Saturday, 24 December 2011

Protest at the Kazakh Embassy

The ZSP protested the slaughter in Kazakhstan in front of the embassy in Warsaw. We strongly condemn the state violence against the people, starting with authorities trying to clean the strike of protesting workers, and advocate social revolution to get rid of the bosses and tyrants.

Just slightly a week after the anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Poland, we made the comparison of how these two states dealt with social unrest by cold blooded murder and repression.
We condemn the imposition of martial law in Kazakhstan and support all those resisting it!

Finally we hope that people will make the struggle against the authoritarian, nepotistic and corrupt government of Kazakhstan also into a struggle against the state and capital in general. Because capitalism is as great a tyranny as any other.
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Saturday, 17 December 2011

ZSP looks for owner of shady work agency, warns about safety on construction sites

ZSP continues to inform the public about the case of Karol M., who is still in a coma after an accident at work and warn them about the work agency "Jerzy Madziarowicz- MIX". The boss of the agency, which hires people for construction work, claimed that Karol was not even working for him after the accident happened. Karol, who was working without an proper safety equipment, was left in a coma, without insurance. The agency claims that it has absolutely no responsibility.

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Okrzejówki Brigades patrol and we make more protests

The Okrzejowki Brigades have been patrolling Praga for a week, checking the houses, talking to anybody who is still up in the late hours of the night. We have encountered many interesting things.
(See photos below.)

For example, we wonder how on earth the arsonist got into the last building set on fire. It is one of the rare public housing buildings where there is a domophone. The only person who could have done it is somebody with access to the building. The same is true of several other cases, for example where there were fires in locked basements, but no signs of breaking in.
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Solidarity Picket at ABB Polish Headquarters

ZSP took part in the Day of Action in support of the strikers of EULEN-ABB. . We held an informational picket at the Polish headquarters of ABB. There we delivered a letter and gave out leaflets in the headquarters, out front and on the street. We spoke through the megaphone and people came out of the building or opened their windows to hear. The children from the nearby school also did the same. We spoke not only about the strike in Spain, but the problems of subcontracted workers in general. (And we recommend the security guards from Impel who tried to interfere would better read our articles about working conditions in that firm and the many comments of their co-workers who responded.)

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Anarchosyndicalism is not a Crime!

On Dec. 14, ZSP held an informational action at a shopping mall in Warsaw to draw attention to the working conditions in FF Mercantil factory in Brazil and to the case of Icaro Polleto from the COB-AIT, who was due in court on the same day.

Icaro was working at FF Mercantil, a sweatshop which produces mainly for the LOTTO and FINTA brands sport clothing. He was involved in trying to organize there. Workers were demanding a five-hour work week, 8-hour day, air conditioning and ventilation, extra pay for working in hazardous conditions and the right to organize.
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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Protest in Defense of Neighbourhood, Against Arsons

On December 10, there was a protest in the Praga neighbourhood against the arsons that are occuring due to gentrification efforts. The ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee marched to the places where there were arson attacks and the people from the buildings talked about their experiences. There was a big show of support for the Brigades formed by the ZSP.

The police have confirmed that none of the fires were accidental, but all were arson attacks. Despite this, they have taken no steps to protect the neighbourhood. So many people can see what it going on and say they will resist this process.
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Citizen's Militia Formed

In connection to arson attacks in the Praga district of Warsaw, some members of ZSP have started a self-defense patrol with neighbours.  Posters are going up warning arsonists and telling speculators and other scum to keep their hands off our neighbourhood.

The group is named "Okrzejówki", after Stefan Okrzeja, workers' activist and socialist, executed in 1905.  He was one of the main people in the socialists' combat organization. His group of ten attacked high-ranking tsarist police officers and officials. He bombed the tsarist police station in Praga but was caught and executed.

One of the main streets in Praga, which is now in the center of gentrification, is named after Okrzeja. Although Okrzeja was a socialist militant and the right changed the name of most streets named after socialists, this street kept the name, because he was also appreciated as an anti-tsarist.
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Tuesday, 6 December 2011


On the night – early morning of December 6, three buildings were set on fire, one after another, in the Praga neighbourhood. In each case, somebody went into the basement and started a fire.

