bers over the past two days had mostly de­scribed par­tic­i­pants as pa­tri­ots and played down the na­ture of the xeno­pho­bic mes­sages. Though many fam­i­lies took part in the march, the event was or­ga­nized by far-right groups and some car­ried ban­ners with slo­gans like “White Europe of broth­erly na­tions’’ or had flags with Celtic crosses, a white su­prem­a­cist sym­bol. There were also anti-semitic and anti-mus­lim slo­gans and chants. One large ban­ner read “Deus Vult’’ in Gothic let­ter­ing. Latin for “God wills it,’’ it was a cry used dur­ing the First Cru­sade in the 11th cen­tury, when a Chris­tian army from Europe slaugh­tered Jews and Mus­lims in the Holy Land. In re­cent years, it has been used by the rad­i­cal right to show hos­til­ity to Is­lam. Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda said that “there is no place in Poland’’ for xeno­pho­bia, patho­log­i­cal na­tion­al­ism and anti-semitism and that the coun­try must re­main a land of open to all who want to come to­gether and work for the good of the na­tion.

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