Fiery way to mark freedom

Nationalists and right-wing groups were a fiery presence at Poland's 99th independence day celebrations last Saturday.

Beneath the flares and red smoke swelled an estimated 60,000 demonstrators who marched through Warsaw chanting "Pure Poland, white Poland!" and "Refugees get out!", while holding banners and other symbols of white supremacy.

The annual rally has become something of a magnet for Eu-rope's far-right groups since it began in 2009, reported the New York Times.

This year, the crowd dwarfed even those at official government events, showing how popular nationalist sentiment has become.

Some violence was reported when several right-wingers faced off against a smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist movement, with several women holding a banner saying "Stop fascism" reportedly being pushed and kicked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2017, with the headline 'Fiery way to mark freedom'. Print Edition | Subscribe