Friday, 21 September 2012

For an Educational Strike

Members of ZSP Education union in Warsaw have started a campaign to agitate for strike action in the educational sector. Posters were hung in and around some institutions and schools and leaflets distributed promoting the idea. The action is in response to the tragic situation in the educational sector, at all levels.

Besides the increasing problems of the commercialization of education and worsening work conditions, including the precarization of some jobs or categories of workers, we are faced with the mass liquidation of primary and secondary schools: the government has announced now that the recent wave of hundreds of closures is just the beginning. Up to 4700 schools may be closed between now and 2014.

On September 20, members of ZSP visited the City Council in Warsaw to protest with teachers.about the scandalous behaviour of politicians towards their pay, concretely regarding the issue of "motivational bonuses".  The reason for this is that in July, without notice and in the summer when most teachers are on vacation, the city decided to recalculate the way motivational bonuses are paid, setting an average amount per teacher in the budget. Unfortunately, the unions agreed to this, meaning that the money allocated would be 25% less than the average had been in 2011.

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Solidarity with the Dominos Pizza Drivers (GTWA, ASF-IWA)

September 15 was an international day of action with Dominos pizza drivers from GTWA in Australia (affiliated to the AnarchoSyndicalist Federation). The drivers' had their salaries slashed by 19% and decided to fight back, demanding, among other things, reinstatement of their wages.
Although all the reports are not in, we know that various types of actions occurred in about 35 cities across the globe. The actions ranged from informational pickets to stickers, posters and banners being put on the restaurants.
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Sunday, 2 September 2012

In Defense of Public Libraries

Members of the ZSP Education union are distributing leaflets and trying to gather people in defense of public libraries. In particular, it is supporting the struggle of workers in two libraries in the Praga Polnoc district of Warsaw against liquidation. In one case, it is not clear that the workers will be paid in September, since their "budget ran out".

Already there was a meeting in the local council. Local residents who are in the Tenants Defense Committee, who were also present at the meeting, strongly supported the workers and calls to keep the libraries open.
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Monday, 6 August 2012

Police Use Force to Evict Activist

Early in the morning, police vans parked all around the building where E. lives. She has been struggling with her living place, where they did not recognize her right to tenancy because she divorced from the person who originally was living there. Despite the fact that she continued to live there alone for 22 years, paying rent, they notified her that they wanted to evict her. E. went on rent strike. In the fall, an attempt to evict her was blocked. In the meanwhile, she tried to get social housing from the city. She is a qualified, low-income person, but the city does not care about it. Despite the fact that eviction onto the street is against the constitution and she was offered no place to stay by the city, the authorities decided to use force to carry out this eviction.

About 50 police forcefully removed a group of about 40 blockers. Half of the people on the blockade were senior citizens, some of whom could not defend themselves against the police and most of the blockers were women. More police were waiting for action, including some anti-riot police. E. fainted during the police action and had to be taken to the hospital. She is OK now - at least physically.
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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Picket at Interkadra Employment Agency

On July 12 we held a picket in front of Interkadra employment agency. The immediate reason for the picket was that one of their offices are recruiting replacement staff for workers who were fired while on strike.

A group of 23 workers at the Chung Hong factory in Biskupice Podgórne were fired for trying to get better working conditions. The workers were trying to demand a 300 zloty (70 euro) raise to their meager salaries. The factory did not consider any raise, even after the outside negotiator from the union cut the wage demands during negotiations, to as low as 100 zloties. A union activist who was asking workers about a strike was fired and some other workers protested. After the weekend, they found themselves locked out and decided to strike. They were then fired for disciplinary reasons.
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Informational Action against Practices of RyanAir

The exploiter airline RyanAir is starting flights from (near) Warsaw next week. They are busy making promotions. Activists from ZSP learned that representatives of the company would be in the center of the city on July 11 and decided to quickly get there and hand out leaflets about working conditions in the company.

