Monday, November 14, 2011

Kaczynski - Do mention the war

Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski was in his turbo-hyperbole mood following the Independence Day riots in Warsaw last Friday, when he managed to get “Germans … Adolf Hitler … beating … in Warsaw” into a single sentence.

“Some Germans have the psychological disposition of the militia with which Adolf Hitler came to power, who beat Poles in the middle of Warsaw for wearing [national] symbols,” Kaczynski said after 92 German 'anarchists' were arrested in Warsaw for getting into a battle with nationalists and police – and roughing up, reportedly, soldiers on a historical parade on Nowy Swiat street.

The now tired, old German WW II bit aside, I don't really blame anyone for being disgusted with the guys in the video above. They vowed to turn up last week to oppose a far-right demo that was going to begin at 3 pm that day. Their aim was to join up with Polish left wing protesters who had promised to stop the far-right marching through Warsaw.

A message, if I may, to idiot-anarchists everywhere who want to come to Warsaw for a bit of far-right bashing: wearing hoods and identical, oh-so-scary black gear does not make you anonymous and safe from the cops – it makes you look like … idiot-anarchists, and you are going to get arrested looking like that. Maybe next time come dressed up as postmen, or ice cream vendors, or something.

In the event they never were going to get to where the march was starting, because they just couldn't behave themselves, the naughty little scamps.

The media before the demo was reporting that German anarchists were recommending comrades to “bring a Molotov cocktail”. The first sign of trouble and the police were always going to jump on them. A prophesy was to become self-fulfilling.

As you can see in the video, the anarcho-imbeciles were not in Warsaw to pay a visit to the new Copernicus Science Centre, or a little light shopping. Dressed in black, with faces covered, they look more like a bank robber’s convention on a Central European away-day.

Kaczynski has said that if Law and Justice was in power then these people would never have got into Poland in the first place and would have been turned back at the border.

It's made the ruling Civic Platform look a little silly.

On a Richter scale of riots, Friday's was not a big one – in fact it was 2.5 intensity-level rioting, if you compare it to what was going on in England – including my home town of Croydon - over the summer.

But it was quite big for Poland. The German anarchists, however, were all tucked up in police detention before it all went off, on schedule at 3 pm. The worst of the rioting was done by Poles … burning of media OBU vans, smashing shop windows, fighting each other and the cops.

Far-right All-Polish Youth et al claim they were “infiltrated” by “men in masks”, who began attacking police and anyone else within range.

Left wing protesters say they were attempting to block the route of the far-right march to the statue of the patron saint of inter-war (and rather nasty) Polish nationalism, Roman Dmowski.

One law for one...

Law and Justice have also said that the counter-march to what they call the “March of Independence” by law abiding nationalists and patriots should not have been allowed. Mariusz Blaszczak, leader of the party in parliament, said that the late Lech Kaczynski (when he was mayor of Warsaw, I think he means) maintained public order by banning counter marches.

I remember when he means. Lech Kaczynski banned a counter-march to our old friends, All-Polish Youth's anti-gay demonstration in 2005.

It resulted in an hour-long bottle shower from skinheads against the few thousand people brave enough to turn up at the now illegal counter-demonstration.

Neither law, order, nor justice, was kept.

The right to assembly should not discriminate: peaceful - peaceful - protest is lawful to anyone, including Germans, who want to take part, for whatever reason. Always.

Expect, sadly, a more authoritarian attitude to protest in the future, as politicians scramble to look like they are “doing something” about what was essentially pointless violence last Friday.


sieciobywatel said...

Just a sidenote.
As far as I know black flag is an international symbol of anarchists and black their colour of choice. Since the beggining of XX century at least
That's why they wear black, not to scary anyone...

jannowak57 said...

You would think that given advance warnings of violent intent the city authorities could have kept both groups well apart from each and had overwhelming force available to stop the violence and property damage before it started. The "Germans" could have been rounded up well before any trouble actually started. The efficiency of the authorities and police in intelligence gathering and maintaining law and order should make anyone looking forward to Euro 2012 cringe

jannowak57 said...

