Friday, 21 September 2012

For an Educational Strike

Members of ZSP Education union in Warsaw have started a campaign to agitate for strike action in the educational sector. Posters were hung in and around some institutions and schools and leaflets distributed promoting the idea. The action is in response to the tragic situation in the educational sector, at all levels.

Besides the increasing problems of the commercialization of education and worsening work conditions, including the precarization of some jobs or categories of workers, we are faced with the mass liquidation of primary and secondary schools: the government has announced now that the recent wave of hundreds of closures is just the beginning. Up to 4700 schools may be closed between now and 2014.

On September 20, members of ZSP visited the City Council in Warsaw to protest with teachers.about the scandalous behaviour of politicians towards their pay, concretely regarding the issue of "motivational bonuses".  The reason for this is that in July, without notice and in the summer when most teachers are on vacation, the city decided to recalculate the way motivational bonuses are paid, setting an average amount per teacher in the budget. Unfortunately, the unions agreed to this, meaning that the money allocated would be 25% less than the average had been in 2011.

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Solidarity with the Dominos Pizza Drivers (GTWA, ASF-IWA)

September 15 was an international day of action with Dominos pizza drivers from GTWA in Australia (affiliated to the AnarchoSyndicalist Federation). The drivers' had their salaries slashed by 19% and decided to fight back, demanding, among other things, reinstatement of their wages.
Although all the reports are not in, we know that various types of actions occurred in about 35 cities across the globe. The actions ranged from informational pickets to stickers, posters and banners being put on the restaurants.
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Sunday, 2 September 2012

In Defense of Public Libraries

Members of the ZSP Education union are distributing leaflets and trying to gather people in defense of public libraries. In particular, it is supporting the struggle of workers in two libraries in the Praga Polnoc district of Warsaw against liquidation. In one case, it is not clear that the workers will be paid in September, since their "budget ran out".

Already there was a meeting in the local council. Local residents who are in the Tenants Defense Committee, who were also present at the meeting, strongly supported the workers and calls to keep the libraries open.
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Monday, 6 August 2012

Police Use Force to Evict Activist

Early in the morning, police vans parked all around the building where E. lives. She has been struggling with her living place, where they did not recognize her right to tenancy because she divorced from the person who originally was living there. Despite the fact that she continued to live there alone for 22 years, paying rent, they notified her that they wanted to evict her. E. went on rent strike. In the fall, an attempt to evict her was blocked. In the meanwhile, she tried to get social housing from the city. She is a qualified, low-income person, but the city does not care about it. Despite the fact that eviction onto the street is against the constitution and she was offered no place to stay by the city, the authorities decided to use force to carry out this eviction.

About 50 police forcefully removed a group of about 40 blockers. Half of the people on the blockade were senior citizens, some of whom could not defend themselves against the police and most of the blockers were women. More police were waiting for action, including some anti-riot police. E. fainted during the police action and had to be taken to the hospital. She is OK now - at least physically.
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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Picket at Interkadra Employment Agency

On July 12 we held a picket in front of Interkadra employment agency. The immediate reason for the picket was that one of their offices are recruiting replacement staff for workers who were fired while on strike.

A group of 23 workers at the Chung Hong factory in Biskupice Podgórne were fired for trying to get better working conditions. The workers were trying to demand a 300 zloty (70 euro) raise to their meager salaries. The factory did not consider any raise, even after the outside negotiator from the union cut the wage demands during negotiations, to as low as 100 zloties. A union activist who was asking workers about a strike was fired and some other workers protested. After the weekend, they found themselves locked out and decided to strike. They were then fired for disciplinary reasons.
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Informational Action against Practices of RyanAir

The exploiter airline RyanAir is starting flights from (near) Warsaw next week. They are busy making promotions. Activists from ZSP learned that representatives of the company would be in the center of the city on July 11 and decided to quickly get there and hand out leaflets about working conditions in the company.

This action is partly a continuation of the informational campaign related to RyanAir Don't Care. However we have updated our leaflets to include new information about how RyanAir took over SpanAir's routes in Spain and wanted to hire pilots and other staff on much worse conditions. Our comrades in the CNT are suing RyanAir over this.

See also:
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Changes in this blog

The ZSP in Warsaw now has more than one union. Education workers and IT workers have decided to set up branch unions.

