It’s really quite remarkable how little the modern press seems to know about the world – here we’ve complaints that Polish nationalists have marched through Warsaw carrying Polish flags on the day that Poland celebrates Poland’s national independence. It’s complaining that Welshmen wear leeks on St David’s Day, a Scot gets drunk on St Andrew’s, an American barbecues on July 4th. What the heck is the national day if it isn’t a celebration of the nation?
But this is all being portrayed as some ghastly irruption of far rightness:
Poland’s eurosceptic leaders marked a century of national independence on Sunday as around 200,000 people marched through the capital in a parade involving far-right groups and neo-fascist activists from Italy.
The march is a focus of debate about whether the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) tacitly encourages groups with roots in the fascist and anti-Semitic movements. The party won power in 2015 and Poland has since become increasingly isolated in Europe amid accusations of a tilt towards authoritarian rule.
Some marchers in Warsaw chanted: “Away with the EU” but there was no sign of white supremacist banners visible at last year’s march.
Government officials walked at a distance from the main marchers away from any overt displays of nationalism and they were kept separate by security forces.
Look at that. Nationalism, on the national day, is something to be well away from.
Nationalists were among more than 200,000 people taking part in a march in the capital, Warsaw, which was led by President Andrzej Duda.
Tsk, nationalists on the national day. As is pointed out elsewhere:
Christ, they really do not get it, do they? Absolutely no historical knowledge. November 11 in Poland is FA to do with the Armistice Day respected by the UK & other WW1 combatants. Apart from indirectly. It celebrates Poland’s (short lived) independence from foreign domination. It is a day for overt nationalism. It’s meant to be. Overt nationalism is what’s being celebrated.
Poland’s history having rather a lot of that denial of being a country, being a nation. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland being pulled apart in the 1780s, 1790s, becoming merely constituent parts of the Prussian, Austrian and Russian states, emerging again into independence in 1918. On, yes, what some of us call Armistice Day and they Independence. To be crushed again in 1939, swallowed into the Soviets in 1945, emerging once again in 1989.
Sure, we English don’t do this, the national flag, actually anything more than a sneer at foreigners over the rim of a teacup, being impolite, but then that’s because we were top dog for centuries in this game of thrones. Not quite the Polish experience.
Seriously, what does anyone expect people to be doing on the national independence day? Other than being nationalists marching under the national flag?