FOR POLAND AND ITS HEROES

ANDRZEJ TARWID

The white-red march ‘For you, Poland’ was inaugurated by president Andrzej Duda. – Thank you that you arrived in Warsaw from all parts of Poland, to participate in this great meeting for Independent Poland. Thank you that you arrived here for Poland, that you brought white-red flags, for which blood was devoted by your fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, generations of Poles. All this, so that we could carry them with worthily – he said before the march. In the end of his pronouncement, the president of Poland chanted the hymn. After singing ‘Mazurek Dąbrowskiego’ the march began. The parade was opened by military vehicles and representative company of the Polish army. Soldiers representing all formations of Military Forces of the Republic of Poland were carrying symbolic 100 flags. They were being followed by representatives of the government and parliament. Those were mainly politicians of the Law and Justice party, parties called Poland in Solidarity and Agreement. The event was not attended by representatives of the parliamentary opposition. However, Poles did not fail.

According to police, the march was participated in by over 250 thousand people. Participants of the march arrived at the capital city from all over the country, some of them even from abroad. – I was travelling 24 hours from Belgium but it was worth. It is simply necessary to be present on this day. For our little children it is a lively lesson of history. The president invited us, so we arrived here. We are paying a tribute to our heroes, for today’s patriots this is a duty – it was how participants of the march were answering the question and why they were taking part in it. Some of them added jokingly: - The next anniversary like this will not be earlier than after 100 years…..and we can be too old then. But there were also those who used that event to propose to their partners. ‘And our witness is independent Poland, the prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has congratulated to us and You – Poles!’ – fiancees wrote on Facebook.

Going in the march, participants were chanting mottos: ‘Glory to heroes’, ‘May Poland live’ and ‘God, Honour, Homeland’. On the route they were singing patriotic songs, among the others, ‘Rota’ and legion songs. And they were carrying tens of thousands of Polish flags and created one white-red river. The march was participated in by representatives of social organizations, clubs, associations, etc. Among them – at the end – there were also members of the Association ‘March of Independence’ who had been organizing the march of independence on the Day of Independence for years. They wanted to deal with it also this year, getting even a suitable permission. However, a few days before the event president of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz forbade the march of independence in the capital city. A few hours after her decision, the president of Warsaw met with president Andrzej Duda and prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Both politicians decided that on the Day of Independence the common white-red march would be organized in Warsaw.

The association submitted a complaint to the District Court which reversed the decision of Gronkiewicz-Waltz on 9 November saying that ‘preventive forbidding the march is too early’. - Freedom of gatherings plays an important role in a democratic country of law (…) the right for gatherings is protected with the constitution – said the judge Michał Jakubowski, who gave a verdict. Despite the crushing justification Gronkiewicz-Waltz appealed to the Appealing Court. The Court of Higher Instance also rejected the decision about prohibition of the march.

The first decision of the district court meant that in one place there could be two marches. The governmental party and the Association ‘March of Independence’ began to negotiate. A compromise in the matter of the common march was reached on 9 November before the midnight.

‘Despite many controversies and attempts of blocking our common excellent initiative, today we can say with full responsibility that we won for Poland, for Poles, for the past and future generations’ – wrote members of the Association ‘March of Independence’ in their message.

The white-red march ‘For you, Poland’ walked from the roundabout of Roman Dmowski, along Aleje Jerozolimskie, bridge of Poniatowski to the national stadium PGE. When after 4 hours from the beginning, the last participants ended the march, on boulevards of the Vistula there was an illuminative show of fireworks.

A lot of people who participated in the march declared to return to Warsaw next year.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 46/2018 (18 X 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl