The Antifascist coalition in Warszaw gathered over 2 000 people in the counter demo against the annual extreme right march on the national liberation day. It was the biggest mobilisation in years, called by autonomous groups, communities, feminist, queer organizations and unions.
The march of the extreme right was organized by Młodzież Wszechpolska (All Polish youth) and Obóz Narodowo Radykalny ( National radical camp). Both organizations refers, both in name and political programs, to right wing nationalist organizations from the time before the war. Organizations who were responsible for pogroms and attacks, most often towards the jewish part of the population, but also against other minorities and socialists. In 1936 ONR performed “the march against Myslence”, a pogrom in the small village Myslenice when shops run by jews were robbed and burned down. Both of the organizations have strong ties to other nazigroups in Poland and rest of Europe. Several members have been sentenced for attacks on minorities or public use of nazisymboles as swastikas, the sun wheel and for doing the nazi- salute.
This years “Independent march” gathered around 60 000 people under slogans as “White Europe- pure blood”, “Death to the traitors of the nation”, “Smash the red scum”, “Nationalism, our way” but also others directed against jews, muslims and refugees. The march gathers both organized fascists, people who call themselves patriots, antisemitic groups, hooligans, religious people, sympathizers with the ruling party “Law & order” and people who let themselves be swept away by nationalist feelings.
The first speech started: “All islamists will see today that they are not welcome here, we will defend our slavic women and children. We will defend our Christian faith. God, honour and our motherland”. The masses were chanting “not muslim, not secular. There is just one Poland: the catholic”. The National anthem was sung, and the march started to walk towards Poniatowski bridge. Lots of the participants had flares and bangers, loud bangs went off. Several people had covered their faces and carried flags with nazi symbols. As a protest, people had rainbow flags outside of their windows where the march passed. The masses were booing and throwing bottles against the windows.
Also Roberto Fiore from Italian fascist party Forza Nuova gave a speech:
“Finally Poland can turn against the dictatorship of Brussels, and turn to Christ. Poles, patriots- maybe it’s thank to you we can stop the decay of Europe. Your refusal to accept refugees is a role model for Italy. It’s a step towards the nationalist revolution. Don’t give any room for the gender ideology.”
Other ones present were Tommy Robinson from EDL and Marian Motleba from Slovak fascist party People’s party.
There were fascists from several countries present. Both for meetings and conferences they days before and for the march. For example from Sweden, England, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia. Some members from swedish fascist group “Nordic youth” were present, invited by Mlodziez Wszechpolska, All Polish youth. A fascist organisation known for their attacks on minorities and lgbtqia- people. Several of the group’s members are now in the parliament.
During the march, a group of women did protest with a banner saying “No fascism”. They were brutally attacked, one of them got her head injured and was taken away by ambulance. One of the persons attacking them is a member of Nordic Youth. He’s infamous for attacking refugee kids and youth violently. In the clip, he tries to assault the women, but is held back by a polish guy.
At Plac Trzech Kryzy the two demos came closer to one another. Several cops were blocking the streets. Some nazis tried to break through police chains in order to attack the antifa demo, but didn’t succeed. The nazis were throwing flares, bottles and bangers towards the antifascists and scared people passing by. They shouted “Away with the red scum”, “Women and man, the normal family” and “the time of the left is over”.
The antifascist demo stopped at Plac Trzech Kryzy and a member from a womens collective gave a speech. Slogans like “nationalists out of Warszaw” were shouted, and the demo then proceeded to the Parliament. There Julia from Syrena, a squatted social centre talked:
Is it that radical to just wanting to be ourselves, and is it normal when participators in the “Independent march” want to send us to the gas chambers?
More speeches were given, on topics such as resisting capitalism, women’s oppression and the unjust politics of the city that leads to evictions.
A smaller group of people from Obywaltele RP (citizens of the polish republic) tried to block the extreme right, and were arrested by the police.
So after the antifa demo finished, a majority went to the police station to show their solidarity.
In polish media afterwards, Mariusz Blaszczak, interior minister, stated the march of the extreme right was “a beautiful sight”. Of course we are filled with fear and despair after saturday’s event- but it’s more obvious than ever we need to continue to build an anti fascist movement that knows no national borders. It’s a concern of everyone when fascists from all over Europe can use a day to meet, make plans and spread fear. The polish left are working under hard conditions- they need support, encouragement and contact. Last year saw a huge feminist mobilisation grow quickly all over Poland with the Black protest and women’s strike for reproductive rights. It was obvious there is strength and power, despite the tough conditions.
We encourage everyone- union activists, antifascists, members of women’s organizations, diy- activists and so on- to build exchange and cooperation with comrades in Poland. We also think it’s important to keep an eye on the contacts the extreme right are making, and put it on display. To mobilise against 11/11 will take time and resources, this year’s antifascist coalition have made a great work considering extremely shitty conditions.
For your freedom and ours! The fight against fascism knows no borders!
/ Jenny Donellan & Dolores La Concha