Monday, 13 December 2010

Solidarity with Student Protests in UK

Today there was a picket at the British Embassy in Warsaw in solidarity with the protests against tuition hikes and educational cuts. A couple of dozen people from various left organizations turned out, mostly students and teachers. ZSP members distributed booklets about the Bologna process and came with calls for free education on libertarian principles. It raised criticism of the educational system and capitalism in general, thus bringing a more radical point of view to the people at the demo. Protestors pointed out that it is high time to organize more resistance in Poland, which is probably one of the few countries in Europe which does not have a strong student movement and has not seen any large protests about the commericalization of education. All agreed that students, teachers, parents and just concerned citizens should be fighting against this process, which concerns the future of society and sharpens class divisions. Read more!

Solidarity with Bus Drivers!

Solidarity to the Struggling Workers of PKS Suwalki

On the Role of State Institutions in Collaborating Against Workers' Action

For months there have been problems between the workers of PKS Suwalki and the management. PKS Suwalki is a bus company employing over 400 people, which also operates in Elk, Augustow, Olecko, Goldap and Sejny. It was commericalized in 2006 but was still owned by the State Treasury. Then it was unclear whether or not it would be privatized; in the end it was taken over by the Voivodship and remains a public entity.
Read more!

Tenants Meet About Reprivatization

On Dec. 10, over 100 people met to talk about the reprivatization of their buildings.  There was a presentation about what to expect and what could be done, with emphasis on taking direct action and immediate organizing for mutual self-defense.

The meeting was focused on one neighbourhood and we plan to make similar meetings all throughout January, each time focusing on a different neighbourhood.

Notices were delivered to houses which were on a list maintained by the city. Despite the fact that the city claims this is "confidential information" which may not be copied or disseminated, we will not be deterred and we plan to reach as many people as possible. Read more!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Warsaw Rent Strike: Community Organizing and Activization in the Context of Social Atomization

In Warsaw a rent strike has been going on since Oct.1. Despite the fact that the issues may effect up to a quarter of a million people in Poland's capital city, we cannot say that a significant percent of public housing tenants have joined. This is mainly due to a lack of tradition and the extreme social atomization of the population - something typical in many post-Soviet bloc era countries. There is also the issue of a minuscule grassroots social movement and the disdain of the left for anything radical and outside the realms of reformist and party politics. [1]
Read more!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

ZSP vs. State Repression of Information

At the last fake social consultation with the city housing authorities, officials promised to publish the list of public housing buildings which may be privatized (where claims have already been submitted to court). This promise came after ZSP delivered information to 1500 homes listed on a leaked document. But, what can you expect from politicians and bureaucrats? Almost two weeks after the promised the list would be up... still no list.

ZSP also made a promise: that it would still find a way to get these lists and would deliver the information to the people concerned. So we announce that we got a couple of more lists and teams of people are delivering notices. We expect 500 notices to be delivered to these houses by the end of the weekend.

Read more!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Tenants Confront President of Warsaw

Tenants were able to attend the presidential debate with Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz. They whistlled, chanted "evict the City Hall" and asked questions she did not answer. Despite the interruptions, nobody intervened. On this way, tenants were finally able to confront the President with her policies in a very public and maybe embarrassing way. Read more!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Antifascist Action

In Warsaw a crowd of about 2000 people tried to block a couple of fascist and right-wing marches that went through the city. Police did everything possible to enable the march to go on a different route while provoking, invigilating and surrounding the antifascists.

ZSP also reminded that they are against capitalism and there were some sharp words towards the capitalist political parties whose activists turned up with flags and election leaflets. We gave out about 1500 leaflets to passersby explaining why we were there and giving our point of view that we must also fight capitalism, which is just as deadly as fascism.
Read more!

Monday, 8 November 2010

President of Warsaw Runs Away from Tenants / Opening of Estate for Evicted under Bridge

For a couple of weeks we have been trying to meet with the President of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz. She doesn't seem to ever be in her office, and when she hears we are coming, she runs away. When we found out that she had scheduled a TV debate with the two other main candidates for President of Warsaw in the upcoming elections, we decided to pay a visit. Waltz then cancelled the most important pre-election debate which was to be broadcast live on TV.

No problem - we could (and did) protest against the other candidates.
Read more!

11 November – Against Nationalism, Fascism and Capitalism

Statement of ZSP Warsaw

ZSP Warsaw wil actively oppose the marches organized by right-wing organizations in Warsaw 11 of November. We are not only against the right-wing groups such as ONR, and their storm trooper subculture, but also against all the proponents of authoritarianism, xenophobia, racism and capitalism who propagate their conservatice and antisocial world view, regardless of whether they dress in suits or Lonsdale and Thor Steinar shirts.

The politics of the right-wing offer nothing to the working class except for ideological poison which drives people further apart and strengthens the authority and power of small elites.
Read more!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Congratulations on Direct Action / New Squats

One direct response to the city's housing crisis is simply to go find yourself a place to live. In Warsaw, it is not easy; the conditions are bad and it is hard to get any electricity, water or other conveniences - some public housing doesn't even have this! In the past months we actively encourage and help people if they are willing to go this way.