Kaczynski continues to pander to the illiterates and the mentally ill, with the spectre of "German Hordes", lets be realistic the 100 German anarchists are as politically irrelevant as you can get and represent no serious aspect of German society. Talk about flogging a dead horse on a trip to nowhere, but you can make a case that Kaczynski's mentality and the German anarchists are not altogether out of sync. Both wallow in cesspool of political confusion, irrelevance, failure and frustration that produces periodic spasms of violence or in Kaczynski 's case verbal and emotional tantrums. If one could enforce order on these tortured minds the I would fully expect to have Kaczynski sit down, shut-up and write a book, suggested title " Lessons in Orchestrating one's own Political oblivion". In the case of the anarchists they would be obliged to adopt a new motto, "I despise my mother because she failed to understand the concept of abortion soon enough".

beatroot said...

Indeed anarchists wear black, but a lot of these guys were just thugs, in my opinion, looking for trouble. Not political people at all...and I have some sympathy for the anarchist point of view and political tradition.

Hi Jan57. Nice to see you back!

It has emerged that many of the German anarchists were halled off a train before it even got to Warsaw. Some got detained at Radom station, I believe, as they were acting "agressivly". So you would think that the cops would meet them at Warsaw station, escort them to whereever they were going - as cops do with football crowds - and contain them that way.

The German anarcho wankers did the Polosh authorities a favour, however, as they have become to centre of attention and not the hapless authorities themselves who could have avoided this whole sorry mess if, as many have suggested, the two sides were better kept apart.

Z. Zuccotti said...

Seems like the German nihilists controlled no monopoly on imbecility during or in planning this event. It's so uplifting to stage a march to honor Roman Dmowski? I mean, why the hell is there a statue to that embarrassment to Poland?

Little Lebowski said...

It does look like something out of a Big Lebowski sequel:

beatroot said...

Zuccotti - I did a radio programme today with some journalists and they were saying, correctly, that the main political parties here did not arrange to have a march, get supporters involved etc in a celebration of independence, patriotism. So this left a space for extremists to fill. Even Law and Justice did not organise an event - which opened the door to All Polish Yoof etc.

Lebowski - :-)

Z. Zuccotti said...

But the Polish Yoot didn't put up the stasiu of Dmowski.

beatroot said...

Which is interesting is it not? There is also a roundabout named after him slap bang in the middle of Warsaw. Dmowski, let's not foprget, was a stinking anti-semite, so it makes one wonder about the choice of inter-war heroes in this country.

Z. Zuccotti said...

When was the statue erected?

Who was there from the government presiding over and observing it's dedication?

Jakub Gawonski said...

Speaking of disturbances, what ever came of the police shooting of an unarmed Nigerian in the Warsaw Market a year or so ago?

Where has the media been in documenting the aftermath?

Has there been an investigation? Conducted by whom? Results?

And as I recall, many of the Nigerians arrested that day were going to be deported. Were they?

Anonymous said...

We will remove Dmowski statitues the very moment ther will be no statues of Pushkin, Voltaire, Edison, H. Ford, Washington, Franklin.

There wre two people who contributed the most to Poland gaining independence: Dmowski, with his realistic perception and Pilsudski with idealistic. E.g. when Pilsudski went to japan to ensure money and weapons for armed insurrection in Poland (before WWI) Dmowski went there to ensure Pilsudski will get none, since Dmowski wanted no more uprisings, but hard work and organisation (e.g. in 1905 he did whatever possible to prevent uprising, which would in his opinion only provoke needless bloodshed and repressions).

We gave him statues despite him being antisemite, because of what he did for Poland.


tired of boneheads said...

This passage from the Anti-Defamation League discredits the validity of the supposed Franklin prophecy speech:

George Washington: Check out re. Washington's reference to currency speculators.

And let's not compare the 20th century to the 18th.

Yes, Ford was an anti-Semite. He also wasn't very kind to his workers. Edison was a great inventor but a jerk in many other ways. Yea, take down their statues, too.

And Hitler made the trains run on time and rebuilt Germany. So by your reasoning, Germany should still honor him with statues.

Brian May said...

Two things :

Thanks for the title ;-) It made me laugh to tears to see this again (with John Cleese) :

As no traditional parties celebrated the Independance day, it seems polish people aren't too much into politics... Am I right ? I come from France, and politics are always a passionate part of our discussions, anywhere, anytime !

Anonymous said...

There is no comparison between Hitler and Dmowski. Dmowski was antisemite, but he was not murderer, nor he did advocate murdering. There is huge difference between saying "Jews in Poland are like salt in soup: a bit salt improves the taste, but too much spoils the soup" and Hitler's mad manias.