In one house live two of the founders of the Tenants Defense Committee. It was at a meeting of neighbours in front of this house that we first met. Now the residents of the building are terrorized. In another house live tenants who were fighting for their building. A few of our friends were hospitalized but will be OK.

(The man speaking in the microphone and the woman in the wheelchair were victims of arson last night. They had to be taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation but will be OK.)
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Monday, 5 December 2011

Action against Shady Temp Agency and Campaign with Building Workers

Karol M. has been in a coma since November 3. That's when he had an accident at his construction job in Warsaw. To the horror of his family, it turned out that Karol was never given any contract by the work agency "Jerzy Madziarowicz MIX". The boss did not report the accident at work and went he was called by the police, he claimed that Karol did not work for him.

Karol has no insurance. He may never be able to work again. And Madziarowicz is trying to avoid responsibility. ZSP has started an action against the agency. The first step was to try to collect evidence that the agency is functioning and hiring people, with or without contracts. Now there is the task, which is not easy in Poland, of getting compensation for Karol.
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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Against Gentrification, Evictions and Arson in Praga

On December 4 there was a picket held in front of a landmark building in the Praga district which is about to be destroyed to build a luxury neighbourhood. We went there to add a social element to the protest, to speak about gentrification and speak about the problem of arson, most probably by the gentrifiers.

Most of Warsaw was destroyed during the war by the nazis, except for the Praga district. Therefore it has some of the oldest buildings in the city. But it also was neglected by the city, which now is selling it off to developers and trying to get rid of municipal tenants. The building in question was built in 1860, making it one of the oldest and was famous because there used to be a Gymnasium there, where Janusz Korczak studied. It is now owned by the company Elektrim, which plans to develop a bourgeois neighbourhood in Port Praski (Praga Port), with skyscrapers, luxury buildings and a marina.

(See photos below)
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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Disrepect and Profanation of Fascist Symbols

Today in Warsaw was an action to show disrespect and to attack fascist symbols. The action was made as a response to the growing tolerance and legitimization of the far-right. A court in Warsaw allowed the group NOP (National Rebirth of Poland) to register a number of logos, including the Celtic Cross and a falange. These are now protected under law and the leader of NOP boasted that he would make a case against anybody who showed disrespect to the logos. In other words, defacing the logos is now some sort of infringement of NOP's legal rights.

NOP registered other logos as well, such as a homophobic sign of people having anal sex with a universal no symbol.

Some people decided to go out and publically show their disrespect for these symbols anyway. There was ZSP, some other anarchists, socialists and LGBT activists. People were invited to make fun of the homophobic logo by posing in a big no sign, people had signs against the NOP logos. There were some rolls of toilet paper with the falanga, NOP and other things which people could wipe their asses with.

A few groups of boneheads came, waiting to attack. More of them waited nearby to try and beat people afterwards. There were some verbal confrontations, but people made fun of their stupid slogans and continued to detourn and destroy the fascist symbols. Some photos are below.
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Friday, 2 December 2011

Picket at Greek Embassy in Warsaw

On Dec. 2, there was a picket at the Greek embassy in Warsaw against capitalist exploitation, austerity measures, repression and other attacks on working people in Greece. The picketers demanded to speak to somebody in the Greek embassy, except one they claimed that nobody there spoke Polish. We replied that it doesn't matter ... statements were read and there were different speeches, slogans and demands in various languages, with even a touch of Greek. After all, we reminded them that we know the word "anarchy" very well.

The protesters also the demanded release of prisoners.

Read more!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Against Austerity Measures, the Weapon of Capital Accumulation

We stand in solidarity with the people of Greece, fighting against the ploys of the ruling classes which are forcing more and more austerity measures on them. In Poland we hear the nonsense of neoliberal logic repeated again and again about how it is necessary to make cuts, as if the Greek working classes were living some life of waste and luxury. In reality, all the waste always comes from the top and it is the people who are made to pay for this. A few people get rich, while most working people get screwed.
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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Comrade in Trouble for Resisting Cop Violence

Today in Warsaw, a group of activists blocked a conference on fracking which was to be held in the Hotel Intercontinental. A small group of people played drums and made noise. Others went around the hotel, some made speeches against fracking and some occupied the conference room. A banner was put up in the hotel and on a nearby building. The action lasted for two hours and was successful in that the conference had to be cancelled. However the police fined the people playing music. After 2 hours, the people occupying the conference room were brutally removed by police. 11 people were arrested.

