NOP Hope For 10,000 ‘March Of The Patriots’ Turnout

Nationalist group the NOP (aka National Polish Rebirth), are once again planning an Independence Day march in Wroclaw on November 11th, when they hope to gather a record 10,000 participants. 

According to local press reports, between 7-8,000 people attended last year's march, which unlike its equivalent in Warsaw, did not spiral into violence. Nevertheless, a small number of the people at the march were arrested for using pyrotechnics, while 3 people were also charged for trashing a bus shelter in Krzyki. 

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". 

The reported attendance figure of 7-8,000 people for 2014's march is significantly up on the 5,000 people who turned up in 2013, giving the NOP and their supporters hope they can amass yet more participants this year.  

The march will 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.

The manifestation has yet to be rubber stamped by the local authorities, who must be satisfied the event can take place safely before it is given official approval. It is also not impossible to rule out that the event could be refused permission to go ahead on the basis that hate speech will be uttered by its participants. 

Anna Tatar, who is a member of the 'Never Again' campaign, has stated her belief that the march should not be allowed to take place. Referring to what has happened at similar events in the past, Anna pointed to chants such as "Wroclaw – city without Islam!", "Not Islamic, not secular, but Polish Catholic!" and "F*ck refugees", as examples of hate speech at the anti immigration march held last month. If there is sufficient evidence to suggest such slogans will be repeated next month, the march could theoretically be stopped under existing legislation.

Even if the march were to fail to get legal permission, it is nonetheless likely that the organisers would go ahead with the event anyway – causing a policing nightmare. 

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 annual 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.

The march is expected to attract thousands from Wroclaw and other areas throughout the country, as well as some participants from abroad. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, the 2014 March Of The Patriots was attended by ex Klu Klux Klan member David Duke, as well as representatives from Italian far-right group Forza Nuova.

Should the organisers of the march manage to break the 10,000 participants barrier, it would fuel further fears that Wroclaw's attitude is well and truly changing. One such individual wary of the trend is Professor Roman Kołacz, the rector of the University of Life Sciences. Speaking to Gazeta Wyborcza, Roman was quoted as saying: 

"I do not know what has happened to Wroclaw. I always thought it stood out from other cities' openness and tolerance, while it appears that it slowly becoming the capital of nationalism and xenophobia."

Professor Roman Kołacz

At the present moment the 'March Of The Patriots' Facebook event page has just over 1,000 registered attendees, however that is expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks as the organisers seek to ram home the message. 

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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