Our congratulations to our comrade from ZSP who in the last few days helped to open two new squats, one of which he may move into himself. Read more!

Confronting the Politicians

Former Ministers and leaders of the SLD Wojciech Olejniczak and Ryszard Kalisz decided to visit the slums during their campaigning, trying to find rent strikers, victims of reprivatization and others to take their leaflets. Instead they were surrounded and asked many difficult questions for quite a long time. The looks on their faces tell it all. Below is a video of a particularly interesting part, unfortunately only in Polish. People asked a lot of difficult questions, some of which the politicians were not able to properly answer and tried to corner them for concrete proposals.

Despite their attempts to meet with and co-opt activists from ZSP, we rather have been giving them a hard time. We recall their past promises and warn against trying to fuck with us, reminding them that will always and have always shown up and given them trouble when their party gave the people shit.

Read more!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Another Victory for Tenants

Following the occupation of City Hall, bureaucrats met with us and tenants, this time in much more serious fashion, sending all the main people in the adminstration. They were shaken by promises that we would be visiting them too.

One concession the city finally gave was to decide to finally publish a list of houses which have reprivatization claims started in court - this is about 10,000 buildings in Warsaw. This decision came after one of the lists - which the city claimed didn't exist - made its way out of City Hall and into our hands. Members of ZSP delivered this information to all the buildings on the list and have been busy handling people's questions since then. We suppose the city finally realized that its better to publish this themselves - despite the fact that they really don't want to - than to have their documents taken and delivered with a message from us that this is what the city is not telling you. Read more!

Monday, 25 October 2010

City Hall Occupation of President's Office

Today we decided to visit the President of Warsaw in City Hall. People announced they were there to see her and took over the meeting room. A ZSP banner was hung on the balcony of the office overlooking the square and as soon as we decided to speak from the bullhorn from the office, Vice President Jakubiak showed up. As we have much outstanding business with him and matters to discuss, we sat down to a meeting. The Tenants' Defense Committee presented 20 postulates which they would like to be implemented and demanded that he answer each one. The meeting was filmed and went out on the radio. 
Read more!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Tenants Protest, Strike Actions Continue

Today tenants blocked rush hour traffic and demonstrated against city housing policy, calling for the dismissal of the entire adminstration and condemning the role of all authorities in supporting the system of exploitation and speculation. 

With slogans such as "evict the administrators before they evict you", "trust the authorities and you will wind up homeless" or "communal housing in the hands of the tenants", the demonstration made its way around the center of the Praga district, which is highly effected by reprivatization, rent increases and gentrification. Some undercover cops made their way into the demonstration and tried to arrest one member of ZSP but people blocked the police car and he was unarrested. Then they tried to arrest another, but again unsucessfully. The demo lasted a couple of hours, speeches were made and people invited to join the struggle. Hundreds of leaflets and copies of our newspaper, Zaplata, were handed out.
Read more!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Warsaw / Kiev: Pickets for abolition for so-called "illegal" immigrants

On Oct. 22 there will be a picket in front of the Sejm in Warsaw organized by immigrants concerning abolition for people in Poland without legal status. On the same day, our comrades from Priama Dija will organize a picket at the Polish Embassy in Kiev.

Statement of ZSP on abolition for immigrants without regulated status in Poland 

ZSP demands immediate abolition for all people called "illegal" on the territory of the so-called "Republic of Poland" without the permission of the state.
Read more!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Thousands of Buildings Now Public Housing May be Privatized

From Oct. 15-17, members of ZSP Warsaw delivered notices to over 1000 buildings in Warsaw informing the tenants that their buildings, now public housing, may be privatized. Currently there are claims for close to 10,000 buildings in the city - tens of thousands of people living in public housing may be effected and soon face drastic rent increases or eviction.

The information on which buildings in the center of Warsaw already have cases in court concerning their reprivatization came from a classified document which we received. See the press release below.
Read more!

Tenants Open Assemblies

In connection with the Warsaw rent strike and in response to the city's fake social consultations, ZSP, together with the Tenants' Defense Committee. has been holding open assemblies of tenants. The aim of the assemblies is to build the protest movement and encourage activity and self-organization in the various neighbourhoods of Warsaw. At the first meeting the idea for some protests were  generated which will take place this week. In the meanwhile, people are trying to gather more support in the neighbourhoods to organize themselves and take action. Read more!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Demonstration and Action Against So-Called "Consultation"


Today tenant activists protested in front of a court in Warsaw against the legal farce that many people encounter there. Many tenants wind up in court fighting for the right to live in their homes after unfairly losing legal title or fighting against eviction. In the most dramatic of cases, they sometimes even have to fight for the right to their children because the state can take them away if their housing is substandard.

After some time, the crowd went to the so-called "social consultation" that the city tried to organize to avoid speaking to tenant organizations. The city organized the meeting on the same day the protest was called, quietly announced it and required people to register, giving them only two days to do so. Activists delivered a couple of hundred registration forms, dashing the hopes of the bureaucrats to hold this "consultation" without the activists.

Read more!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Demonstration: Public Housing in the Hands of the People!

