Police arrest 72 in Independence Day clashes, rubber bullets used

Police arrest 72 in Independence Day clashes, rubber bullets used
Police arrested 72 people in Warsaw on Monday as an annual march led by nationalists descended into chaos for a consecutive year. 
articipants of the of the nationalist 'March of Independence.'Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymanski

articipants of the of the nationalist ‚March of Independence.’Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymanski

According to police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski, among those detained are three people suspected of setting fire to a police guard’s cabin outside the Russian Embassy, and a fourth of setting alight a vast rainbow art installation regarded as a sign of tolerance of homosexuality.

“We are going to analyse footage from many surveillance cameras, so as to reach other people who might have been involved in something,” he said.

Twelve policemen were injured in the clashes, and 14 people were hospitalized in total.

“Police used service batons, pepper spray and smooth-bore weapons with rubber bullets,” Sokolowski confirmed.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk indicated that attempts to organize similar marches in future may be curtailed.

“This situation is unacceptable – this kind of event cannot take place,” he said on Monday night.

“Those who tolerate and accept such events will bear responsibility.”

However, Artur Zawisza, one of the leaders of the far-right march, which is spearheaded by the All-Polish Youth and the National Radical Camp (ONR), said that “no piece of paper from the Town Hall will stop us marching towards independence.”

Polish ambassador in Russia summoned

Meanwhile, Wojciech Zajaczkowski, Poland’s ambassador in Moscow, has been summoned to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Security has been stepped up at the Russian Embassy in Warsaw in the wake of yesterday’s attacks.

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a statement expressing “its deep regret at the violent behavior and incidents that took place at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Warsaw.” adding that the attacks merit “strong condemnation.”(nh)


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