herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Dublin blockade of 'far-right' Polish party

Marian Kowlaski
Marian Kowlaski

A GROUP of around 70 protesters blocked the doors of a Dublin hotel to prevent a meeting where a 'far-right' Polish presidential candidate was speaking.

Last night's meeting, which was to feature Marian Kowalski of the Ruch Narodowy party, was prevented from going ahead at Dublin's Academy Hotel.

The protesters were made up of Polish people, members of SIPTU and others.

Four Gardai monitored the protest and management at the hotel said they had no comment on the rally, which lasted around two hours.

One of the protesters, Shane O'Curry accused Ruch Narodowy of being a fascist party.

Determined

"We are blockcading because even though the hotel cancelled the meeting the organisers appear determined for it to go ahead anyway," he said.

Another protester Ronan Burton Shaw said that Ruch Narodowy would "not be tolerated in Ireland" and that members from the Polish community had come out to show their support for the demonstration.

The meeting was moved to another hotel nearby where about 50 people heard a speech by Mr Kowalski as well as another presidential candidate.

A spokesperson for the organisers - who did not wish to give his name - claimed that "freedom of speech" had been "endangered".

He said that the meeting had "nothing to do with fascism".

"This is a meeting of Polish people and candidates and calling someone a nationalist in Polish doesn't mean the same thing as it does in English.

"These people are not nationalists, they are patriotic," he said.

"They are people who are children or grandchildren of people who fought against the Germans and now they are labelling them as Nazis which is the most inappropriate term."

hnews@herald.ie

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