ZSP held the first of a series of demonstrations since the calling for a rent strike in Warsaw. It was a local demonstration around the Praga neighbourhood which stopped in front of different buildings which experienced problems and where tenants organized and are fighting back. Among the problems are reprivatization, dangerous physical state of the building and problems with landlords. Some people from those buildings spoke out to the demonstration and people on the street. We also stopped in front of abandoned buildings, condemned buildings and buildings for sale.
Read more!

Friday, 1 October 2010

ZSP to Start Series of Direct Actions

Hundreds of people packed into the City Council today to participate in the extraordinary session forced by tenants. There was not enough room in the main hall so people packed into two halls outside and watched the session on big screens. People were hoping that a resolution proposed by the tenants would be passed, even though it was clear from the beginning that the ruling party was strongly against.

There was a presentation on the effects of certain aspects of the city's housing policy which was quite shocking and caused great debate. Vice-President Jakubiak, whose office was occupied and tenants tried to recall last year, responded to the presentation and was treated with intense heckling and shouting from the audience. The session lasted until 22:30, when councilpeople, trying to cut the whole thing short, got to the voting. It was clear from the beginning of the session that the politicians would not vote on the resolution since the city sent their lawyer to give a negative legal opinion on it. In the end, the council voted that the President of the City should call a group of "experts" to consult with her on the housing issue.
Read more!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Critical of Warsaw Union Farce

ZSP took part in the labour demonstration held by the mainstream unions in Warsaw on September 29. In the last days, it published critical statements of the farce and gave an interview on TV criticizing the mainstream unions. It called on some small unions and independent workers to attend and form a radical blok.

Unfortunately, people expected called that they would not attend at the last minute. For some it was due to bad weather but we also heard that in at least one case, local union bureaucrats said that only Solidarity or OPZZ members were invited and could march in the bloks. (ZSP was actually invited to officially attend, but did not answer the invitation. In the end, it was the only independent union (of well over 5000 in Poland) to attend this demo.) The radical blok was thus modest but miners and ZSP joined up later. Some of these miners were ones who ignored the union leadership in 2005 and rioted with anarchists in front of the Sejm, eventually forcing the politicians not to make drastic changes to their pensions. The miners wanted again today to escalate the protest but at every step we were foiled by the union bureaucrats.
Read more!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Strike is the Only Reasonable Dialogue with the Bosses

Leaflet for demonstration, Sept. 29 in Warsaw.

The so-called "economic crisis" in Poland was a boom for the bosses. Although there was actually economic growth in this country - in contrast to some other places in the world - the crisis served as a pretext for mass dismissals and worsening work conditions. As we can see, often the dismissals were made only to get rid of full-time workers with benefits and replace then with temporary ones. Working people saw how this was happening, yet all the time we were hearing lies from the bosses and being told we should be happy to have any job
at all. The crisis also brought in new anti-worker legislation. Some of it, in the anti-crisis package, was meant to be temporary. But we know that the bosses have been trying to impose these things for a long time and now it is clear that much of this will become permanent changes, a permanent blow to working conditions.
Read more!

PO tries to ignore tenants - but we fought back!

On Sept. 30, a special session of the city council will be held to vote on the future form of cooperation with tenants. Tenants demand that they be included in the decision making process in municipal housing and have prepared a bill. The council was forced, due to consistent protests, to hold the voting session. But it is clear that the leading party, PO, is vehemently against anything that may impede their plans to destroy public housing.

Politicians from this party have already expressed their negative opinion of this bill. ZSP is calling for a rent strike and direct actions, in particular against the members of this party before elections. It has also published some hints about legal loopholes that tenants can use to avoid evictions. Some politicians from PO, who are currently in charge of offices such as housing, responded by trying to play a trick.
Read more!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Tenants Demand Session or Will Take Action

Today is the tenants' deadline to the City Council to call a special session to vote on a resolution submitted by a coalition of 30 groups. The Tenants' Defense Committee is one of the founders of this coalition and is encouraging people to form newgroups in their houses, streets and neighbourhoods. Needless to say, if the session is not held on September 30, tenants will start occupations and blocking the city council.

ZSP has called for a rent strike and series of actions starting Oct. 1. If the City Council does not publically announce the Sept. 30 session by 17:00 today, ZSP will answer with direct action against the politicians.

The media has been warning that this time the fight will be harder than before since the situation of tenants is worsening.

See video from TVN (in Polish) Read more!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

ZSP on Labour Action 29 September

ZSP will be a critical participant in the labour action against austerity to be held  29 September in Warsaw.

The main unions, Solidarity and OPZZ call for a symbolic protest, which is not even a strike. Austerity measures of all sorts, reforms in the Labour Code and Act on Trade Unions are hitting workers with huge force, yet all the unions call for is a few hours of protest. These unions even do not encourage workers on a large scale to take a day off and go to the protest: their armies of paid union activists will lead the protest instead. Despite this, we know that some groups of rank and file workers from supermarket chains (who want to strike and are held back by the unions) and the railways will be there - so we will too.
Read more!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

September. The politicians come back to work, sessions start up again and so do the protests. But somebody was oddly missing at work and, as it turns out, was discretely recalled from his post. Vice Mayor Majewski, the famous anarchist-baiting, Libcom reading, tenant bashing politician we motioned to recall after scandals related to a housing struggle this winter was, in fact finally voted out. 