The people who made the action were activists from Syrena, the Anarchist Federation and the ZSP. One of our comrades from ZSP was fined 50 euros for making noise and 2 were arrested. One was already released but unfortunately the other one is charged with assaulting a police officer. (Ie, her brutal arrest did not go so smoothly for the cops). Tomorrow the prosecutor will decide if she can be released before her trial or will have to stay in custody. A solidarity picket will be held tomorrow and of course, if she is not released, we will make some stronger protest campaign.

A solidarity protest was held in front of the police station today.

We are concerned that the authorities are currently looking for some scapegoats since every day since Nov.11 there are news items about violent anarchists and the right wing and media are trying hard to build this image. In reality, the bigger problem is with the police - for example, in the station where the comrades were held, they often beat people, and they beat people on Nov. 11. And they can be brutal during arrests and we understood this is what happened when the police intervened today. The activists making the occupation were peaceful, which we will show since we are compiling video and photographic evidence of these events.

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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Direct Action Stops Landlord Harrassment

Last week some of us went on a direct action against a landlord who has been harassing tenants to get them to move out of their flats. The landlord cut off water to tenants some months ago, which is against the law, but the tenants could not get any help. The building is located directly next to a police station but the people soon found out what happens if they try to get the police to intervene in such situations: absolutely nothing. In fact, there is no help for tenants anywhere inside the system - there is only direct action made by others in self-defense and solidarity.

Thanks to the appearance of a group of people on a direct action, the problem was solved on the same day and for the first time in months, the people have water. The action involved confronting the landlord at his own flat.

We hope that thanks to this story, which shows how people can immediately solve their problems instead of torturing themselves, hoping the administration will act, more people will decide to act and not hesitate in such matters.
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Free the Nice Three

On Nov. 25 ZSP held a picket in front of the French embassy in Warsaw to bring attention to the case of three comrades from the Spanish CNT who are in arrest in France. The three wanted to demonstrate against the G20 Summit in Cannes but were detained during preventative searches on Nov. 1. The police arrested them for bullshit reasons, because of certain items they had in their car, all of which could be normally explained - ie. they had mountain climbing equipment because they are in a mountain climbing club and were travelling near the Alps. However, the police asked many political questions and developed their theories to consider the comrades suspicious. They are supposed to remain in arrest in Nice for four months and have a ban on entering the region for 3 years.
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Statement Around Incidents Related to November 11, Repression and Hysteria

First, we would like to thank the people who came to Warsaw, especially those who travelled from abroad to show solidarity with the goal of resisting the spread of far-right manifestations. Our goal is a common one: a world where such ideas finally hit the dustbin of history, where people unite to show their opposition to the far-right, nationalism, racism and fascistic ideologies.

We also express our condemnation for many incidents around the participation of these people in the blockade.

Read more!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Anti-fascist actions

On November 11, ZSP in Warsaw took part in the antifascist blockade of a right-wing march. As always, we showed our opposition to the ideology of nationalism and patriotism as well as fascism and spread our texts which were also anti-capitalist and internationalist.

Many incidents took place and there were some attacks made by aggressive nationalists. The nationalists however were not alone in their march, gathering a lot of support from the right, who united with them. The support of the nationalist march became stronger due to the opposition against the liberals who dominated the mobilization.  The liberal establishment seemed to enact their rage more even than the antifascists who have been fighting them for years.
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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Real Revolution Now: How the Outraged Met the Indignant and how the Liberals gave up Non-Violence

On Oct. 15, a protest was  held in Warsaw in answer to the call by the "indignant" to have protests all over Europe. The ZSP of course is happy when there are social protests here since the general mood of apathy and resignation is intolerable.

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Friday, 14 October 2011

Eviction Blockade

After picketing at Ford and Plaza Centers, we went to help block and eviction together with our colleagues from the tenants' movement. The bailiff wanted to evict an old and ill woman but people blocked the corridor in front of her flat. The bailiff called the police. One comrade said that we are all witnesses to what is happening and if anything would happen to the woman because of being displaced, the police and bailiff would be responsible for her murder.

The eviction is postponed but not called off. In the meanwhile, tenant activists are demanding the woman get adequate replacement housing.

