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    Warsaw police under more and more scrutiny following violent clashes at Independence March

    Disorganization, chaos and lack of coherent messages. The police are receiving more and more criticism for blocking the Motorized Independence Rally. The event last Wednesday was organized not only by the national community, it was also the work of drivers arriving to the capital from all over Poland.

    Instead of a pleasant ride, there was congestion, exhaust fumes, pollution and nerves. Thousands of drivers arriving in Warsaw were met with an unpleasant surprise. Patriots wanting to celebrate National Independence Day were stopped by the highway patrol, who redirected them… to the march. A journalist was also shot and wounded with non-lethal ammo by a police officer.


    Ms Ewa Stankiewicz, a Polish movie director, suggests that the actions of the police were completely incomprehensible.


    “After all these years of riots during the rule of the Civic Platform Party, there were four years of peace, alluding that there will not be any more aggression and we will not see such outbursts from the police. This is the farewell party for the Chief Police Commander, Jarosław Szymczyk.” commented Ms Stankiewicz.


    According to the organizers of the event, the actions of the police isolating the march from the drivers are deliberate provocations. However, the spokesman for the capital city police station does not agree with such accusations.


    “The policemen indicated that there was no possibility to pass by car, the only way to pass was by foot. Not once did they say that the people should join this illegal assembly.” stated spokesman Sylwester Marciniak.


    However, there are many questions why the police did not go one step further and decided not to pilot drivers to secure the pedestrians. According to experts, stopping the traffic was meaningless.


    “I think that if the motorized march was made possible, perhaps we could have avoided a large part of these riots. These decisions are incomprehensible to me, however I don’t know the whole story. Maybe the commanders had operational knowledge that caused such decisions to be made.” said Jacek Wrona, a safety expert.


    Yesterday, the issues of street robbery and a lack of coordination in police actions was raised at a meeting of the Political Committee of Law and Justice.

    “It needs to be explained where these orders came from, as well as who and why advised these people to attend the march on foot. We need to explain whether this is some kind of inoperability or an element of a larger provocation.” commented Tomasz Sakiewicz, the editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Polska” weekly.


    The resignation of Jarosław Szymczyk, the Chief Commander of the police, is already in the air. The organizers of the Independence March demand it.



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