This is the umpteenth politician or administrator to be ousted in relation to our protests and this is the highest-ranking official yet to lose his job. Earlier motions to recall the Vice President and the Chairwoman of the City Council did not pass, although they were submitted and actually voted on.

For those who can be Polish, we recommend the film of negotiations with Majewski which shows how he failed to deal with the tenants' problems.
Read more!

More on the Rent Strike, Days of Protest and Politicians before Elections

More and more banners and posters supporting the rent strike can be seen around Warsaw. Even banners left in public places have not been taken down and posters are being put up by residents in their houses. We know that public administration buildings have also been postered over the weekend.
On September 30, several hundred people are expected to go to the City Council to demand changes to the city housing policy.
Read more!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

ZSP Starts Rent Strike Action

ZSP Warsaw is calling for a rent strike starting on Oct. 1. The strike is meant as a protest against the housing policy of the city and against serious problems with the reprivatization process in Poland. It is meant as a means of radicalizing tenants' protest, which the local politicians try to ignore. It aims to bring together tenants who face eviction or live in dangerous and substandard housing to organize for their own mutual self-defense. The strike will be accompanied by public meetings, assemblies and hopefully the creation of neighbourhood committees.
Read more!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Freedom from Fear Day

September 11 we took part in a happening organized as part of international Freedom from Fear Day. The happening was meant to draw people's attention on the omnipresence of security cameras in the city and to be a critique of security culture.

Activists participating in the happening pointed out not only the implications for personal freedom but showed that the security cameras were very costly and in fact did not serve the purposes they claim. In the end, the biggest criminals and sources of thievery against the working class are the bosses and the state, who exploit labour and force payments of taxes which they often use for their own personal profit.
Read more!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Historic Victory for Tenants!!!!

The Tenants Defense Committee managed to stop the privatization of one house on Targowa St. in Warsaw. This is an historic moment: as far as we know, this is the first privatization in Poland that has been successfully stopped by protest!

In addition, the city has agreed to recommunalize part of the building which was under claim. This means that the entire property (which consists of several buildings) will remain municipal housing!

The Committee is currently fighting a couple of privatization attepts. It is common in Poland that extensive fraud is committed during reprivatization and that there is no independant process of verifying claims and documents.
Read more!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Warsaw: Pickets at Azteca Bar Continue

Pickets at Azteca Bar in Warsaw are continuing. After failure to make any progress with the boss on Friday / Saturday, ZSP decided to picket the establishment every day at lunch and dinner hours. The protests are related to illegal deductions taken from the pay of our dismissed comrade, attempts to make people work illegally, without any contract and unpaid trial periods, with 'training' that the boss wants to charge workers for if they do not work a certain period of time.

During the first picket on Monday, the boss of the bar became very agressive towards the leafleters and started making many threats. According to him, handing out leaflets should end in 'criminal charges" and he threatened to sue us for losses his business has incurred due to our pickets. He made a great scene, shouting at and filming the protestors and calling the police. Neighbours and passersby then got involved in the argument. Most people tell him he should pay the money.

In the evening the protestors consisted of more senior citizens and the boss became more subdued and only shouted at the younger people. Again the police and city guards were called and again the boss was told that we have the right to picket him. We promised that we would return tomorrow, he could be assured.

Read more!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

First Picket at Azteca Bar

On Aug. 20, ZSP held an action at Azteca Bar in Warsaw. We are demanding an end to the deliberate cheating of vulnerable workers in this cafe.

The problems which led to the conflict are the following:

1. The owner of the bar (Jakub Mazur) uses unpaid trial periods for workers. On top of that, he claims that he provides "training" to the workers and estimates the value of this training at 1300 zloties (326 euro). He gives the workers contracts which state that this money will be deducted from their salaries if they do not work a certain period of time. It is approximately one month's salary - for full-time workers, So if somebody works only one month, s/he will receive nothing.

Most of the workers are students, working part time. Our comrade, a high-school student, was earning about 500 zloties a month (125 euros), so this fake "training" would cost people like that almost three months' salary!
Read more!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Thousands Rally in Defense of Secularism

In a rare anti-clerical action, thousands rallied late last night in front of the Presidential Palace, demanding the removal of "Kaczynski's Cross". The cross, which was placed there after the plane crash in Smolensk, has been the object of much public debate. It became something of a symbol and a place of pilgrimmage for conservatives and far-rightwingers.The anarchist group WRS managed to gather thousands of signatures on a petition to remove the cross.

Many people were against the makeshift shrine in front of the palace and authorities decided that it should be moved to a nearby church instead of standing in front of the seat of the President. Attempts to move it resulted in a violent clash.
Read more!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Action at Aerobud

The Ukrainian firm Aerobud, which was a subcontractor on a building site in Leszno, did not pay its workers, leading them to down their tools. As it turns out, the people did not even have a written contract and may have problems receiving their pay. Aerobud subsequently decided to hire new people. ZSP was informed of this situation and asked for some help. It decided to take action against Aerobud to inform prospective workers of their practices and to demand that they pay the workers and ensure people work in legal, safe and decent conditions.

