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Polish police arrest over 300 during violent far-right rally

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Police officers clash with demonstrators during a march marking the National Independence Day in Warsaw, Poland, on November 11, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Police detained more than 300 people after clashes with far-right supporters marching through Warsaw in defiance of pandemic restrictions, the force said on Thursday.

Officers in riot gear used pepper spray to break up scuffles during Wednesday’s Independence Day march — a regular point of friction between far-right groups and supporters of the nationalist government on one side and their liberal opponents on the other.

People in the crowd threw bricks and flares at officers, police spokesman Sylwester Marczak said. Violence flared in the city center and toward the end of the march near the National Stadium, recently converted into a COVID-19 field hospital.

Organizers had said people would drive through the capital’s main roads this year, to get round a ban from city hall imposed to try and contain the pandemic. But thousands of people marched on foot through central Warsaw in addition to those driving.

“There were a number of flares, dangerous objects thrown toward the policemen and posing a threat to the policemen. There were 35 policemen hurt,” Marczak said.

Most of the detained people had already been released, he added.

(Source: Reuters)

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