Warsaw mayor wants far-right groups banned before Independence Day

Rafał Trzaskowski told reporters in the coastal town of Sopot: "I believe that the streets of Warsaw… are not the place for the spreading of slogans that have the hallmarks of fascism. There is no room for such symbols and behaviour…" Adam Warżawa/PAP

The mayor of Warsaw has applied for the banning of the National Radical Camp (ONR) and the Independence Day March Association, two far-right and ultra-nationalist Polish organisations, ahead of Independence Day celebrations in Poland on November 11.

Previous marches through Warsaw on November 11 have been blighted by far-right violence, and become a high-profile spectacle for ultra-nationalist groups.

Last year fighting broke out between far-right demonstrators and the police, and some property was damaged.

Rafał Trzaskowski told reporters in the coastal town of Sopot: "I believe that the streets of Warsaw… are not the place for the spreading of slogans that have the hallmarks of fascism. There is no room for such symbols and behaviour…"

Trzaskowski said that, although he had previously sought to have the organisations banned, the courts had rejected his requests. He said that he hoped this time the prosecutor's office would not be guided by "political guidelines," but would make decisions "based on Polish law."

"I want to make it clear that we will continue to work on not allowing these organisations to function in the Polish social sphere," he added.

At the same time, Trzaskowski pointed out that the city had not yet received any application for a march this year.

"November 11 is a holiday for us all and we cannot have those in charge putting this holiday into the hands of nationalist groups," Trzaskowski said, adding, "we saw what occurred last year, we witnessed the brawls.”