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Extremists assemble in Poland for huge far-right protest

President Donald Trump delivers a speech at Krasinski Square at the Royal Castle, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Warsaw.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
"They use Christianity as a kind of identity marker, which is mostly about being anti-Islam now.”

Far-right extremists and fascists are set to assemble in Warsaw on Saturday to mark Poland’s Independence Day holiday in a public display of xenophobia, according to reports by The Independent.

Attracting tens of thousands of white supremacists from neighboring Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, the event has been taking place annually since 2009 reportedly increasing in turn-out year-on-year.

Organised by a set of radical groups whose roots can be traced to anti-Semitic activity preceding the Second World War, the rally is to be spearheaded by the National-Radical Camp, the National Movement and the All Polish Youth.

Rafal Pankowski, head of the anti-extremist association, Never Again, states that whilst the slogan for this year’s events is “We Want God”, the march shouldn’t be viewed as inspired by religious beliefs.

During his trip to Poland in July, United States President Donald Trump quoted the lyrics from the old religious song, "We Want God" in a speech. Pankowski continued, that “we know Donald Trump is not the most religious man and I think that most of the organizers are not very religious either but they use Christianity as a kind of identity marker, which is mostly about being anti-Islam now.”

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

American Leader of the so-called alt-right movement and well-known white supremacist, Richard Spencer was set to speak at the event but the Polish government expressed their objections stating that, “he should not appear publicly, and especially not in Poland.” Whilst the conference will still go ahead, Spencer will not take to the stage.

Despite having accepted few refugees, anti-migrant views run high in Poland. Political scientist Miroslav Mares, an expert on extremism at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic pertains this to those in Central Europe hearing about Islamic extremist attacks in France, Germany and England. They fear that, “beyond the borders is a state of chaos and war” that could envelop them, she said in a statement to The Independent.

Additionally, she cites the forces of globalization that improve the economy on the macro scale but yet many are not reaping the benefits as wages remain low and inequality grows.


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