Radical Poles mark Independence Day with anti-migrant march

Polish Army soldiers salute during the Independence Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of Poland’s independence, in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Thousands of flag-waving Polish nationalists are marching through Warsaw with an anti-migrant message as they mark Independence Day, a holiday marred by violence in recent years.

The march Wednesday was organized by several radical far-right organizations under the slogan “Poland for Poles. Poles for Poland,” an allusion to an infamous anti-Semitic slogan from before World War II.

The large crowd, which included some wearing masks, marched amid rising smoke from red flares. Police estimated crowd size at 25,000. There was a huge police presence throughout central Warsaw following clashes on the holiday in past years.

The day celebrates Poland regaining its independence following World War I after being wiped off the map for 123 years.

Earlier, President Andrzej Duda presided over state celebrations.

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