A smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist movement took place on Saturday where, although organisers tried to keep the two groups apart, nationalists pushed and kicked several women who had a banner saying Stop fascism and chanted anti-fascist slogans.
Im shocked that theyre allowed to demonstrate on this day. Its 50 to 100,000 mostly football hooligans hijacking patriotism, said a 50-year-old Briton, Andy Eddles, a language teacher who has been living in Poland for 27 years. For me its important to support the anti-fascist coalition and to support fellow democrats, who are under pressure in Poland today.
Earlier in the day, the president, Andrzej Duda, presided over state ceremonies also attended by the European council president, Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland.
Tusks appearance comes at a time when Warsaw has been increasingly at odds with Brussels because of the PiS governments controversial interference in the courts, large-scale logging in a primeval forest and a refusal to accept migrants. Relations between PiS and Tusk have been so tense that Poland was the only country to vote against his re-election as council president in March.