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Solidarity with Visteon Workers from el Puerto de Santa Maria

ZSP took part in the international day of action in solidarity with the workers of Visteon Cadiz Electronica who are fighting against the closure of their factory. Our comrades from the CNT in the factory called for actions at Visteon / Ford so we visited the Ford Polska headquarters. We gave out leaflets informing about the situation; this followed some informational actions during the week which included postering and hanging info-exhibits on Ford dealerships around the city.

On the same day, workers from the factory held a rally in Jerez de la Frontera.
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Plaza Workers Still Waiting for Pay

Last week Plaza Centers wrote a press release in response to our campaign, claiming that it has paid all its subcontractors and that they have paid the workers. However, this isn't the case - they are just trying to do some PR. While some workers have seen payment, others are still with nothing. We returned back to Plaza Centers with a picket. Our comrades will be picketing under one of their shopping malls this weekend.
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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Solidarity with Visteon Workers against Closure of Factory

Around Warsaw,  posters have been hung on Ford dealerships, telling the story of the struggle of the workers at Visteon Cadiz Electronica to keep their jobs. The informational action proceeds the next international day of action against Visteon/Ford which will take place on Oct. 14. The CNT in Visteon are fighting against the closure of the factory and the redundancy plan.

The ZSP took part in the last day of action and also visited Ford headquarters a few more times. (Quite coincidentally, it is located two floors below Plaza Centers in the same building.) Members of ZSP also managed to show a solidarity banner to Jose Luis Zapatero on his recent visit to Warsaw.

More about the struggle at Visteon can be found on the page of the International Workers Association.

Read more!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tenants' Day

On Oct. 2 we took part in the annual Tenants' Day march. This year we marched in Praga, where there are many tenant problems happening within a few blocks of each other. Stopping at various buildings, people told about the problems they were having there, how they were fighting back and the attitude of the state towards their situation.

Some photos are below.

We saw buildings that were obtained in shady ways and are now in the hands of private landlords who raise the rent, harass tenants and eventually evict them. We also heard stories about how buildings where people can live have been condemned so that the city can speculate on the real estate if they are in the right location, but in the meanwhile, people whose floors are collapsing under them are forced to live in hazardous conditions. Neighbours stopped and listened to the stories, the Tenants' Defense Committee encouraging people to organize and fight back.
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Saturday, 1 October 2011

Boycott Election Actions Continue

Over the past few weeks, ZSP has been calling on people to boycott elections. At least twice a week there are leafleting actions, plus posters, stickers, flyers... On Oct.1 there was a small happening as well. While songs about politicians played, people could take part in various games such as knocking over politicians or throwing balls with the names of the parties into the dustbin of history. Many people took part, some coming up and just punching or kicking the faces of various politicians.

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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Stop Bandit Privatization!

Today a large group of local residents, members of the Tenants' Defense Committee and ZSP protested in the local council in defense of our neighbours from Targowa St. whose house has been privatized.

There is not much information about the basis of the privatization. Tenants were, in the style typical of the heartless and callous Warsaw bureaucracy, informed in the first days of August that as of August 1, they were no longer municipal tenants and their rents would be raised. The city still owns part of the building, but, as in other cases, it does not want to say which flats are owned by the private owners and which by the city. It is thus forcing all tenants to pay the private rent, although the city is not allowed to charge more than a much lower legal rate for rent. It refuses to explain whether it is keeping the difference or allowing the private owner to pay it at the lower rate. In either case, the tenants are screwed.
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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Six Months after Death of Jola, Tenants Protest against Legal System

September 1 marks six months since the murder of Jolanta Brzeska, tenant activist burned in the Kabaty forest. Six months later and her family still cannot bury her remains and organize the funeral they wanted, since the authorities refuse to release the body, even claiming that it is "unidentified".  Since months later and the property speculator and his band of thugs who tried to break into her apartment once and who threatened her have not even been brought in for questioning. This is how the legal system turns a blind eye to the situation and insensitively increases the pain that the murder victim's family is suffering.

