I thought it would be pleasant to take in the Polish Festival on Washington Street down there by Paulus Hook way. It runs only one afternoon and is promoted by Our Lady of Czestochowa Church and is an extension of that Parish. Unfortunately, there was a table for the John Birch Society, which is a hate group espousing white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Their roots were virulent anti-communists in the 50s which meant harassing anyone falling short of their criteria for real Americans. They are an ultra-conservative, far-right bunch of nuts. Disgusting and disgraceful, not to mention, really dumb—don’t they realize they have a past that is both anti-immigrant and anti-Roman Catholic. The table had anti-Obama literature and brochures promoting the impeachment of President Clinton. How retro. What the hell where they doing there and why is OLC and Jersey City Cultural Affairs (who had a booth) allowing a hate group to be part of our ethnic festivals? Well, maybe it was a free speech issue, but for me, Birchers are still a buzz kill and I do not see how a Church-sponsored, city-endorsed street fair can be considered a forum for Birchers. The festival itself was a little lame, none of that great polish food (or warm, inviting atmosphere) so in abundance at July’s St. Anthony Festival (click here). But I did speak with a table of Polish War re-enactors. Now that was splendidly bizarre. Re-enacting some bygone battle with Lithuania. Hey, why should Blue Coats and Johnny Reb wannabes have all the re-enacting fun. Too bad the appreciation of history didn’t extend to the entire festival. The John Birch Society? Appalling! (I didn’t take pictures of this table so you have to take my word I guess).