Independence Day, Celebrations and Protests
Every November 11, Poland celebrates its 1918 independence (after 123 years of partition between Russia, Prussia, and Austria) in the annual Independence Day celebrations. Parades and marches in historic military uniform take place in towns and cities across the country, including Warsaw.
However, it's another side of Independence Day that made headlines this year as the city broke out in protests and riots following clashes between left wing groups, nationalists, and police. Tired with the annual marches on Independence Day by far right groups such as the All-Polish Youth and National-Radical Camp, a blockade was organized by left-wing, anti-fascist group November 11 Agreement. It's uncertain how the violence began, but it was clear that police struggled to control the crowds, with the nationalist groups going so far as attacking members of the media.
Many were injured and over 200 arrests were mad. An unfortunate end to what is usually a peaceful celebration of Poland's history.