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    Left-wing groups prepare to block the Independence Day March

    The Polish Independence Day March in Warsaw is one of the word’s largest annual conservative and patriotic events. As in previous years, some left-wing organizations have declared their intention to physically block the march.

    The Independence Day March has ballooned in recent years and now draws crowds numbering up to 100 000 people. The march started out in modest numbers in 2010, with around 1000-2000 people participating in the event. However, the march became dramatic as militant extreme-left organizations such as Antifa arrived at the scene, trying to block the march following a call to do so published in one of Poland’s largest newspapers. The action had the opposite effect to the one intended, as the number of participants in the 2011 Independence Day March increased to tens of thousands. After a couple of years of abstaining to organize attempts at blocking the march, left-wing groups have in recent years returned to their original idea.

    Obywatele RP, the Committee for the Defence of Democracy and the Women’s Strike have all announced that they are planning a counter-demonstration to the Independence Day March. Paweł Kasprzak from Obywatele RP also appealed to the Warsaw City Hall to prohibit the march on November 11th intended to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence.

    The counter-manifestation is to take place at the De Gaulle roundabout. According to Paweł Kasprzak, the leader of Obywatele RP, the protesters will stand in the way of the Independence March in silence, carrying banners with the word “Constitution” written on them. Kasprzak also added, that the goal of the counter-demonstration is to build a positive image of Poland abroad. The organizers of the protest claim, that they don’t want the centenary of Poland regaining its independence be associated with, what they described as “the biggest neonazi demonstration in Europe, and maybe the entire world”.

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