There was a visit to their office in Warsaw and information that things will be done in Ukraine. Already warnings have gone out on the internet in that country and soon their with be leafletting and other actions addressed towards the workers. We do not rule out other forms of actions.
Read more!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Action in Carrefour

On July 24 there was a protest in a Carrefour supermarket in Warsaw against the humiliating treatment of workers imposed by tbe management. The protest was directly related to the introduction of the "red dot" system where employees have to stand on red dots in the middle of the crowded market to speak to their managers. It came out that workers even had to stand there if they wanted to take a toilet break.
Workers protested that this was ridiculous since sometimes that even had to wait 5-10 minutes for a supervisor to come and give them permission to leave their work station for a toilet break. This time to get permission is a lot longer than just going to the toilet, so it actually makes the break much longer. However, if an employee goes without permission, s/he could be fired. The workers feel this is done especially to discourage them from asking for breaks.
Read more!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Euro Pride in Warsaw

by Pantera

This year the Euro Pride parade took place in Warsaw. Poland is a country with an overinfluential Catholic church and homophobia is common. Most homosexuals are still "in the closet" in public life, for example in workplace. There can take place mobbing or discrimination - which is hard to prove and causes distress. So the people stay silent.

Again, a big part of Polish society do not accept gay parades or any public exhibition of another sexuality or other values than traditional, heterosexual family. The most aggressive of these are "real Catholics" and "real patriots" who are so fearing the difference that they make physical attacks on parade. Again this year, eggs, bottles and other objects thrown. Counterdemonstrations all over city.

Read more!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Spot the Red Dots

Members of ZSP are engaged in an action against "red dots" which have been set up in Carrefour supermarkets throughout Poland. The red dots are on the floor in central places in the supermarket and workers are supposed to go stand there if they have to talk to a supervisor. As it turns out, they are also supposed to stand there if they want a toilet break. The absurdity is that, if they were just to go to the toilet, it would probably take a couple of minutes; workers have found that they have to stand 5-10 minutes on the red dot before a supervisor approaches to ask to go to the toilet. If they do not get this permission, it is said that they took an unauthorized break from work. For such "unauthorized absences" from your workplace, you can even get fired.

We are leaving subversive messages on these red dots for all to see and  encouraging workers to take  action against this absurd and humiliating system.  With leafets to the customers, we encourage people to send their opinions to Carrefour management through their website. Read more!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Discussion in Bratislava

On July 9 there was a discussion in Bratislava with members of our sister organization, Direct Action. A few experiences and lessons from ZSP campaigns were examined and discussed with a few towards developing better practice. We are hoping that we will also see members of Direct Action here in Warsaw soon! Read more!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Alternative Social Forum in Warsaw

ZSP Warsaw will organize an Alternative Social Forum at the end of October, to coincide with the Polish Social Forum.  We invite comrades, especially from neighbouring regions, to attend. We are hoping to organize more concrete information about the event in September. For now, a preliminary list of topics may be found here: Read more!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Situation of Stranded Chinese Workers

After a week of camping in the rain, the construction workers from China who are looking for help getting home decided to abandon their protest. After this, they unfortunately decided not to return and to try and work ("illegally") for some while.

ZSP decided to continue its pressure on Turret Development with leafletting and other means. Turret still claims that it has no formal relationship with these workers and has not made efforts to help.

One state agency has become investigating the situation.

At this point we are waiting for further developments to know what to do. Read more!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Picket at Start People

ZSP again took part in the International Day of Actions at the Start People temporary work agency. The action is in solidarity with our comrade from CNT-AIT Zaragoza and with all workers struggling against precarious employment conditions.

Last November, Start People tried to change the contractual conditions of a group of people working in Qualytel. Our comrade who refused to accept worse conditions did not have her contract renewed. Although the court later ruled that she was essentially dismissed illegally, and although the court found an illegal transfer of workers, she was not reinstated in her job.

Read more!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Start People: Stop Exploitation!

They say we are in crisis time, but bankers, traders, CEOs and many others continue to receive incredible incomes.

Meanwhile, living conditions of workers and unemployed, etc.., are increasingly deteriorating. Precarious workers are particularly affected by the rising of unemployment. So temporary work agencies take advantage of an exploitable labor, that is forced to accept the conditions set by employers, to avoid the risk of no longer being proposed for new missions and fearing of being repressed by the JobAgency (which is closer to a police station than anything).

Some workers reject this logic. So it is precisely because she has refused her
inhuman conditions that a militant of the CNT-AIT Zaragoza (Spain) Union, who
was employee of STARTPEOPLE, has been fired illegally. Indeed, in November 2009, workers of the said temporary work agency received a letter challenging the previous labor contracts and degrading working conditions, under threat
of being fired or not renewed.

In STARTPEOPLE, fight against the degradation of working conditions is grounds for dismissal. Several sections of the IWA (International Workers Association ) were mobilized across Europe in April to show their support to the Zaragoza CNT-AIT struggle.
Read more!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Unsuccessful Scare Tactics

Lawyers for the firm Turret Development are trying, unsuccessfully, to scare off ZSP and dissuade them from their campaign to get plane tickets back to China for 21 stranded workers who are stuck in Warsaw without money or a valid work permit.

