Right-Wing Extremism: Right-wing extremists march in Warsaw with the support of the government
On November 11, 2021, tens of thousands of people participated in the nationalist Independence March in the Polish capital.
The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party had declared the march an event of “state character” in order to circumvent a previously issued ban. In the run-up to the event, Polish Justice Minister and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro had called for “civil disobedience” after a rejected appeal to the Supreme Court and demanded to oppose a ban, as it was a fundamental right to gather for this “patriotic event.”
Participants displayed antisemitic banners such as “Polish Intifada […] This is Poland! Not 'Polin' [Hebrew for Poland] […] No more Zionism!” and chanted slogans such as “USA - center of evil; no wars for Israel.” Far-right hooligans wore balaclavas with Celtic crosses and the inscription “Jihad Legia.”
As in previous years, the neo-fascist ONR (Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny), the youth organization Młodzież Wszechpolska (MW) and the Ruch Narodowy (RN) party were represented with their own blocks. In the so-called Black Block, flags of neo-Nazi groups from numerous European countries and antisemitic and racist banners were displayed. From the block, individuals were physically attacked.
The annual march is considered the largest demonstration organized by right-wing extremists in Europe. In the past, right-wing extremist groups from Germany, Europe and the United States, among other countries, participated in the march. The year before, the march had been banned due to the Corona pandemic. Nevertheless, tens of thousands responded to the call to disobey the ban and walked through downtown Warsaw. Right-wing extremists engaged in fierce confrontations with police for hours and set fire to an apartment with a rainbow flag and a symbol of the Polish women's strike movement hanging from its window.