It's just like Kossak-Szczucka, who was antisemite, but was risking her life to save Jews. Should we make statues to Kossak-Szczucka for thing she did (Zegota and saving Jewish kids) or maybe we should despise her because she was antisemite?

Also, saying "well Voltaire was antisemite but it was so long time ago, while Dmowski was antisemite in XX century" is flawed reasoning. Antisemitism was probably as widespread in 1920s as it was in XVIII, and people were as aware that it was bad in XVIII and in XX century.

Moreover, being anti-semite is not much different from being germanophobe, russophobe or polonophobe. Judging other people just basing on their religion or nationality is a bad thing. As such, why not demand destroying Bismarcks statues? What about Lloyd George, british premier, known from his dislike for Poles (if not his like of Hitler)? Why do you (quite recently!) can find statues in GB (recently erected!) and there are streets in his honour?


Gronicki said...

Well if Hitler was an anti-Semite, and Dmowski was an anti-Semite, there is certainly a place for comparison by degree. You seem to be saying that Dmowski or other anti-Semites were great guys as long as they weren't gassing Jews. Oh, and please inform me of how many Jews were ever helped by Dmowski.

You seem to be arguing against the very concept of civilization. But that helps me understand your skewed reasoning.

Anti-Semitism has proven to be the same in terms of historical consequences as anti-Polonism? You're kidding me, right?

Gronicki said...

To be sure, the example of Kossak-Szczucka is one of the most interesting and confounding aspects of Polish history. She, and other Catholic Poles, saw Jews as the enemy of what she considered the Polish nation, yet she risked her life to save them. Oh, how much of a Catholic was Dmowski?

Anonymous said...

Gronicki, anti-semitism per se (As in: dislike for Jews) is not different from dislike or hate to any other ethnic group. It is true that anti-semitism has been most widespread and has the worse effects. But I refuse to accept the view that hating Poles, or Russians, or Germans is acceptable, and hating Jews is not. Both are not acceptable. I do not say anti-semite is OK; I say that one can be great man even if he has huge vices.

Dmowski could help any Jews since he died before the war.

As for Dmowski catholicism, seems to me he was not, though he from practical reasons thought that Catholic Church is useful in preserving Polish nation.

Read more about Dmowski. You may be really surprised. He had HUGE influence on all polish politicians, and his influence may be seen even now, even on people who do not even realise this.


Gronicki said...

You say in your first sentence it's not different, then in your second sentence you admit it's qualitatively different.

Per se? Nothing exists in a historical vacuum.

Smoking is a vice, anti-Semitism something more insidious.

Dmowski could have helped Jews before the war, instead he played a key role in inciting hatred against them.

You are certainly right in your asseessment that Dmowski was not Catholic.

In any event, if you are truly opposed to manifestations of hatred towards any ethnic, racial or religious group, you should be opposed to Dmowski statues because he was an example and a symbol, and still is, of exactly that towards Jews.

beatroot said...

Thanks for this debate - great stuff!

Just to Brian May - Poles love arguing about pretty much everything, but the average Pole-in-the-street has politics fatigue. It's a post-communist society, unlike France, and in those days EVERYTHING was political. Most Poles just want things to calm down, and younger Poles are ideology-lite like everywhere else. So, enthusiasm for politics is low here. Which is a shame.

Anonymous said...

Hello Beatroot. Your friend, Rob Strybel, wrote an interesting piece for the Polish American newspapers decribing the Independence Day clashes ("Poland declares crackdown on troublemakers"). Of course, Strybel took his usual far-right approach and wrote very positively of the fascist All-Polish Youth and National Radical Camp. As usual, I wrote a letter to the editor protesting Strybel's sectarian reporting. It's quite telling that Strybel's Rydzyk-like journalism is so well received in tradition-bound American Polonia.

Anonymous said...

FYI...The statue of anti-Semite Dmowski was unveiled in 2006. It was sponsored by Roman Giertych's far-right League of Polish Families Party and by the Kaczynski brothers' ultra-conservative Law and Justice Party, partners in the disastrous 2005-2007 coalition. Yes, it's hard to imagine a statue of arch-anti-Semite Dmowski could be erected in this day and age but unfortunately a large segment of the Polish population (represented by Rydzyk, Rob Strybel, the Giertychs, Kaczynski) recall the era of the Endecja with fondness. Yes, Dmowski played a prominent role in the reestablishment of Poland but his extremist ideology has marginalized his legacy.

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