IBM Wroclaw have advised members of their international workforce to steer clear of the city centre next Wednesday afternoon, due to safety fears related to the now annual 'March of The Patriots'.
During the marches (which have been held since 2010) participants have sung various patriotic chants and songs, as well as anti communist chants and frequent cries of "Poland only for Poles".
In an article published today by Gazeta Wyborcza, a spokesperson for IBM Wroclaw was quoted as saying the following regarding the march:
"Due to security reasons, we have informed our staff that some [of the commemorative events] could be racist in character"
Agnieszka Koizumi, spokesperson for IBM Wroclaw
The comments have not been welcomed by everyone however. Many people attending the march do not believe the event to be racist at all, considering it to be merely be an occasion to pay tribute to those who fought for Poland and show their pride for their country.
Nevertheless, next week's march does have a clear poltical pretext that is being promoted by its organisers. The march is to take place under the anti EU slogan of "Together against the Brussels occupation" and is planned to be supported by several cars with megaphones, plus banners, flags, torches, speeches and organised chanting.
Of course, showing your opposition to the EU can hardly be considered as racist. Nevertheless, the same organisation spearheading the march recently fronted an anti immigration protest that featured chants such as "fuck arabs". It is feared that similar chants could be heard again in 6 days time.
The group spearheading the march, the NOP, believe in a so called "third position" – an ideology that considers abortion, artificial birth control, euthanasia, divorce and homosexuality as wholly unacceptable. The third position also supports a policy named by the NOP as "racial separation". Another group heavily involved in the march are the ONR, whose own website states they oppose the model of multicultural societies, the ideology of human rights and the system of liberal democracy.
Unlike the March of Independence in Warsaw, where sporadic acts of violence have broken out almost every year, Wroclaw's equivalent has thankfully been rather more low key with far fewer arrests. That said, in the last few years attacks on a squat and on the White Stork Synagogue have taken place following the so called 'March of the Patriots'.
Meanwhile statistics have shown a rise in the number of hate crimes in Wroclaw, with there being 41 recorded cases involving racial violence in 2014, compared to 31 the previous year.