People held a picket to remind the world of this situation and point out how the case is being handled. Even though it took the state a long time to do a DNA test and definitely identify the body of Jolanta Brzeska, it seems to not recognize that she is dead. Her social security is still being paid, as if she was living. Only the debt collector now takes this money each month to pay the real estate speculators who had raised her rent, harassed her and tried to drive her away from her home. Conveniently for the speculators, until the state recognize Jola as dead, they can now collect the money they say she owed them, something that she was fighting against when she was alive. And the bill is being paid by us all, since the money is coming from the public social security system.
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Friday, 19 August 2011

Soldarity with CNT in Visteon Cadiz

Today comrades in Warsaw and elsewhere took part in the International Day of Struggle against Ford-Visteon called for by the CNT in Spain and the IWA. The multinational is outsourcing work, creating a network of companies and doing all sorts of machinations to avoid tax liabilities and their responsibilities towards workers. Using front companies such as Visteon, Ford divides up and sends out work, opening factories, shutting them down, moving money around to hide their wealth and even to cheat the workers. 450 workers in Cadiz face the elimination of their workplaces due to corporate greed. The CNT union section in Visteon is fighting against the closure.
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Picket at the Sejm

On August 18th, tenants organizations picketed at the Polish parliament against the possible reintroduction of eviction without any rights to replacement housing. Currently, people can be evicted not to replacement (social) housing, but to temporary housing as well. This temporary housing has no legal definition, which means that families are being sent to overcrowded homeless shelters which meet no standards at all. The Constitutional Tribunal has condemned this as being a violation of rights and ordered the government to adopt an appropriate standard and definition of temporary housing by this fall. However, it has failed to do so and, the absurd consequence of this is that the politicians are interpreting the lack of any binding definition of temporary housing to mean that they have no obligations at all.

All the political parties, which are rushing through dozens of amendments before the upcoming elections, have decided to ignore this, since, in reality, they all want to avoid the obligation to find housing for evicted people and probably all find this a convenient way to do this.

ZSP is considering different actions in response to this matter. We have already declared that we could help people squat people, but probably an action at the Parliament is long overdue!
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Saturday, 13 August 2011

How to for Freeriders

Next week the prices increase on public transport in Warsaw. The local ZSP has started up the NIEKASUJ (don't validate your ticket) campaign, which the comrades in Wroclaw started some time ago in that city. Part of the protests now include street theatre showing different ways to act if you meet a ticket controller. The aim of this is to show creative ways of getting away without paying your fare or how other passengers can help people who are caught. We are starting to make videos and inviting other people to submit their own creations. Also we ask people to send us information through a form on the internet so we get ideas about which places are more controlled than others. (We already know that the poorer areas and places where foreign workers ride are the worst.) We are also working on the creation of insurance for fare dodgers.
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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Protests Continue Against Price Increases

Protests have been taking place continuously against price increases. Mostly we have been riding the trams, buses and metro and giving out leaflets, calling for direct action. Today we gathered at the Centrum metro station. There people told about the different methods of direct action and called on people to act in solidarity with those not paying their fare in order to discourage the work of the ticket controllers. People spoke about social protests in other countries, including protests against transport fare increases which recently took place in Portugal. There was also an interesting discussion about the history of recent social movements in Poland, how the leaders of movements like Solidarity came into power and sold out and what lessons we can learn about the nature of politics and political power.

A couple of days ago, boxes with more than 151,000 signatures demanding a referendum on the price increases and the privatization of a utility were delivered to the City Hall. But their lawyers are now claiming that citizens cannot change anything that has already been decided by the City Council - although nothing in the Act on Local Referenda would suggest this. It is clear that they will try everything possible to block this initiative because most people would vote against the increases. For us this just shows the limitations of trying to act through the system to change anything, so ZSP calls for more social opposition and direct action.

Besides calling for direct action in the transport, we also called on a boycott of elections and more participation in social protest and self-organization instead.

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Monday, 11 July 2011

In Defense of Free Speech and Tenants' Rights

Today the lawsuit against the Tenants' Defense Committee started. A couple of members of ZSP who are also in the Committee are being sued for making a film where tenants describe their problems with their landlady.

