Poland’s Day of Independence is marred as thousands of Far-Right supporters chant anti-Jewish slogans and call for a ‘white Europe’ during protests
Thousands of far-right nationalists marched through Warsaw today, marring the country's Independence Day celebrations.
The march organised by far-right groups was one of a number of marches organised in the Polish capital, which was celebrating Poland's rebirth as an independent nation 99 yeats ago after it was wiped off the map for 123 years.
President Andrzej Duda and European Union president Donald Tusk, himself a former Polish prime minister presided over a formal state ceremony earlier in the day.
Yet today's Independence Day march was the largest in recent years, overshadowing other state and patriotic events.
Protesters stand with banner 'All-Polish Youth' during a rally, organised by far-right nationalist groups, to mark 99th anniversary of Polish independence in Warsaw, Poland November 11, 2017
Protesters light flares and carry Polish flags during a rally, organised by far-right nationalist groups, to mark 99th anniversary of Polish independence in Warsaw, Poland
The far-rights presence at the event was visible for all to see, with some holding up xenophobic banners and chanting questionable slogans. One banner read 'White Europe of brotherly nations'.
A demonstrator interviewed by state television TVP said he was on the march to 'remove Jewry from power.'
Some marched under a banner which read 'We Want God', words from an old Polish song which Donald Trump quoted during his visit to the country earlier this year. Others spoke about standing up to liberals and defending Christianity.
Vast swathes of the crowd marched with the red-and-white flag while others let off red flares and firecrackers during their march. A banner depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating back to the 1930s, was also unfurled by a section of the crowd.
Authorities also had to ensure that anti-fascist protesters were kept away from far-right demonstrators over fears their could be violent outbreaks.
Participants of the March of Independence 2017 gathered in the city centre in Warsaw, Poland, 11 November 2017. The slogan of the March is 'We want God'
The vast swathes of flares light up the sky in the Polish capital as fascist groups march in Warsaw on the 99th anniversary of Poland regaining its sovereignty
Polish nationalists light flairs as they take part in the March of Independence 2017 under the slogan 'We want God'
Independence Day in Poland marks when it regained its soverignty at the end of World War I after it had been partitioned and ruled over by Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski noted that Poland had not always been fully independent since 1918, a reference to Germany's occupation during World War II and the decades spent under Moscow's direction during the Cold War.
Still, he said: 'The Polish state was internationally recognized the whole time and that is a great achievement.'
The march carried on throughout the evening and when the sun went down across Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Thousands of people are said to have attended today's march, making it one of the biggest in recent history
Donald Tusk, President of European Council (second left) attends the official celebrations of the 99th Anniversay of Independence of Poland at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers, Warsaw, Poland
The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda (centre) attends the official celebrations of the 99th Anniversary of Independence of Poland at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier
Soldiers march during the official celebrations of the 99th Anniversay of Independence of Poland at the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers