Polish far-right say they will march on Independence Day despite ban

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By Reuters
Polish far-right say they will march on Independence Day despite ban
Polish far-right say they will march on Independence Day despite ban   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">WARSAW</span> – The organisers of an annual far-right march in Warsaw to mark Poland’s Independence Day said on Friday they would walk along their traditional route this year despite a ban from the town hall and losing a court appeal. </p> <p>The event, held annually on Nov. 11, has become a point of friction between far-right groups and supporters of the nationalist government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on one side, and their liberal opponents, including the Warsaw city hall, on the other.</p> <p>The association that organises the march has asked for it to be registered as a cyclical event, which would give it priority over other demonstrations. They were granted this status by the regional governor, but the decision was struck down twice in court this week.</p> <p>“The Appeals Court in Warsaw upheld the decision of the court of first instance revoking the region’s consent to organise the Independence March as a cyclical assembly,” the Warsaw city hall said in a statement. </p> <p>It also said a previously registered assembly is planned on the same spot, so a second event of this type cannot be organised at the same place and time. </p> <p>“If the nationalists congregate on November 11, it will be an unlawful assembly,” Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski wrote on Twitter. </p> <p>The organisers said they would go ahead with the march and would not change its route.</p> <p>Spokespersons for the government and Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) did not respond to requests for comment.</p> <p>Last year far-right sympathisers clashed with police at the end of a march that took place in defiance of pandemic restrictions. Planned as a drive through the capital, the event took a different form as thousands of people marched on foot through central Warsaw in addition to those driving.</p> <p/> </div>