Why this story matters:
For the past few years, this special day in Poland has been dominated by an Independence March. “Smack the red hooligan, once with a sickle, once with a hammer!", "May all of Poland sing with us -- f..k off refugees!", "White Europe!", "Europe only for the white!", "All different, all white!" or "Pedophiles, lesbians, gays – Poland is laughing at you" -- these slogans were heard and read during the march. This event is meant to celebrate my country’s independence.
"A black person cannot be a Pole," claimed the spokesperson for the march. Later, the organizers explained that these hateful banners and speeches were mere incidents, not the narrative of the whole march. According to the police, about 60,000 people attended.
The police did not react to or publicly condemn the racist slogans, nor did the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS). Why? "Because the leaders of PiS need the nationalists’ support during elections. Of course it's not only about the votes. The far-right supporters are active in the field, helping to spread the message of PiS," senator Marek Borowski told radio TOK FM.
Many believe that Jarosław Kaczyński, the president of PiS, who holds real power in Poland, wants to maintain a situation in which "there is nothing further to the right than PiS, only a wall."
Hence, the ruling party has been flirting with neo-fascists for years. Sometimes they flirt blindly. Just like Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of the Interior, who claimed that he didn't notice any racist slogans at the Independence March.
Sadly, the absurdity does not stop there. The deputy chairman of Kukiz'15 -- one of the opposition parties (a close collaborator of PiS) -- told TOK FM: "Our history is rich. The young supporters of the far-right are looking up to the heroes of the Second Polish Republic, because they want to be proud of the history of their homeland. Unlike the Ukrainians, who praise murderers." An anti-Ukrainian attitude is a popular one among Polish neo-fascists.
Those "true Poles" attacked counter-marchers from the group Citizens of the Polish Republic. Why did they verbally assault, kick and push a group of women? Because the women were shouting “Away with fascism!” while holding a "Fascism stop!" banner.
Scandal, shame, horror, revulsion. Different words come to my mind, as I observe neo-fascists marching in Poland. Yet horror is the feeling that stays with me the longest. Though we know where this leads, we seem powerless to stop it.
Details from the story:
- Racist slogans appeared during this year’s Independence March.
- Unfortunately, the Minister of Interior “has not seen them”.
- The police did not react to them either.
- According to the police, 60 thousand people attended the Independence March.