World View: Poland’s Independence Day March Hijacked by ‘White Nationalists’

Demonstrators burn flares and wave Polish flags during the annual march to commemorate Poland's National Independence Day in Warsaw organised by far-right nationalists.

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Poland’s Independence Day march hijacked by right-wing ‘White Nationalists’
  • Nationalism and xenophobia continue to rise around the world
  • Recalling President Trump’s July 6 speech in Warsaw Poland

Poland’s Independence Day march hijacked by right-wing ‘White Nationalists’

Far-right demonstrators burn flares and wave Polish flags on Saturday (AFP)
Far-right demonstrators burn flares and wave Polish flags on Saturday (AFP)

Tens of thousands of people marched in Warsaw on Saturday at the 99th anniversary celebration of Poland’s Independence Day. Poland became an independent nation on November 11, 1918, the day that World War I ended.

Many of the marchers carried right-wing “White Nationalist” banners, including “Clean Blood,” “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust,” and “White Europe, Europe must be white.” Some wore masks and waved red and white Polish flags, chanting “Death to enemies of the homeland,” and “Catholic Poland, not secular.”

However, it is not known how many in the crowd sympathized with these views, as many people told reporters that they were not part of the radical-nationalist groups, but were simply attending in celebration of Independence Day.

The march was not an official government event, but had three main right-wing sponsors – All Poland Youth, National Movement, and National Radical Camp, which is known by its acronym ONR. All Poland Youth has been organizing these demonstrations since 2010. They started out small, but have grown in size until this year, when they overshadowed the other Independence Day events.

This is not surprising, as xenophobia and nationalism have been occurring in countries around the world, and have been growing as we go deeper and deeper into a generational Crisis era, and the survivors of World War II die off.

Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszcza was pleased that there was no violence:

Independence Day … was safe. We could see wide and red in the streets of Warsaw, it was a beautiful sight. We are proud that so many Poles decided to take part in events.

The Independence Day march turned violent in 2014 when some of the members of far-right groups broke away from the main rally and started to throw stones and flares at the police.

This year, there were 8,600 police in Warsaw to keep the far-right groups and the anti-fascist protesters apart, and so violence was almost completely absent.

According to official figures, more than 65,000 people took part in 308 events nationwide, and 60,000 took part in an Independence March in Warsaw. The News (Warsaw) and CNN and Politico (EU) and BBC (11-Nov-2014)

Nationalism and xenophobia continue to rise around the world

As regular readers know, I’ve been writing about the worldwide rise of nationalism and xenophobia for years. In America, we have seen xenophobia on the right directed against Muslims and Mexicans, who are mostly Christians, and we have seen xenophobia on the left directed against Tea Partiers and Midwesterners who (I believe) are mostly Protestants. We have also seen calls for violence from left-wing groups including Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

In Europe, there has been widely publicized xenophobia directed against Muslims and Roma, but those are far from the only cases.

An interesting example is the UK and its Brexit vote, which was largely directed at immigration issues related to the EU rules about “freedom of movement.” However, “freedom of movement” in this context has nothing to do with Syrian and African immigrants. It refers to EU citizens being able to move freely from EU country to EU country, and although immigration of Syrian refugees was a part of the Brexit motivation, the main issue was actually Christians from eastern European Union countries like Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.

So, if we want to speculate, it could be that part of the opposition to the EU by far-right groups in Poland is a reaction to the xenophobia of the British directed at Poland.

The phrase “European Project” refers to the efforts, begun in the 1950s, to take steps to prevent another massive war in Europe, following the devastation of two world wars that destroyed Europe. The war survivors fully understood that the massive destruction of Europe had been caused by nationalism and xenophobia. This lead to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, and eventually to the formation of the European Union.

The European Project worked well, in that there has been no major European war since then. However, the World War II survivors that signed the Treaty of Rome and created the European Union are now almost all gone. The younger generations have no clue how destructive nationalism and xenophobia can be, and how they can lead to the massive destruction of a new world war.

As the saying goes, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

Each time that a World War II survivor dies or retires, and is replaced by a younger person, then there is one more person who has no clue about the destructiveness of xenophobia and nationalism.

In Japan, the xenophobia is directed at China. In China, the xenophobia is directed at Japan and the United States. In India, it is directed at Muslims in Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is directed at Hindus in India. So nationalism and xenophobia are not narrow attitudes directed at just one group, but are an organic part of every population during a generational Crisis era, and may be directed at any religious or ethnic group, depending on the country. Guardian (London) and Jewish Chronicle

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Recalling President Trump’s July 6 speech in Warsaw Poland

On July 6, President Trump gave a speech to a euphoric crowd in Warsaw, Poland, linking today’s world to the 1930s, and compared the dangers that Poland faced then to the dangers that Europe faces today from terrorism:

Under a double occupation the Polish people endured evils beyond description: the Katyn forest massacre, the occupations, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the destruction of this beautiful capital city, and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people. A vibrant Jewish population — the largest in Europe — was reduced to almost nothing after the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Poland’s Jewish citizens, along with countless others, during that brutal occupation.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazi and Soviet armies were preparing for a terrible and bloody battle right here in Warsaw. Amid that hell on earth, the citizens of Poland rose up to defend their homeland. I am deeply honored to be joined on stage today by veterans and heroes of the Warsaw Uprising.

This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today we’re in the West, and we have to say there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life. You see what’s happening out there. They are threats. We will confront them. We will win. But they are threats.

We are confronted by another oppressive ideology – one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe. America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another. We’re going to get it to stop.

During a historic gathering in Saudi Arabia, I called on the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations to join together to drive out this menace which threatens all of humanity. We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding, and their networks, and any form of ideological support that they may have. While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.

We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism, and we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.

As I wrote at the time, Trump’s speech is consistent with the principles and analysis provided by Generational Dynamics. That analysis was provided to Trump by his chief advisor at the time, Steve Bannon, who is an expert on Generational Dynamics, as well as on military and world history.

However, in July, Trump had an additional message for the people of Poland:

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?

Unfortunately, the right-wing groups in Warsaw are not listening to President Trump’s message about defending our values. Marchers carrying signs that say “Clean Blood,” “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust,” and “White Europe, Europe must be white” may think that they are defending their borders, but they are not. Instead, these right-wing groups are writing a prescription for a new world war, and, once again, total destruction of Europe, this time with nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop this. As the WW II survivors continue to die off, xenophobia and nationalism will continue to increase on all sides, until some event triggers a small conflict that spirals into full-scale war and a world war. Those who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to survive will have plenty of time to contemplate what they did wrong.

Related: Donald Trump’s speech in Warsaw Poland evokes the Clash of Civilizations (07-Jul-2017)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Poland, Warsaw, Independence Day, All Poland Youth, National Movement, National Radical Camp, ONR, Mariusz Blaszcza, European Project, Treaty of Rome
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