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This Is What Europe's Largest Nationalist March Looks Like

Sixty-thousand people marched through Poland's capital city in one of Europe's biggest nationalist demonstrations.

by Paweł Mączewski
Nov 13 2017, 3:25pm

All photos by Mikolaj Maluchnik

This article originally appeared on VICE Poland

Every year on the 11th of November, tens of thousands of Polish people take part in a nationalist march in Warsaw to coincide with the country’s independence day celebrations. This year, three of the country's largest nationalist groups came together to organise the event – the National Radical Camp (ONR), the All Polish Youth and the National Movement (RN).

New this year, the organisers of the demonstration tried to attract international attention by inviting infamous right-wing figures, such as the American alt-right leader Richard Spencer – who declined the invite after the Polish government threatened to ban him from entering the country.


WATCH: 'Rise of the Right – Marching in Europe's Largest Nationalist Event', VICE's report on last year's nationalist demonstrations in Warsaw.


Local media and the police claim that 60,000 people took part in Saturday's demonstration, though government officials put the number at 30,000. Some people were seen carrying signs with nationalistic slogans, such as "Europe will be white or deserted" and "Polishness is normal". In response, an anti-fascist counter-protest was held just a few miles away, which appeared to attract a larger police presence.

Though this year's demonstration was peaceful, previous marches have seen violent clashes between the police and demonstrators, usually incited by far-right football fans – "ultras" – who see themselves as loyal defenders of the Polish traditions they say are being diluted by foreigners. Every year the government claims it can't ban the event because the demonstration meets the legal requirement of being a celebration of Polish history.

Photographer Mikolaj Maluchnik was in Warsaw on Saturday to document the event for VICE.

Local media estimate that 60,000 people attended the demonstration.
Thousands of Polish and nationalist flags and banners were carried around the demonstration.
A latin sign, meaning "Who is like God," – a reference to a belief that white people are the superior race.
Since 2009, the demonstration has been organised by the youth wing of the National Movement party.
Crowds gather to burn a banner.
The sign reads: "White Europe of Brotherly Nations."
An anti-refugee banner at the demonstration.
The leaders of the National Radical Camp displaying an anti-immigration banner.