Poland’s National Independence Day is on 11 November Traditionally, gatherings and parades are held in Polish towns and cities, including at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw.
In recent history, far-right groups have begun organizing an annual “March for Independence” in Warsaw. During last year’s march , which took place despite a pandemic ban on public gatherings, police used tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes. Reports of property damage, violence and clashes with counter-protestors were prevalent. This year’s march has been approved by Polish courts despite several objections.
The traditional route generally begins at the city center and proceeds along main city roads terminating at the National stadium.
● Possible demonstrations city centers, and near government buildings
● Traffic delays due to blocked roads
● Increased law enforcement presence and potential clashes
● Limited transportation options, especially near and through demonstration sites
● Possible business closures in the vicinity of demonstration sites
● Follow-on and or counter-demonstrations
● Possible violence to persons or property
Mitigating Factors to Apply:
● Prepare for disruptions caused by protests, such as increased traffic/security, blocked roads, and potential travel into demonstration sites (i.e. train stations, highways, government buildings)
● Check the local situation (local and social media, embassy, POC at the destination, etc.) prior to travel
● Confirm itinerary and travel routes prior to beginning any travel near demonstration sites
● Avoid all protests and demonstration, which have the possibility of turning violent and may serve as a catalyst for Covid-19 spread
● Allow extra time to travel to/from the destination, airport, and accommodations
● Utilize highway bypasses around Warsaw, when possible
● Monitor local and social media for updates
● Enroll in a Safe Traveler program to receive warnings from your preferred embassy
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