The workers were employed on the Wola Tower construction site. Turret's lawyers are trying to convince people that they bear no respsonsibility whatsoever for what went on with these workers. They claim (despite  what is written on their own webpages) they have nothing to do with Wola Tower and that the investor is a company called "Massandra" and that subcontractors are at fault.

It should be noted that "Massandra" is actually part of the Turret group, with the same Chairman of the Board, same registered headquarters and office, etc. etc. The same capital group runs various interconnected companies and, in cases like this, tries to shift responsibility onto other entities.
Read more!

TV Appearance about Temporary Work Abroad

A member of ZSP Warsaw appeared on television to give advice to workers, particularly to students, who are about to go to work abroad this summer. Viewers were warned about common problems temporary workers face, about what to look out for in their contracts and what to do if they encounter problems at work abroad. The program lasted almost a half hour. Read more!

Monday, 21 June 2010

ZSP Demands Plane Tickets for Stranded Workers

ZSP has started a campaign to help get plane tickets bought for 21 Chinese workers who are stranded in Warsaw and have no money to get home. All of them are in a precarious situation: they have little money and face deportation. They are camped on the lawn of the Chinese Embassy in extremely bad conditions.

The people worked on the Wola Tower construction site in Warsaw. ZSP is asking the firms involved to pay for tickets back to China. 
Read more!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Boycott Elections

ZSP calls again for boycott of elections. We don't need and don't want any president or any government! We call on people to instead build the militant grassroots organizations to fight against exploitation and government and take popular control!

18 June was action at  Metro Centrum in Warsaw.  Boycott elections actions are always popular with people who see no politicians who represent their interests. We try to send message that it is not lack of good politicians which is the problem, but nature of government.
20 June is elections and 19 June we have so-called "election silence" but there is tradition in Warsaw to go out on day of election and day before to agitate. Already electoral commission made decision that boycott campaign does not fit into laws against election silence.
Read more!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Picket at H&M

18 June was a picket in the center of Warsaw at HM. The picket was related to two cases of violating workers' rights. The first was in relation to the horrible tragedy at the Garib garment factory in Bangladesh, On February 25, 22 workers were killed in a fire. The workers were locked in the factory and could not escape; on top of that, there were numerous safety violations. The National Garment Workers Federation is calling for compensation for the families of the victims and better safety standards at the factory.

More information:

The second has to do with the case of Diego, a worker in a Madrid shop who was forced to sign his own resignation against his will. The CNT is demanding he be reinstated to his job and will not tolerate such intimidation of workers. Several pickets have been held in Spain about this case and the CNT called for international actions.

Read more!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Chinese Construction Workers Again Stranded in Warsaw

A group of 21 Chinese construction workers have ended up camped outside the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw. They have no money to return home and are waiting for help.

The workers were hired by a company called Turret Development. Turret Development is owned by American businessman Michael Alter, president of the Alter Group, one of the ten largest commercial real estate developers in the United States. Alter has been investing in real estate in Poland and using cheap Asian labour for this work.

Currently we are investigating the situation with these workers. One thing is clear: they were hired by Turret Development to work on the Wola Tower construction site. After that, they were sent by Turret to work in Lodz and in Olawa.
Read more!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Support for Action at the Ministry of (In)Justice

Members of ZSP and KOL have been supporting an action at the Ministry of (In)Justice in Warsaw and calling for more people to take part. It all started when a colleague of ours had some trouble with corrupt local politicians and decided to try and protest but was arrested and treated appallingly. A few groups raised the alarm on this situation. The guy, luckily, managed to also tape record a conversation with one of the local politicians who was corrupt and this became a political scandal; his immediate dismissal was demanded. 

On Monday we went with our colleague to the Ministry of (In)Justice, where he decided to chain himself to the fence and stay there. Since that time, other victims of political corruption and injustice have come with their tents and their chains and a small tent city is springing up. We are calling for other victims of judicial injustice to come and support this protest and for people to come by and protect these people from potential police brutality.

After working hours, quite a lot of people stopped by to show their support. We heard that in the next days, some more people will be coming and setting up their tents.
Read more!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Antiwar Demo

As usual, members of ZSP showed up at the local anti-war demo with anarchist slogans such as "No War between Nations, No Peace between Classes".

About 100 people came out to protest Poland's involvement in Afganistan and Iraq. Although this is (unfortunately) normal for a Warsaw demo, it is a terrible turnout considering that opinion polls have shown that 80% of the Polish public are against the war.

We call not only for the immediate withdrawal of troops, but the complete liquidation of the Polish (and all other) national armies. Read more!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Text of the leaflet on demo against racist murder by police


We condemn the murder which took place in Warsaw at the Stadion on the 23rd of May. According to witnesses, a brutal murder was committed on a father of three children, who was killed during the arrest of another person. The person who was killed, a 36-year old Nigerian, tried to ask why his friend was being treated brutally by the police. For this, he was shot in the stomach, even though he was not a threat to the policeman. He died on the spot.

Read more!

