Tuesday, 22 September 2009
The eviction was to take place in a house were a few months ago, a man who was evicted from a building and sent to live in a box in the boiler room of the basement died.
The building was formerly owned by the Solidarity Trade Union, who sold it to a private firm. The union did not give the tenants the priority option to buy their flats, which is the standard procedure for public housing and flats owned by companies.
The new investment firm that runs the building jacked up the rents. The owners prepared a tiny space in the boiler room to use for people they wanted to kick out. They claim that if the city cannot provide immediate social housing for people they want to evict (and by law they can't just throw they people onto the street), they would stick them in the basement until the city would do something with them.
The last person who was evicted to the basement was ill and died there. Neighbours were outraged. They came out to defend their neighbour against the eviction.
The man who was to be evicted explained that he had always worked and paid his rent, but his luck ran out when both his rent was raised and he had an accident and broke his arm. He was unable to work for some time. He quickly fell into debt. When he was better he started to look for work, but nobody wanted to hire a 62 year old man with a bad arm and diabetes. He receives social security payments of 600 zloties a month - which is less than 150 euros. And the rent is much higher than that. He spoke about all the trouble he had with the city bureaucracy which refused to help the tenants in their cases.
A video of the blockade is available here in Polish.