A divided Poland took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate its National Independence Day. Tens of thousands of people across the country took part in the celebrations.
And as they do every year, the organizers of the nationalist march Marsz Niepodleglosci (“Independence March” in Polish) paraded in Warsaw. This time they were awarded exclusive use of the city’s main roads, since the event was deemed to be “recurring.” A year has passed since the approval of the law on public order that guarantees priority for permits given to recurring events. The Marsz Niepodleglosci has stolen the spotlight every Nov. 11, and will continue to do so for at least the next four years, according to the law on public demonstrations, thanks to the activism of the Nationalist Radical Camp, a quasi-fascist organization that on Saturday invited to the Polish capital a sample of the burgeoning variety of European far-right extremism.
At least 50,000 protesters took part in the march, under the slogan “We want God,” the three words with which Pope Wojtyla was welcomed in Warsaw in 1979 and which Donald Trump echoed during his trip to Poland in July: “That day, every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down,” the U.S. president said.