Presentation of the CEP report, The Polish Independence March as a Contact Hub and a Model for European Extremism.
Przemyslaw Witkowski, PhD
Principal author of the report and Senior Research Director at the Institute of Social Safety (IBS), Poland
The Independence March, held in Warsaw, Poland, on November 11 each year, is the largest nationalist demonstration in the European Union. It recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. For this report, researchers analyzed this phenomenon from several different angles to demonstrate the multifaceted functionality of this transnational violence-oriented right-wing extremist (VRWE) networking hub and its role as an ideological apparatus for neo-fascism.
Over the past decade, the Independence March has developed into an ideological “apparatus” and meeting hub for European neo-fascist, nationalist, nationalist-revolutionary, and neo-Nazi activists, and supporters. It serves as a meeting place for VRWEs from the EU and the United States as well as outside the EU area, including several countries of the former Soviet Union (such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus). Accompanying the March, a series of related events—such as concerts, music festivals, conferences, exhibitions, sports events, book launches, and special issues of magazines—take place.
The Independence March enables VRWEs to exchange experiences, transfer funds, and conduct recruitment and training. Within the VRWE milieus, the March is used as a multifaceted, all-encompassing quasi-lifestyle-event and is promoted as a model in other countries. Therefore, the March created a transnational ideological apparatus with the ability to generate media topics and address important social issues, acquiring an increasingly professional look each year.