News

We Watched Nationalists Wave Flags and Flames at Poland's Independence Day March

What we saw when patriots, far-righters and a few vocal homophobes hit Warsaw's streets on Friday.

av Maciek Piasecki
2016 11 12, 3:13pm

All photos by Krystian Maj

This article originally appeared on VICE Poland

Poland's National Movement party, along with a coalition of right-wing organisations, once again staged its demo on the streets of Warsaw on the country's independence day. As in the years before, it was the biggest of all celebrations held on the 11th of November, with police reportedly expecting a gathering of 100,000 people. The Independence March drew the far-righters and nationalism supporters but also ordinary patriots from all over the country.

The glow of flares could be seen and firecracker explosions heard while chants of "God, honour and fatherland" mixed with cries of "Homos not allowed" ("Zakaz pedałowania") – sung, somewhat paradoxically, to the melody of Pet Shop Boys' "Go West." An anti-Lithuanian and anti-Ukrainian slogan ran too, under the banner: "from the cradle to the grave, Polish is Vilnius and Polish is Lviv" – a reference to the fact that the two cities, now major ones of the respective countries, used to lie in Poland's borders between 1918 and 1939, with a considerable Polish minority living there today.

Here's more of what we saw.