Every year on the 11th of November Poland commemorate their independence. For 123 years Poland ceased to exist due to partitions which were put into place, during occupations by the Nazis and Communists through their history. At the end of World War I the country regained independence and effectively emerged again as the nation it once was. The independence day is a national holiday to celebrate and reflect on the history of Poland. Children and families take to the street to celebrate the day with Polish flags. The marches and gatherings have been ones of celebration and joy.
Massive crowds for Polish independence day celebrations today in Warsaw pic.twitter.com/zMaLjwKdpD
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 11, 2017
Respects were shown around the world with Belfast showing their unity by lighting the City Hall in the colours of the Polish flag.
— WWIIPolesNI (@WWIIPolesNI) November 11, 2017
Polish National Independence Day commemoration by the Polish RAF airmen’s graves in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast. pic.twitter.com/vtKJ7nTskq
— World War Two NI (@wwiini) November 11, 2017
Since 2008 however the peaceful independence celebration has been marred by pockets of violence, where Police have needed to be called as acts of vandalism and violence by far-right nationalist groups take place. They are marching some say to cleanse the country of other races and ethnicities. The marches are seen to be Xenophobic and Islamophobic.
If you see this 🇵🇱 appear on someone's twitter account, just think about why it would appear suddenly.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) November 12, 2017
Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the EDL, was in attendance as a reporter as explained by his Twitter.
Home sweet home. I had an amazing trip to Poland & was shown great hospitality. Poland is fortress Europe. I’ve never seen pride & Patriotism like I saw this weekend. Don’t believe the MSM slander & tarnishing of the polish people
— Tommy Robinson 🇬🇧 (@TRobinsonNewEra) November 13, 2017
Many have also criticised the media for sensationalising the actions of a few and raising the fact that this does nothing for unity but only breeds division and fear.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 14, 2017