Wednesday, 2 May 2007

May Day Demo

Anarchists organized a May Day march in Warsaw. It drew about 150 people but was cursed with a few problems with broken equipment and police - it even snowed during the demonstration. Things started late and some people left early, meaning that the demonstration did not "accidentally" run into the demonstration of the left parties as had been planned. Perhaps that saved us; there had been rumours and the radio announced that they were expecting riots in Warsaw so a large group of police were staked out around the corner from the demo.

The march planned to visit a few sites: the McDonalds recruitment center, the Ministry of Finance, the Labour Court and the Ministry of Labour. At McDonalds, we protested against not only the working conditions there, but against the growing amount of McJobs being created. At the Minister of Finanse, we spoke about the Thatcherite economics of our Minister, criticizing draconian budget cuts and the false idea that cutting taxes and passing on the social security, health care and pension burdens to workers will create new jobs. There were some big funny pictures of our Finance Minister and she was cut into pieces in the action.

There was a problem with snow and with both technical equipment and the permission to move down the street with our crazy vehicle which delayed the march, so two protest stops were cut so we could attempt to catch up with the red bourgeoise who were going to have a picnic; anarchists organized a picnic next to them. Unfortunately, the politicians were all hiding inside their party HQ celebrating the anniversary of Poland's accession to the EU, so they didn't get a chance to get a piece of anarchist "birthday cake" or to have a chat with us. But there was a lively exchange with the few body-builder trade union bureaucrats who stayed at the picnic behind some rows of police and private security. Anarchists criticized their type of bureaucratic, sell-out unionism and were called "fucking socialists" by the unionists.

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