A small picket was held outside the court. The corridors were filled with tenants and journalists who filmed the people, who were all telling stories of their difficult and even desperate living situation. There was no place at all in the courtroom and the judge was a little consternated when a group of elderly women just decided to sit on the floor of the courtroom. The landlady was not present, but was represented by her lawyer, who had been involved in a very famous case related to slander on TV in the past. The TV stations were denied permission to film and some people wanted to speak out to the judge. After some minutes, things calmed down and the Committee, which was defending itself, submitted its arguments to the court, as well as evidence. The documents submitted were mostly related to what was said in the film. Among other things, the landlady claims that the tenant is not telling the truth, but most of what was said can be confirmed in one way or another.
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Actions in Mass Transport

On July 9, ZSP members started to make actions in Warsaw´s public transport against the raising of fares. Leaflets are being handed out calling for action, information is stuck in the transport. ZSP supports free and collectivized transportation as a goal but, besides from propagating such ideas, it would like to encourage people to mobilize against the fare increases in an active way. This includes  protests and different types of direct actions such as not paying, mutual insurance schemes against ticket controls and, for those who do have a ticket, the passing of tickets to other passengers. We have noticed that people have actually started to practice the last one a little more recently.

We do not agree with the fare increase which hits the working poor the most and will make Warsaw´s public transport more expensive than in many cities in Europe. Besides this, we will continue to point out the various labour problems which exist, especially for bus drivers who are often forced to work too much for miserable pay, impacting on their health and safety and the safety of the passengers as well. Read more!

OTTO Actions Bring Results

The OTTO campaign is still going on. In Wroclaw a couple of women were able to get their full salary by standing up to the company. They were contracted to work in the Wago Elwag factory, which produces electonic components. When they received their first pay check, they noticed it was short.  During a protest in Wroclaw, a manager from OTTO came to speak to ZSP and claimed this was because workers were only paid for production, however the contract was not for piece work, but a regular hourly wage. Confronted with the evidence and the ongoing campaign, they had to pay.

Again this shows that if you are being cheated, it is best to take direct action and fight back! It is also much better to organize yourself BEFORE you are cheated! We have been trying to speak to the rest of the workers in Wago Elwag about this situation. Read more!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lawsuit is the Latest Tactic of Attempted Intimidation in Struggle for Tenants' Rights

Some members of the ZSP from Warsaw are being sued for a film they made and put on the internet. Other members of the Tenants' Defense Committee are also being sued because the film was on their website. The video documents the problems of two families who have been having problems with their landlady, who wants to evict them, for years.

The video was intended to give tenants a voice in a system which is extremely one-sided, ignoring their rights and not even ensuring they are protected by the rights they have under the law.
Read more!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Protest against Price Increases

On July 1, near the stage of the city's gala concert to mark Poland's taking over the EU presidency, we held a protest against the price increases adopted by the city. The price of public transport is going up an average of 70%, day care almost 600%, water and sewage 30%. In addition, the city plans the privatization of the company that provides heat.

ZSP is campaigning against the increases and calls for direct action, including not paying transport fares and organizing alternative day care instead of paying the outrageous prices. ZSP also calls for transport to come under control of the workers and community. Signatures were  gathered at the protest for a referendum which would overturn these decisions and block the privatization.

In general the public was supportive and people stopped to talk, despite the terrible weather. More actions are planned over the next month, including actions in public transport.

Read more!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

On June 30, the mainstream union Solidarity held a large demonstration in Warsaw. Members of ZSP, plus guests from the IWW and WSA from the US, went to the demo to hand out leaflets and agitate for rank-and-file unionism and for a general strike.

We pointed out that while working people were rebelling in many parts of Europe, here the unions have moderated struggles and often avoid methods such as strikes. The whole idea of a general strike is avoided.
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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Campaign Against Price Increases

Last month the ZSP protested against price increases at the City Council. Despite hours of controversial debate, the neoliberal majority had already decided to do what they had done in many cities throughout Poland: raise the prices of different public services in a way that average working people would have to bear more costs.

