Court derails plans of nationalists to hold march in Warsaw

A court in Warsaw has ruled in favour of Warsaw City Hall which has sought a ban on a far right march in central Warsaw on Independence Day, overturning a province governor's decision to grant the march priority status.

On Monday, Konstanty Radziwill, the governor of the central province of Mazowieckie, which includes Warsaw, had told PAP that he had signed-off on a decision to register the November 11 'Independence March,' and that the decision would remain valid for the next three years.

Providing rationale for the appeal against Radziwill's decision, Warsaw City Hall spokeswoman Monika Beuth-Lutyk told PAP that formally "the final cyclical event organised by the Independence March Association did not take place last year."

Judge Andrzej Sterkowicz said on Wednesday that the 2020 march did not meet the requirements to be granted cyclical status for the next three years, as the previous year's march was illegal.

One of the organisers of the march, Robert Bakiewicz, said he would appeal the court's decision.

"We're appealing to a higher court against the disgraceful verdict handed down by Judge Andrzej Sterkowicz," Bakiewicz wrote on Twitter.

"We invite you to Warsaw on November 11!" he tweeted, adding that "the march will take place!"

In 2020, the Warsaw mayor banned the march due to epidemic reasons and his decision was upheld by two court decisions. However, the nationalists ignored the rulings and organised the event anyway, which was once again blighted by far-right violence, and became a high-profile spectacle for ultra-nationalist groups in Poland.

Last year, the police clashed with far-right demonstrators, and public and private property was damaged in the violence.