Friday, November 11, 2011

Hools Independence Day

Another November 11, another Hools Independence Day in Warsaw. The president might speak, the prime minister will smile during Poland's Independence Day celebrations, but make no mistake, the main course of celebrations is always elsewhere in the traditional battle between left and right wing radical hools that traditionally takes place in downtown Warsaw.

Today was slightly different since the two groups didn't clash because they were split up by police forces, which immediately resulted in...good ole fighting with the police. The usual accessories were used, starting with bricks, sticks and flares on the hools side and water cannons, pepper spray, truncheons and shields on the police side. Soon the battlefield, sorry I meant the city centre, was billowing with smoke.

The grand finale came at around 17:00 local time when a TV station's broadcasting truck and a passenger car with its logo were set on fire, clearly someone got either cold or pissed off at the reporters...who fortunately were not in the van.

Both the leftists and the rightists will announce victory. The left has already announced it by saying "we stopped the fascists!" With a little help from the police, of course. And the other hools did manage to take a detour, but these of course are details. That 150 people were arrested, 21 (including cops) are in hospitals and damages are probably extensive, who cares. After all that is meaningless when you talk about stopping fascism.

The right wing hooligans got what they wanted too, with a little help they did make it to their destination. As planned they managed to kick some butt on the way, destroy a few things and steal media headlines probably for few days. AND they got mentioned on Poland X.

So, clearly the spirit of revolution is still strong among young Poles, but did anyone tell them we have a democratic and free country?!

Oh, and a final note, the really funny thing about this whole mess is that both of these "demonstrations" were perfectly legal. The city mayor's office approved the two demonstrations aimed at battling each other to take in the same place at the same time. Wow, somebody really knew what he or she was doing signing these approvals...

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