Poland marks centenary of its na­tional re­birth

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - MONIKA SCISLOWSKA AND VANESSA GERA

WAR­SAW, POLAND — Poland’s pres­i­dent, prime min­is­ter and other top po­lit­i­cal fig­ures led an In­de­pen­dence Day march Sun­day as part of a day of centenary cel­e­bra­tions, trailed by a huge crowd led by na­tion­al­ist groups.

Po­lice es­ti­mated about 200,000 peo­ple marched in War­saw to mark the 100th an­niver­sary of Poland’s re­birth as an in­de­pen­dent state at the end of The First World War.

Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda, Prime Min­is­ter Ma­teusz Mo­raw­iecki and the leader of the con­ser­va­tive rul­ing party, Jaroslaw Kaczyn­ski, walked in a crowd fronted by sol­diers car­ry­ing a huge flag with the words “For You Poland.”

Walk­ing a small dis­tance be­hind them was an­other crowd of na­tion­al­ists and their sup­port­ers, many of them burn­ing fire­crack­ers and flares, cre­at­ing flashes of red light and smoke.

Most in that con­tin­gent car­ried na­tional flags, but some held flags of the Na­tional Rad­i­cal Camp, a far-right group and 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 were also a few flags of Forza Nuova, an Ital­ian group whose leader, Roberto Fiore, de­scribes him­self as fas­cist.

Among var­i­ous slo­gans some shouted were “U.S.A., empire of evil” and “Poland, white and Catholic.” Mem­bers of one na­tion­al­ist group, All-Pol­ish Youth, burned a Eu­ro­pean Union flag.

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