Demonstration against Racism and Police Brutality

On May 30, a few hundred people marched from the Stadium, where 36-year old Maxwell Itoya was killed last Sunday, to police headquarters. This was one of the first times that immigrants took part in a demonstration here in large numbers. The demonstration was a response to the racist police killing of Max last week and the subsequent arrests of Africans at the immigrant marketplace. 25 are charged with assaulting a police officer, despite the fact that the situation was started by unjustified police agression.
The march was organized by friends of Max, ZSP and a solidarity network; it was joined in by anarchists and antiracists with a few people from left groups taking part.
Solidarity group:

Our video:

Links to press, photos, below.
Read more!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Anti-Frontex Informational Actions

Between May 23-25, a number of informational actions about the activities and plans of Frontex were held in Warsaw. Leaflets were prepared in different languages and handed out in different places in Warsaw - for example in places related to travel like the airport and train station. In this way, we try to raise awareness about the work of Frontex and not only what its actions means for immigrants, but also what the border surveillance technology which is part of the popoulation control system may mean for people who'd like to travel. Read more!

Small Disturbance at Frontex Official Conference

Following the anti-Frontex conference in Warsaw on May 22, there were a number of small actions against the agency. Amidst rather strict secrecy and security, on May 24, Frontex started their conference in Warsaw. A few activists managed to get to the registration point and make some noise.


Read more!

Anti-Frontex Conference

The anti-Frontex conference took place on May 22. We will soon publish some videos with a slide show and audio, outlining the most important points of the conference.

It was shown how the Frontex mission has expanded, militarized and become more repressive and wide-reaching in the five years of its existence - often without any clear mandate to expand its powers. Its role in surveilling both immigrants and local populations was discussed, as were the ramifications of its programs and the technology it is implementing.

The issues of privacy, control, the role of the state and of capitalism were discussed. There was also a presentation about which corporations are benefitting most from selling border and data management technology. Read more!

Death at the Stadium

Read more!

Police Murder, Riots and Protest against Racism and Police Brutality

On Sunday May 23, police started a raid on some Nigerian traders who were selling shoes at the bazaar at the Stadium in the Praga district of Warsaw. One guy was apparently handcuffed and push to the ground. A 36-year-old colleague from Nigeria, Max, tried to intervene and get the police to stop brutalizing the other. Max was shot in the stomach and killed.
There immediately started to be problems with police, who tried then to chase and round up the rest of the panicked African traders, mostly from Nigeria. When more police arrived, some riot started. People were throwing stones and bricks at the police and 4 police vans were destroyed. 32 people were arrested.
The police immediately sent their spokesperson to invent a good story for the media: that police were "surrounded and attacked" by a gang of agressive Africans, so they had to shoot Max. As we later established from eye witnesses, the story was completely different.
ZSP released a statement and called for an emergency action the next day. During the day, the TV interviewed Max's wife, Monika, and Akai from ZSP, finally letting another version of events into the media.

Read more!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Anti-Repression Action

Despite the rain, March 19 there was an anti-repression action in the center of Warsaw. The action was held to draw public attention to various types of repression against political activists, protestors, workers and unionists and in particular to cases related to our comrades.

Some speeches were made and leaflets given out about cases of repression against workers' activists (from FAU, CNT, ZSP) and about the current situation in Mezhdurechensk. We spoke about the situation with Priama Dija in Ukraine and other cases in Russia, such as the case of Andrei Kutuzov from Autonomous Action.

We also explained that this protest coincided with the trial of the Lisbon 11 and reminded people about the famous cases of arrests of antifascists in Warsaw and, more recently, in Bialystok.

Finally, we also reminded people about the outrageous case of the Belgrade Six.

Below are some photos.

Read more!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Meeting with Women in Walbrzych

Members of ZSP from Warszaw and Wroclaw were invited to meetings in Walbrzych with women facing problems such as unemployment, precarious working conditions and lack of proper housing to talk about experiences and proposals for tackling these issues.

The women, many of them single mothers, complained about poor working conditions and lack of decent employment. They complained about how many workplaces try different methods to make people work for free and about conditions in supermarket work. Many are unemployed and some find lack of childcare facilities a barrier to employment. (On this issue, a concrete proposal was made and it looks as if the women will take steps to organize some sort of collective child care center in the place the meeting was held.)

Another issue for women was housing, both poor conditions and lack of it. Some of the women squatted vacant municipal housing when city bureaucrats proved unwilling to help them, making repairs and bring it to liveable standards. They are facing both repression from the city (eviction attempts) and problems with things like getting water and electricity installed. A member of ZSP Warsaw active in the tenants' movement also advised on what could be done and the need to organize grassroots movements in the city.

The participants considered the meeting successful and fruitful and hopefully some follow-ups will take place soon.
Read more!

Anti-Frontex Conference (program)

On May 24, corporations and EU bureaucrats wll attend a conference and exhibition on  “Surveillance Technology for Border Control” hosted by the EU migrant-hunting agency, Frontex. May 25, the "European Day of the Border Guard" and the 5th anniversary of Frontex, a conference to be attended by key European decision-makers entitled "The Future of Border Management in Europe including the Role of Frontex”  will also take place.  A small act of resistance  -  a counter-conference and protest at the location of the conference.