In the past, this blog was for ZSP Warsaw, a single organization, but now it isn't.

Also there was news about various activities ZSP members were involved with, like with the tenants movement and other social protests. You can read more about these now on a new blog:
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Action Against Local Government

Members of the Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP took part in an action yesterday against the local government. There is now a campaign to get rid of it and it seems that there is a lot of support.

(It should be mentioned that the board of the local council is not even democratically elected, but was appointed by the President of the city. And it is extremely anti-social in politics.)

The trickier question is what comes next. Both organizations have called for more popular control, public assemblies, etc. Of course, nothing really libertarian can function within the framework set up by the state, only outside of its realm. The grassroots movements have to be built up, which is an enormous task given the realities of society in Poland.

In the meanwhile, people would like to send a message that those who engage in anti-social actions cannot do so with impugnity.
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Friday, 8 June 2012

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Action against the Euro 2012

On June 8, the Euro Cup opened in Warsaw. The city was full of police, military police and football fans. ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee organized a protest against the politics of the Euro. The protest was at the main roundabout on the way to the stadium, so thousands of people passed by.  People spoke about the money spent on the Euro and the fact that UEFA (which was exempted from tax in Poland) and a few businesses would be big beneficiaries, but that the public has spent already almost 26 billion euros on the spectacle. At the same time that Poland is spending a lot of money on games, children will go hungry as the city privatizes school cafeterias, makes cut in social services and raises the price on everything.

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Monday, 4 June 2012

Actions worked to call off eviction

We are happy to note that the eviction of Iwona, planned for tomorrow early morning has been called off. This information came after ZSP, tenants and some other supporters picketed a restaurant owned by the same woman whose company owns the building which was privatized. Besides this action, there was a picket last Monday and plans for blocking the eviction. However, the bailiff has informed us that he will wait for the court to decide. There is already a decision for the eviction and the tenant even would agree to leave, provided the city provide her with appropriate social housing.

The bailiff is most likely acting on the instructions of the owner, so we understand that she is trying to avoid trouble. But we will take more action to remind her that it would be even better if she stopped speculating in real estate and left the tenants alone to live in their homes.
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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Action against Speculator/ Restaurateur

Members of ZSP protested at CK Oberza restaurant in Warsaw to protest against the action of the owner, who is involved in real estate speculation and the eviction of residents on Hoza St.

One family is due to be evicted in a couple of days and we will be on the blockade, opposing the displacement of the residents by gentrifiers.
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Friday, 1 June 2012

Court Case Continues in Defense of Free Speech and Tenants Dignity

Some members of ZSP who are part of the Tenants Defense Committee returned to court on May 16, fighting against a lawsuit resulting from the publication of a documentary video. The video interviewed tenants about their problems with their landlady, who claimed that we violated her good name.

The case is important because of very restricted freedom of speech in Poland and because tenants need to be able to tell about what is going on in their homes without fear of repression.
See also:
More on the current case can be found here.

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Demonstration in Memory of Maxwell Itoya

On May 27, a demonstration was held at the place that Maxwell Itoya was killed two years ago. Itoya, an immigrant citizen of Nigerian descent, was at the former Stadium market place when police arrested a man who was selling socks. He was thrown to the ground and handcuffed, screaming for help. When Max intervened, he was shot by a cop and bled to death. This happened on May 23, 2010.
Then, the ZSP held an emergency demonstration onto the police station. Other immigrants had been arrested during the incident. The widow of Itoya (a Polish woman, left with 3 children) and others demanded an investigation into the incident and punishment for the cop. The Prosecutor for Praga, Renata Mazur, just recently dropped the case, claiming their was a lack of clear evidence.

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Occupation of Square in Warsaw

On the last weekend of May, there was an occupation of a square in central Warsaw. Members of ZSP took part in the event, speaking with passerbys about various issues. The event was immediately harrassed by police which tried in various ways to get rid of the protest. Among the most disgusting ways is something that authorities in Krakow thought up to deal with a similar protest: to try to charge protestors money for using the territory! The action was legalized, but only for a few days, and after the legalization ran out, the police busted the occupation. This included seizing property, including personal property like people's wallets. The next day a picket in defense of freedom of assembly was held in the same place.

Below are a few photos.
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