Court lifts ban on independence march in Wrocław

Independence March in Wrocław in 2017. Photo: PAP/Aleksander Koźmiński

The court in Wrocław, south-western Poland, decided to lift a ban of the Independent Poland March, organised by far right groupings, imposed on Tuesday by Rafał Dutkiewicz, the mayor of the city.

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The organisers of the event went to court and submitted a complaint regarding the mayor’s decision. The court agreed with their motion and overturned the decision of Mr Dutkiewicz.

The mayor banned the march on Tuesday. In a statement, Wrocław’s authorities claimed that “between 2014 and 2018, the organiser of this year’s march was in charge of seven events attended in the majority by far-right groups,” and “some of these events led to confrontations with people who did not take part in them. Despite warnings to cease such actions, incidents threatening life and injury continued.”

Mr Dutkiewicz added that he made this decision after consultation with Jacek Sutryk, who was recently elected as the successor of current mayor.

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From Wrocław to Warsaw

On Wednesday, the mayor of Warsaw also banned a similar march, the Independence March, scheduled to take place on Sunday in the capital of Poland. On Thursday morning, the organisers of the march appealed against it to court, which is expected to announce the decision in the evening.

Soon after the ban was announced, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared that the government will organise a “white-and-red march”, under the patronage of the head of state.