With a mass demonstration in Warsaw and smaller commemorative events across the country, Poland today celebrated its 100th Independence Day. More than 200,000 people have responded to the call of President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for an „independence march“ in the capital, the Home Office said.
On television, the top politicians were seen in front of a sea of people with white-red Polish national flags. A dispute over the march had for days overshadowed the celebration of the anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence on November 11, 1918.
Allegation: PiS supports right-wing groups
Critics accused the national-conservative ruling PiS party of supporting nationalist and right-wing groups. The state-organized march was organized in the short term instead of a temporarily banned nationalist demonstration. At the end the participants demonstrated together.
In 1918, the long division of Poland by Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Russia had been overcome. At Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Duda and Morawiecki had come to the head of a solemn assembly, which together sang the national anthem. Thousands of people had attended religious services and commemorative ceremonies around the country since last night.