Poland: 15 000 neo-Nazis clash with police in Warsaw
Warsaw was all but transformed into a war zone yesterday as neo-Nazis clashed with police officers on the anniversary of the country's independence. Dozens of people were injured, 120 demonstrators were arrested, and total chaos reigned in the streets.
The biggest clashes took place near the main train station, away from the main route of the march, which was attended by about 15 000 people. Some marchers attacked police officers with firecrackers and rocks. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Polish nationalists convened yesterday's march in order to "take Poland back". Their members also beat up a cameraman working for the commercial TVN television station. A nationalist leader stated that Poland is not a sovereign country because it previously had to conform to the Soviet Union and today must conform to the European Union.
Compared to previous years, police did a better job yesterday of keeping a left-wing demonstration away from the right-wing radical march, preventing even more serious clashes. The left-wing protest took place without any problems.
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski also organized a march in an attempt to unify both left-wing and right-wing activists. He reportedly did not succeed, but there were no conflicts at his event.
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