Monday, 22 March 2010

Huge Victory for Tenants Group

There was a huge victory for the Tenants Defense Committee. At the end of last year, we caught the Ministry of the Economy trying to sneak through legistlation that would be extremely unfavourable for tenants. The legislation would have allowed landlords to be able to raise rents every month and would have facilitated eviction and other means of forcing people out of public housing.

The legal analysis and social assessment we prepared was introduced in Parliament for discussion and protests were sent. We are happy to say that the bill is now dead and politicians have openly stated that it is because of what we prepared.
Read more!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Antifascists Not Guilty

Cases against antifascists from the Nov. 11, 2008 demo have been taking place in Warsaw. During this demo, a crowd people were caught in a police cordon and about 200 people were to have court cases.

Unfortunately, some of the antifascists from other towns prefered to pay a fine than to come to Warsaw to court. Yet others had some shady advice and wound up guilty, with high fines.

Anarchist Solidarity (connected to ZSP), organized legal help and other support for many dozens of people - and we are happy to announce that they are winning their cases. On March 18, 6 people were acquitted and on March 19, another 14. 

Read more!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tenants Take over City Council

Today a couple of tenants groups (WSL, KSS, KOL) managed to take over the City Council and force them to call a special session devoted only to the question of housing and to discussing the tenants' postulates. This was a good example of direct action, as the tenants refused to let the council meet on anything else; some eventually took to the presidium where there was heated debate with the Chair and other politicians, including the Vice President.

One interesting thing was the reaction of municipals guards. Already the last two session were interrupted by KOL (Tenants' Defense Committee, which members of ZSP are part of) and the guards did not react. This time, the Chair of the Council asked them to "make order" which us, but all they did was come and try to talk and ask not to keep disrupting. We said "we aren't leaving and take over until our demand is met" and officers then went away and made no attempts to remove people, despite appeals of politicians.

KOL submitted an agenda of postulates for the special session which tenants forced to city to hold. Only question now is what concessions they will give tenants. Members of ZSP and KOL will push for maximum demands, including handing over supervision of public housing to citizens. Of course most radicals demands are not likely to be met, but tenants today feel they are in a good position to force at least some of their points.

This is the second such action KOL has taken part in this week. Read more!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Worst Employer of the Year

Tonight was the announcement of the outcome of the second annual Worst Employer of the Year Contest organized by ZSP. The initial announcement was made at a concert of the group which wrote the hymn of the contest.

And the worst employer of the year was.........

Alpine Bud (Alpine Bau), general contractor of the National Stadium in Warsaw and the A1 highway in Silesia. At the National Stadium Alpine uses many subcontractors who don't always pay workers and there even were wildcat strikes there last year. In December, 2 people were killed working on the stadium. Workers explained that there were gross violation of safety procedures and the person responsible from Alpine tried to cover it up, falsifying documents.

(See the English section of for more details.) 

On the A1 highway, workers were forced to work up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Highway workers started to call the job "a work camp". There were many complaints, including firings with no notice and no reason.  Workers were also forced to sign annexes to their contracts which lowered their salaries. People who didn't sign were fired. The problems with Alpine got so bad that they were kicked off the construction project. One of the last straws was that the company wanted to force workers to build a bridge on the highway that engineers said would be unsafe.

More about this and information on the runners-up soon to follow.

The results will appear tomorrow in the major newspapers and an "award" will be given to the company. Read more!

Warsaw Manifa (Women's Day)

On March 7, ZSP Warsaw took part in the annual Women's Day demonstration, going with a radical message as usual. For the third year in a row, ZSP formed a blok with the group WRS - this year known as the Revolutionary Blok.  Although only about 40 red and black activists marched in it. (the rest of the anarchists apparently prefering to march in the "colourful blok" (ie. clowns, etc.), the revolutionary blok attracted both the rest of the radical left, who marched nearby, as well as the teacher's union ZNP (which marched besides ZSP, causing a little confusion for onlookers, especially as ZSP was handing out the new newspaper for radical education workers.)

For the first time in the 10 years of this demonstration, there were several mainstream trade unions presence. However, most of these unions sent nothing but a symbolic group to march - some of them amounting to 20-30 people, thus lss than our blok. Curiously, despite the fact that these unions altogether must have brought about 200 new faces to the demo,  the crowd is smaller than in previous year, perhaps less than half of last year. Could it be that labour issues as just not as sexy as the scores of neoliberal celebrity feminists that usually party from the platform trucks?

Not to worry - keeping in typical "anti-sectarian" feminist style, after female unionists spoke, the platform was given over to a representative of the Confederation of Private Employers who told women how they have to behave in solidarity with their bosses so we can all survive this time of crisis.

As usual, we had our provocative leaflets and newspaper and a banner.This time our banner read "Social Revolution Instead of Parity" - a reference to the main project of feminists over the past year - trying to get a law passed requiring parties to put an equal number of women on the ballot.Our leaflet also referred to this project. Below is a translation ofthe main part of our leaflet.

Read more!

Action in Wroclaw

A couple of people from ZSP Warsaw went to Wroclaw to support an action at Green Way restaurant. A full report on the action is here.

Later in the evening, people also visited the bookshop "Falanster" where there was a conflict with ZSP a few months ago. 

Next week will be a national day of action against Green Way. Read more!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Revolutionary Block - March 7

ZSP is organizing the revolutionary blok during the feminist demonstration March 7. As usual, our radical block will be an alternative to the liberal dominated march. This year we will offer an anarchafeminsit critique of the main political project of feminists this year: parity on electoral lists.

Among the slogans of the block are "Emancipation is not won with the ballot box",  "Social revolution instead of parity" and "General strike - enough compromises'! Read more!