Police detained more than 300 people after clashing with far-right demonstrators in Warsaw during a planned Independence Day march on Wednesday, November 11, although sources have indicated that most of those detained have since been released. Reports indicate that clashes occurred near the PGE Narodowy Stadium in Warsaw. The planned demonstration consisted of a vehicle procession through the capital's main roads and was joined by thousands of people marching on foot. Authorities banned the march, citing the ban on gatherings of over five people in place in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Riot police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to break up sporadic scuffles along the march route and attempted to disperse demonstrators who were blocking passages for ambulances and vehicles. Reports indicate that protesters ignored police warnings and attacked police throwing stones, flares, and firecrackers. Media sources suggest dozens of police officers were injured.
A heightened security presence is likely in the capital in the near term. Further protests are also possible and may lead to localized disruptions and further clashes.
Those in Warsaw are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened police presence and localized disruptions in the vicinity of gatherings, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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