Anti-immigration protests were on Saturday to be staged in several Polish cities. The largest march was to place in central Warsaw, where a counter-demonstration by left-wing and anarchist groups was also planned.
Opposition MP Robert Winnicki, head of the right-wing National Movement and one of the organisers of the anti-immigration march, called for action “to stop a wave of foreign immigrants from alien cultures” arriving in Poland.
He appealed to people to take to the streets “so that Poland remains Polish. So that Islamic districts do not spring up in Poland, so that Poland doesn’t experience robberies, rapes, attacks and murders like in Western Europe.”
Only four percent of Poles believe their country should take in refugees and allow them to settle here, according to a recent survey.
Last month, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło announced that no more than 400 refugees would be relocated to Poland in 2016 as part of the previous government’s commitments to the EU to take in 7,000 immigrants over two years.
Opposition grouping Kukiz’ 15, to which Winnicki is linked, last month started collecting signatures in favour of a referendum on whether Poland should accept refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.
Party leader Paweł Kukiz, a veteran rock star, has said that the asylum seekers are “culturally foreign.”