Warsaw mayor bans Independence March

Independence March in 2017. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the mayor of Warsaw, announced the cancelling of Sunday’s Independence March.

Wrocław Mayor bans Independence March

In a statement published on Twitter on Tuesday, Wrocław Mayor Rafał Dutkiewicz presented reasons for banning the city’s November 11 Independence...

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Ms Gronkiewicz-Waltz tweeted that she decided to ban the march due to two reasons. Firstly, because of the lack of police officers, caused by mass sick leaves among policemen during an ongoing protest, and fear that law enforcement would not be able to maintain security during the march.

Secondly, she wrote that Poland and Warsaw “have suffered enough from aggressive nationalism. This is not how the centenary of independence should look like.”

2018 marks 100 years since Poland regained independence.

The mayor said also that the decision was made in reference to the resolution of the European Parliament in October, pointing out the increase of neo-fascist incidents around the European Union.

The courts have 24 hours to rule whether this decision is legal, while the organisers of the march will likely argue that this is covered by legal provisions on “cyclical demonstrations”, whereby a city mayor cannot cancel such events.

Krzysztof Bosak, a deputy chairman of the National Movement party, which is one of the organisers of the March, told Onet news website, that “despite this decision, the march will happen.”

“The decision is illegal. It is merely a try to destabilise our activities,” Mr Bosak said. “Yesterday, Wrocław, today Warsaw.”