Monday, 16 November 2015

Polish Anti-Refugee Demonstrator Burns an Effigy of an "EU Jew" at Wroclaw Protest

© Agencja Gazeta / Wojciech Nekanda Trepka
 I do not expect many people would expect to see signs of intelligence exhibited by anyone who today belongs to a neo-fascist or extremist nationalist group. There is no reason to expect anything different from the nationalists who marched in Wrocław Poland on November 18, 2015. Worried by the number of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa flowing into the EU and moving across unguarded borders,  they were protesting about stopping it. These people obviously feel that their national culture (and thus their own identity) would in some way be threatened with imminent "Islamistion" if Moslems were allowed to live on Poland's sacred soil. The protest was organised by the National Radical Camp (ONR) and All-Polish Youth (MWP), participants shouted out chants such as "Not Islamic, not secular, but Polish Catholic!", "Poland free from Islam" and "Islam out of the Polish party ". A big banner was displayed: "Idą tu by zmienić nasz świat, zniszczyć, spalić i gwałcić to co nasze" ("They are coming here to change our world, destroy, burn and rape that which is ours").

ONR Flags with symbolism recalling fascist emblems
Part of these demonstrators believe in a conspiracy theory that a Zionist plot has been hatched to send refugees to Europe as part of a plan for a greater Israel. This is the reason why in the market place an effigy of a Jewish man carrying an EU flag was set ablaze at the demonstration ('Polish Anti-Refugee Demonstrators Burn Effigies of Orthodox Jews at Wroclaw Protest (VIDEO)'). The effigy was intended to represent the group's opposition to the actions of the "European elites" currently trying to destroy Poland through eroding its culture.
Dozens of demonstrators in the western Polish city of Wroclaw participated in burning effigies of Jews fully equipped with peot (side-curls) and black hats, Polish newspaper  Gazeta Wyborcza reported on Wednesday. The demonstration was part of a larger protest against admitting refugees of the civil war in Syria into Poland. Demonstrators were protesting that many of the refugees were actually economic migrants and terrorists, according to the report. The demonstration took place on a portable stage in front of the Wroclaw city hall. Police contained the demonstration but allowed it to happen, with no formal complaints. Many in Europe are concerned with the influx of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives over the past nearly five years and caused widespread devastation.
As reported by Grzegorz Gowans, after the manifestation many people, including Wroclaw President Rafal Dutkiewicz, filed a complaint to the city prosecutor. To aid with the investigation, Wroclaw magistrates also gave the police a recording of the CCTV footage that captured the event.

UPDATE Feb 25th 2016

The incident was the subject of a police investigation and this has resulted in charges being brought (Gregor Gowans, 'Man Who Burned Jewish Effigy Facing Charges' Wrocław Uncut, February 25, 2016)
The man who burned an effigy of a Jew during an anti-islamification protest in November is now facing charges. If proven guilty, he could spend up to 2 years in prison. Referred to as Piotr R. in the local press (presumably due to legal reasons), the suspect is being charged under article 256 paragraph 1 of the criminal code, which relates to the public incitement of hatred based on national, ethnic, racial and religious differences. The possible punishments for such a crime range from a financial penalty to up to two years in prison. During the 3 month investigation it is believed that Piotr. R, who has pleaded not guilty,  remained silent and refused to answer questions. He did however release a statement that claimed "he had no intention of offending anyone".
As I said, intelligence is not a feature I would look for in somebody holding such beliefs as exhibited by this crowd. I guess burning effigies is seen as some form of gift-giving maybe? Bonkers. This individual is not the only person present at the protest under investigation, several others who took part are expected to be charged too.

Art. 256
§ 1. Kto publicznie propaguje faszystowski lub inny totalitarny ustrój państwa lub nawołuje do nienawiści na tle różnic narodowościowych, etnicznych, rasowych, wyznaniowych albo ze względu na bezwyznaniowość, podlega grzywnie, karze ograniczenia wolności albo pozbawienia wolności do lat 2.
§ 2. Tej samej karze podlega, kto w celu rozpowszechniania produkuje, utrwala lub sprowadza, nabywa, przechowuje, posiada, prezentuje, przewozi lub przesyła druk, nagranie lub inny przedmiot, zawierające treść określoną w § 1 albo będące nośnikiem symboliki faszystowskiej, komunistycznej lub innej totalitarnej. (utracił moc, w części obejmującej wyrazy "albo będące nośnikiem symboliki faszystowskiej, komunistycznej lub innej totalitarnej).
§ 3. Nie popełnia przestępstwa sprawca czynu zabronionego określonego w § 2, jeżeli dopuścił się tego czynu w ramach działalności artystycznej, edukacyjnej, kolekcjonerskiej lub naukowej.