Several thousand anti-migrant protestors marched in Warsaw on Saturday, branding slogans like “Islam will be the death of Europe”.
Similar protests, attended by several hundred people, took place in Prague and Bratislava. There were also smaller protests by people who want to help refugees in all three capitals. Eastern and Western Europe have different opinions on the issue.
Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest have refused to commit to the obligatory migrant quotas requested by Germany, which are supported by the European Commission.
In Warsaw, around 5,000 (according to an evaluation at the scene, organisers say there were 10,000) anti-migrant protestors assembled in the town centre. They said they were Catholics who were against Muslims coming to Europe. They started their protest with a prayer to the Virgin Mary.
Warsaw has agreed to take in 2,000 refugees, but refused to commit to quotas.
People who want to help refugees assembled near Warsaw University. They were five times less people than at the other protest. They held signs saying “Welcome refugees”, “The Poland that thinks”, “Ask us how to help and not if we have to help”.
Polish police refused to reveal the estimated number of people present at the two events.
In Bratislava, around 1,500 people protested against the arrival of migrants in the early afternoon, in response to a call from an anti-Islam movement led by extreme right militant Lukas Kopas. It is supported by the Nationalist party “Our Slovakia”.
Another protest in Slovakia, “A call for Humanity”, was attended by around 500 people. This protest was in favour of helping refugees.
There were also two protests in Prague, but the one against migrants was much better attended, with police saying there were around 800 participants.
Around 200 people wanting to welcome migrants assembled nearby, holding signs welcoming refugees and proclaiming “immigration is not a crime”.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)