The state and capital has long sought to divide and conquer .The accidental placement of people within national borders often determines, like class, if they are born into relative prosperity of poverty. Workers have moved around the globe for ages, in search of better conditions, in search of escape from unbearable poverty. But these victims of poverty, war, internal displacement and ecological misfortune and being hunted by the agents of border management, working to ensure that the world's supply of cheap labour be kept in place, working to pander to racists and xenophobes, to protect Fortress Europe from people that the policies and practices of European states and capital often displace. Working people are pounded with propaganda to convince them that this is necessary and in their interests when, in fact, they are paying for this cruel and deadly regime.
Read more!

Museum Night at the Infoshop

Again we had some exhibitions for Museum Night at the Infoshop. This year there were paintings about the economic crisis and an exhibit of posters, old and new, from CNT to commemorate their centenary. The latter was accompanied by leaflets and, of course, a wide array of reading material was available at the Infoshop for anybody who wanted it. Besides the exhibit on the inside of the space, posters were hung around the building, which at night were illuminated by "eternal flames". Read more!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fuck the Flag! Freedom for the Greek Activists Jailed in Warsaw!

Update: May 13. All people have been freed.

On May 12, a picket took place at the Greek embassy in Warsaw in solidarity with the social struggle in Greece. The picket was visited by a group of about 10 Greek people living in Poland. A banner was hung on the embassy. Also, the flags of Greece and the EU, which were on flagpoles in front of the building, were taken down and black flags put in their place.

After the picket, police came after a group of people sitting in the park. Six Greek activists and a Polish guy were arrested and are still being held. Police are still "investigating" the incident, but they are threatening to charge people with stealing the flag and with taking part in an illegal demonstration with the intent to commit a crime. Stealing the flag can face up to one year in prison.

The police have not been very cooperative in either giving information or letting a lawyer see the detainees. In relation to this, there was an emergency solidarity picket during the day in front of the "Police Palace". As a result, a spokesman came out and gave a little information and promised that somebody could at least receive information concerning the eventual release or continued detention of the comrades.

Tomorrow again we will try to send legal aid to the detained and maybe organize a bigger protest if they are not released. There may be a problem for foreigners detained in Poland as sometimes the police consider them a flight risk. Read more!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Action against Repression

No Reprisals by Boss or State! The fight against capitalism and fascism will never be extinguished!

Meeting against repression and in solidarity with:

 COMRADES REPRESSED BY THE BOSSES (and sometimes authorities as well)

- FAU Berlin
Basically forbidden from calling themselves a union, the boss of Babylon Mitte Cinema fought the efforts of workers to organize themselves and terrorizes FAU with stiff state-imposed sanctions. We support their struggle to act without interference from the bosses or the state, in defense of workers' self-organization and struggle.

- A. from Green Way
Former employee of Green Way, threatened without basis by management lawyers with up to 14 years in jail for speaking out against unpaid trial periods and other employer abuse at this chain of vegetarian restaurants.

- Comrades from CNT in Spain
There are several situations where there are work conflicts, harrassments, reprisals and dismissals of CNT activists by  from Start People temp agency, Oceano publishing,  Mercadona supermarkets, Gros Mercat, Pilsa, Casolo group in Toledo  and others.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg!


- The Lisbon 11
On trial for bullshit arrests made in 2007 during an antifascist demo protesting attempts to rehabilitate Salazar. May 19 will see the continuation of their trial.

- The Białystok 13

Arrested April 24 during a demo against racism and nationalism, 13 people have charges related to fighting in public; the demonstration was attacked first by nationalists, then by police. They face up to 3 years in jail if convicted.

- Priama Dija
Ukrainian anarchosyndicalist student union, whose activists, fighting against the commercialization of eduaction, are expelled, repressed and harrased for their activity.
- The Belgrade 6
Although their charges have been changed, they are still on trial connected to an act of vandalism at the Greek Embassy in Belgrade which caused 18 euros worth of damage. They already spent 6 months in jail on ridiculous charges and may still face jail or penalties.

-Andrei Kutuzov
Activist from Autonomous Action in Tyumen, arrested by the FSB for handing out leaflets. Any leaflets against the government tend to easily be labled "extremist".

We also cannot forget the appeal against convictions for demonstrating against Council of Europe in Warsaw in 2005 and other ongoing cases against demonstrators in Poland!

 We send our solidarity and support to all these comrades, struggling for grassroots workers' movements, struggling against capitalism, the state and creeping fascism!
May 19 at 18:00 Metro Centrum.

ZSP Warsaw
Read more!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Warsaw First of May

First of May in Warsaw was a local picket and demo in the Praga neighbourhood help by ZSP.  Besides talks about worsening work conditions, especially caused by casualization of labor, there  was talk of local problems like gentrification. Hundreds of leaflets and papers were handed out. 

Before the demo there was a picnic and afterwards, a discussion about labor precarity in the Infoshop. 

This year,  ZSP picket was target of a counterdemonstration made by  nationalists,  who also had anti-capitalist slogans but demand jobs for Polish people in Poland and are for national segregation of labor markets. Read more!