Archive for December, 2011
[“Warning Shot” for Robokopter from Warsaw Riot Cops?]
The following article is from the Lithuanian website of Antifa, the local (Antifascist) activist group. We recently covered the Independence Day riots in Warsaw, commenting upon the use of the Robokopter drone video footage, the confusion apparent when juxtaposing the official media accounts and amateur videos of the various events across the city that day, and comparing the activism / protest of the American Occupy Movement (and the Police & Government’s reactions to it) and the Anti-Fascism activists in Warsaw, Lithuania.
The article has been translated to English by PsiOp-Radio listener Geoff Vasil. Neither PsiOp-Radio nor Geoff offer this article as absolute fact. However, it does seem to be the mostly likely explication of the complex series of events which unfolded in Warsaw on its most recent Independence Day.
Geoff Vasil, formerly a Lithuanian journalist, is a senior analyst at DefendingHistory.com
Warsaw, November 11th: The Nationalist Riots and the Deception by the Media
November 13, 2011 / www.antifa.lt
On Friday, November 11, Polish nationalists calling themselves “patriots,” including many fascist skinheads and ultra-right football hooligans, rioted in the biggest riot for the past 20 years. Warsaw’s central square looked like a large battlefield Friday afternoon. Nationalists hiding behind the innocuous-sounding “March of Independence” showed their true face, twisted with hate and violence.
The march by the Polish ultra-right, similar to the infamous March 11 marches in Lithuania, was organized by the Young Poles (Młodzież Wszechpolska) organization, known for their racist attacks and pogroms against Jews before World War II; the anti-Semitic League of Nationalist Radicals (Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny or ONR) and the Nazi skinhead group Blood and Honor (Krew i Honor).
About 2,000 Polish nationalists assembled at Constitution Square in the center of Warsaw at 3 P.M. The “Independence March” planned to march in a column to a statue commemorating inter-war period leader of the Polish Nationalists and Anti-Semites, Roman Dmowski.
At the same time about 500 antifascist movement members assembled on Marszalkowska street and blocked the street along which the nationalists intended to march. The antifascist youth were invited to the blockade by the November 11 Coalition, made up of around 50 organizations and movements. The highly diverse crowd of antifascists who designated themselves Colored Independence (Kolorowa Niepodległa) included anarchists, antifascists with black cloths obscuring their faces, LGBT representatives with rainbow flags, liberal-minded youth and just plain city residents. They sat down on the ground and blocked the street with their bodies. This is how the Colored Independence blockade appeared from above (00:00-00:42):
The antifascist blockade several blocks from Constitution Square was not needed, however. On the square after marching several dozen meters the nationalists attacked the police with fireworks and a hail of cobblestones. Police lines quickly blocked the nationalists off at the end of the square and wouldn’t let them proceed. The enraged nationalists put metal crowbars to work and the police answered with rubber nightsticks. Constitution Square became a battle arena cloaked in smoke:
Police were able to push the violent nationalists out of the square before 4 P.M., but the latter formed smaller groups and tried to push through police cordons on side streets. The nationalists so ready to wage battle hid their faces with white hoods (see 2:18-3:24):
The people in the Colored Independence blockade were guarded by police cordons on both sides, did not meet with arriving nationalists on the march and gradually dispersed. Meanwhile, the nationalists, in a fury over their unsuccessful march, organized a “Cleansing of the streets of Warsaw of Communists and homosexuals.” Small groups of nationalists and antifascists crossed paths numerous times in the city. Occasionally the nationalists received an appropriate response:
The groups of nationalists fanning out along side streets continued the riot by destroying police and civilian automobiles. Several cars were set alight and the nationalists torched the mobile studio of TVN 24 and trashed several cafes.
Towards evening the nationalists regrouped and were able to hold a march. Several thousand people marched to the Dmowski statue and held a meeting, but the riots continued into late evening.
On November 11 and 12 the corporate media carried a multitude of reports giving the impression that the riots by the Polish ultranationalists were caused by … anarchists. Here is a reported Baltic News Service sent out on November 12 (“Foreigners Took Part in Riots by Hooligans in Warsaw”) which was carried be delfi.lt , which only mentions anarchists and says not a word about nationalists. Certain sentences are formulated to give the reader the impression the “March of Independence” was organized by … anarchists: “The demonstration by Polish anarchists was legal and the organizers guaranteed security, but the ‘Independence March’ was escorted by water canon and tear gas.” This ignores the obvious fact that it was clearly the ranks of the column of nationalists who began the riot on Constitution Square while the anarchists at that time were several blocks away on Marszalkowksa street.
Nationalists at Constitution Square
Antifascists and anarchists on Marszalkowska stree
The right-wing media of Poland and other countries explained deceptively that foreign anarchists arriving from Germany took part in the riot and even caused it. Delfi.lt wrote: “According to TVN 24, a large contingent of anarchists from abroad aided the Polish hooligans. Of the 210 most active rioters arrested by police, 92 are German citizens, one is Spanish, one is Hungarian and one is Danish.” This gives the absurd impression that foreign anarchists came to the aid of the nationalists who are named as hooligans.
On November 11 in Warsaw there really were significant contingents of antifascists and anarchists arriving from other countries. The same holds for the nationalists: the “March of Independence” including nationalists arriving from Serbia, Hungary and Ukraine. Even so, it would have been impossible for the foreign anarchists to have caused the riot which began at 3 P.M. if only for the fact that they were detained at police stations. At noon on November 11 about 100 antifascists and anarchists from Germany and other countries met at a cafe on a side street. Local neo-Nazis attempted to attack them several times there. There were small scuffles. At about 1 P.M. the antifascists dressed in black moved out toward Marszalkowska street to join the blockade, but they were met immediately by police batons. Thus, two hours before the onset of the riot, the entire contingent of foreign antifascists and anarchists was arrested and taken to police stations. These people were released the next day without any charges.
Lrytas.lt (Warsaw Riots Shock Poland), which reported on the November 11 events in Warsaw a lot more objectively, nonetheless made a small mistake. The reporter wrote: “Police detained a group of German anarchists who came to block the nationalist march, but who instead attacked soldiers in a theatrical parade in the city center around noon.” As can be seen from the photographs, the people from the History Reconstruction Club who were wearing period military uniforms marched freely past the antifascists who watched them, and were not attacked.
www.antifa.lt / November 13 2011
English translation provided by Geoff Vasil, senior analyst at DefendingHistory.com