The price raises are quite significant: public transport costs on average 70% higher (with some tickets raised even more), water and sewage 30% higher and, worst of all, the price of public nursery schools raised almost 600% for most people. It is true that the prices for the nursery schools will be lower for people earning minimum wage, but the highest rates are already imposed on anybody making just 60% of the average wage and will cost almost 300 euros a month (!!!) This is completely unaffordable and will hit working class mothers, especially single mothers the most. It is simply impossible for the average working mother to afford this price!
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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

OTTO Workforce sends thugs against activists; ZSP launches new picket campaign

There is still the situation of injured worker Maciej, who does not know if he will receive further sick pay due to the inappropriate actions of OTTO, and now some people working in Wroclaw were also cheated and not paid for all the hours they worked. Due to the continued revelations of problems with OTTO Workforce, including more incidents brought to light by Dutch investigative journalists, ZSP announced that it would picket OTTO every day starting June 20, for at least the next two weeks, and maybe longer.
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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Real Democracy Now

On June 19, an action entitled "Real Democracy Now", called by some Spanish students and local activists, was held in Warsaw. There were some open discussions on the Copernicus Sq. about the nature of democracy, problems in society, etc. etc. The local ZSP participated, along with some international comrades, from CNT-AIT, SP-AIT and KRAS. Since we had a slightly different idea about what "real democracy" means, we handed out leaflets (in different languages) explaining ideas of self-management and why we are against all forms of government. There were many discussions with passersby, although few took part in the action. Poland is still a long way from Spain or other countries were such mass public meetings have recently taken place.

ZSP called on people to be more active in public life and to take action against the anti-social decisions of the government. As an example, it mentioned the recent increases in the price of public transport, nursery schools and utilities such as water. This decision was highly unpopular among people, but there were no protest movements to stop it (ZSP and the tenants movement were literally the only ones to mobilize). Now there is a chance to overturn the decision by referendum. It is much harder to do, but still possible. It would have probably required less effort to protest beforehand than try to change it later. Nonetheless, we think this decision should be fought, not accepted - and all depends on if people mobilize. ZSP will be active in this campaign in the next two months.

We also stated that this year, as always, we will be boycotting the elections and we call on people to become more active in grassroots movements and try to build forms of self-organization. During the summer we will be moving around the neighbourhoods, again trying to make local assemblies. It is a long and difficult task but we hope that in the future such initiatives will inspire people's imagination and bear fruit.

Some photos from today's action are below. The text of the leaflet in Polish is here.

Read more!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Statement Regarding Police Action during May 28 Protest

ZSP strongly protests against the actions of the police during Saturday's demonstration on Trzech Krzyży Sq. In Warsaw and against them in general.

While many millions of people in Poland are condemned to poverty, the government spends our public money on protecting the elites and (unsuccessful) attempts to scare the people that do not agree with this system and decided to publicly show their opposition. On Saturday, there was an army of police on the streets, making life difficult for ordinary people by creating cordons and detours. The police scared off and threatened many people on the way to the demonstration that if they go, they would not be allowed to leave. Police armed with tear gas was mobilized against demonstrators, there were snipers and a new instrument of repression, the LRAD.
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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Day of Rage met with Police, Snipers, LRAD

On Saturday, May 28, ZSP organized a demonstration in Warsaw against anti-social policies. The demo was held during the Meeting of Presidents of Central Europe and the visit of Barak Obama to Poland.

Already on Friday we experienced problems with the police, who turned Warsaw into a fortress with closed streets and riot equipment everywhere. Despite this and despite attempts to redirect protests we were able to get to the side of the Presidential Palace. However, the next day they had decided that we could not march as planned and brought a few hundred police against a crowd of a similar size. (With even more police ready in nearby vans just in case.) People were able to observe snipers on nearby rooftops.
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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Barracks for Obama Action Takes Place Despite Police State

Yesterday half of downtown Warsaw was blocked off from vehicle and pedestrian traffic and the city looked like a police state because of the meeting of Central European presidents and the visit of Barrack Obama, The media had been speculating for days what would happen to a couple of demonstrations planned - two demonstrations planned in the framework of Days of Rage and the annual marihuana march. ZSP declared that we would not be illegalized and would turn up at the Presidential Palace as planned. Nota bene, the Presidential Palace was in the zero zone.

We did not manage to get right in front of the Palace for one reason: very few people were able to come at all. But about 50 people managed and we got within 50 meters of our goal, to the side of the Palace, on the main street - so we were able to great the motorcades and Obama.  (Some photos below.)

