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Hundreds of thousands march for Polish Independence celebration

More than 200 000 patriots took to the streets of Warsaw on Sunday to celebrate Poland's independence, despite attempts by the city's mayor to ban the "aggressive nationalism" of the event earlier this month.

Published: November 13, 2018, 7:06 am

    Warsaw

    Huge crowds sweeped into the Polish capital to celebrate the centenary of Poland’s independence, despite earlier efforts to ban the rally because patriotic groups were participating.

    They were among the masses taking part in a march which was led by President Andrzej Duda, the BBC reported.

    The fact that opposition parties boycotted the event, made no dent in the number of marchers present to celebrate Poland’s National Independence Day, commemorating the restoration of the country’s sovereignty from the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian empires in 1918.

    Participants in Sunday’s march waved Polish flags, wore red-and-white armbands and launched red flares that filled the streets with smoke. Banners representing conservative parties from Poland and Italy were spotted too.

    The outgoing mayor of Warsaw tried to ban the march earlier this month to stop “aggressive nationalism” but it was overturned by the courts. The ruling came a day after Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz tried to stop the rally.

    “We’re victorious,” one of the organisers of the annual event remarked. Only 60 000 people had taken part in the previous 2017 march.

    Polish authorities clamped down on two conferences which were set to feature speeches by nationalists from across Europe however. They were cancelled after Poland’s domestic counterintelligence agency, the Internal Security Agency, arrested more than 100 people, according to nationalist sources.

    FWM is aware of at least one attendee who was ordered to return to his country of residence when the attendee arrived at the airport in Warsaw.

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