Poland’s national independence march, 11 November 2018

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Publication Date 09/11/2018
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Preparations for the centenary of the restoration of Poland's independence were hit by uncertainty after a court overturned an initial decision by Warsaw's leadership to ban a march often gathering nationalist and far-right demonstrators.

The independence day march was held at the same time as an official military parade that was organised by the government before the ban was overturned. The joint event, that attracted an estimate of 200 000 people, was peaceful with no reports of offensive banners or outings. Due to controversy of the march, the polish opposition boycotted the official march.

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Even though, the march was chiefly peaceful, it still attracted members of European far-right groups.

Warsaw's mayor initially barred the rally, saying the city had suffered enough from 'aggressive nationalism'. The mayor also cited major security concerns related to a police strike and the lack of charges against people who had broken laws at the previous march.

On 8 November, a Polish court decided to overturn the decision, citing the constitutional right to freedom of assembly as the reason. The organisers of the nationalist march initially threatened to defy the ban and later claimed victory following the court decision.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Euro|topics, November 2018: Far-right march on Independence Day in Warsaw https://www.eurotopics.net/en/209716/
BBC News, 08.11.18: Ban overturned on Polish independence march by nationalists https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46143753
Euronews, 09.11.18: Poland court overturns Warsaw ban on far-right independence march https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/09/poland-court-overturns-warsaw-ban-on-far-right-independence-march
Euro|topics, November 2018: Warsaw bans independence march https://www.eurotopics.net/en/209561/
EurActiv, 12.11.18: Poland holds centenary parade alongside far-right march https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/poland-holds-centenary-parade-alongside-far-right-march/

The Guardian, 09.11.18: Fears of violence as Polish state intervenes in nationalist march https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/09/fears-of-violence-as-polish-state-intervenes-in-nationalist-march
Deutsche Welle, 08.11.18: Poland court approves far-right 'independence march' in Warsaw https://p.dw.com/p/37vjN
Radio Poland, 09.11.18: Official Independence Day march to bridge political divide in Poland? http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/391279
TVN24, 08.11.18: Court lifts ban on nationalist march imposed by the mayor of Warsaw https://www.tvn24.pl/tvn24-news-in-english,157,m/warsaw-mayor-s-ban-on-nationalist-march-lifted-by-court,882186.html
EUObserver, 08.11.18: Polish reputation at stake over banned neo-Nazi march https://euobserver.com/political/143327
Politico, 11.11.18: Hundreds of thousands march to celebrate Polish independence https://www.politico.eu/article/huge-march-celebrates-polish-independence/
BBC News, 11.11.18: Poland independence: Huge crowds march amid far-right row https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46172662
Reuters, 11.11.18: Poland's eurosceptic leaders, far right mark independence centenary at mass march https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ww1-century-poland/polands-eurosceptic-leaders-far-right-mark-independence-centenary-at-mass-march-idUKKCN1NG00I

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