During the demo there were speeches about the anti-social policies of the government and against spending public money on creating a security state or militarism. The heavy presence of the police and closing half the city to its residents was also condemned.
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Friday, 27 May 2011

Protest at City Council against Raising Prices

On May 26, members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee protested the city's plans to raise prices for public transport, rent in municipal housing, water and sewage. The council was interrupted for a while by the protest until we agreed that we would like to hear the criticisms of the proposals from the opposition. We were invited to present four people to officially speak at the council, one on each topic. We also wanted to hear the opinion of Solidarity since there was a big functionary and one union rep also present. But they were not invited to speak and, although we protested, their written opinion was not read aloud in the session, meaning that we were the only people from society allowed to publicly express our opinion officially. (!) This is because they know that they will hear our opinion anyway - through the microphone on the podium, or through the bullhorn - they will not shut us up. They did try though; many city guards were brought in, expecting our protest and these were new people (as we suspect the city was not happy with the failure of the old ones to stop us). When we interrupted the session and were making speeches on the bullhorn, they tried to stop us, but we refused and managed to stay.
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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

You cannot ban our rage!

Rumors have been circulating in the press about the ban of the protest and action entitled „Barracks for Obama”, organized by the ZSP, to be followed by an anti-war demonstration. These are part of the demonstrations planned during the visit of Barack Obama and the presidents of other countries for the Meeting of Central European Presidents.
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Monday, 23 May 2011

Protest and Street Party in Front of Frontex HQ

On May 23 there was a protest and street party in front of the headquarters of Frontex in Warsaw. The action took place in the framework of the week of actions and events against borders. Activists gathered to protest the murderous policies of the agency that hunts migrants, leading to the increase of human tragedy.

Earlier in the day, friends and activists gathered on the spot where one year ago Maxwell Itoya was killed by a cop. Max was killed in a racist incident last year, also during the time of our international conference against Frontex. A description of the events can be found in the May 2010 archive of this blog.
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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Conference - Days against Borders

On May 21 members of ZSP Warsaw gave talks at a conference organized in the framework of the Days against Borders. The conference included discussions on the situation of foreign workers in the EU and Poland, the problems they encounter and organizing campaigns and on the relation of Libya to EU immigration politics and the current situation in North Africa.

Throughout the week there have been discussions, films and small actions against Frontex, the EU border agency which is located in Warsaw. A demonstration in front of their headquarters is planned for Monday.

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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Protest against the Amendment of the Act on the Protection of Tenants' Rights

April 29 there was a protest against the Amendment of the Act on the Protection of Tenants' Rights. The proposed amendments would allow the city to raise rents and lower protection for tenants. The protest started at the Ministry of Infrastructure and marched to the Parliament.
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Visit to the OTTO Office in Warsaw

On April 27, ZSP visited the OTTO Office in Warsaw to remind them of the case of Maciej, who has not been paid sick leave and was being jerked around by the company. We have been campaigning for the company to pay and they even promised to do so... only still no money yet. At the office we saw the manager for Central Europe, who just happened to be in Warsaw that day, so we went to talk to him and give him a red card for OTTO, just like OTTO gives red cards to workers who they want to fine.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Leaflet for Distribution in the UK and Poland

We have made a leaflet with some basic information about workers' rights in the UK and are distributing it to people who will start working there. We also distribute a leaflet by Solidarity Federation in Polish and encourage people to contact them. If you are in the UK and would like to print out a few copies, it may be downloaded here. The SolFed leaflet can also be downloaded from our portal here.
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Days of Social Rage

May 27-28, Warsaw, Poland

We are facing an attack on all fronts and our struggle must take on new strength. The arrogance of the state and the impunity with which they attack us is growing. It is a massive offensive against workers and the unemployed, tenants, students, patients, immigrants and those who find themselves in vulnerable positions or on the margins of society. Reforms that they have wanted to implement for years are awaiting us. The government has been testing the waters, seeing how far they can go with us and how much they can get away with. 
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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Send an Email to OTTO Workforce!

We ask people to send an email and using the email form here
OTTO Workforce Screws Injured Worker

The campaign to improve the treatment of people working for OTTO temporary agency continues. M. was working loading in Belgium where he got an industrial related injury (a hernia). While on leave in Poland, he was told by doctors that he needed to take sick leave but he was essentially dismissed (in temporary agencies this means the company says „we have no more work for you”). He is left with medical bills, has no insurance coverage in Poland and the company is giving him the run-around, refusing to deal with his case.

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