This action is partly a continuation of the informational campaign related to RyanAir Don't Care. However we have updated our leaflets to include new information about how RyanAir took over SpanAir's routes in Spain and wanted to hire pilots and other staff on much worse conditions. Our comrades in the CNT are suing RyanAir over this.

See also:
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Changes in this blog

The ZSP in Warsaw now has more than one union. Education workers and IT workers have decided to set up branch unions.

In the past, this blog was for ZSP Warsaw, a single organization, but now it isn't.

Also there was news about various activities ZSP members were involved with, like with the tenants movement and other social protests. You can read more about these now on a new blog:
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Action Against Local Government

Members of the Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP took part in an action yesterday against the local government. There is now a campaign to get rid of it and it seems that there is a lot of support.

(It should be mentioned that the board of the local council is not even democratically elected, but was appointed by the President of the city. And it is extremely anti-social in politics.)

The trickier question is what comes next. Both organizations have called for more popular control, public assemblies, etc. Of course, nothing really libertarian can function within the framework set up by the state, only outside of its realm. The grassroots movements have to be built up, which is an enormous task given the realities of society in Poland.

In the meanwhile, people would like to send a message that those who engage in anti-social actions cannot do so with impugnity.
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Friday, 8 June 2012

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Action against the Euro 2012

On June 8, the Euro Cup opened in Warsaw. The city was full of police, military police and football fans. ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee organized a protest against the politics of the Euro. The protest was at the main roundabout on the way to the stadium, so thousands of people passed by.  People spoke about the money spent on the Euro and the fact that UEFA (which was exempted from tax in Poland) and a few businesses would be big beneficiaries, but that the public has spent already almost 26 billion euros on the spectacle. At the same time that Poland is spending a lot of money on games, children will go hungry as the city privatizes school cafeterias, makes cut in social services and raises the price on everything.

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Monday, 4 June 2012

Actions worked to call off eviction

We are happy to note that the eviction of Iwona, planned for tomorrow early morning has been called off. This information came after ZSP, tenants and some other supporters picketed a restaurant owned by the same woman whose company owns the building which was privatized. Besides this action, there was a picket last Monday and plans for blocking the eviction. However, the bailiff has informed us that he will wait for the court to decide. There is already a decision for the eviction and the tenant even would agree to leave, provided the city provide her with appropriate social housing.

The bailiff is most likely acting on the instructions of the owner, so we understand that she is trying to avoid trouble. But we will take more action to remind her that it would be even better if she stopped speculating in real estate and left the tenants alone to live in their homes.
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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Action against Speculator/ Restaurateur

Members of ZSP protested at CK Oberza restaurant in Warsaw to protest against the action of the owner, who is involved in real estate speculation and the eviction of residents on Hoza St.

One family is due to be evicted in a couple of days and we will be on the blockade, opposing the displacement of the residents by gentrifiers.
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Friday, 1 June 2012

Court Case Continues in Defense of Free Speech and Tenants Dignity

Some members of ZSP who are part of the Tenants Defense Committee returned to court on May 16, fighting against a lawsuit resulting from the publication of a documentary video. The video interviewed tenants about their problems with their landlady, who claimed that we violated her good name.

The case is important because of very restricted freedom of speech in Poland and because tenants need to be able to tell about what is going on in their homes without fear of repression.
See also:
More on the current case can be found here.

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Demonstration in Memory of Maxwell Itoya

On May 27, a demonstration was held at the place that Maxwell Itoya was killed two years ago. Itoya, an immigrant citizen of Nigerian descent, was at the former Stadium market place when police arrested a man who was selling socks. He was thrown to the ground and handcuffed, screaming for help. When Max intervened, he was shot by a cop and bled to death. This happened on May 23, 2010.
Then, the ZSP held an emergency demonstration onto the police station. Other immigrants had been arrested during the incident. The widow of Itoya (a Polish woman, left with 3 children) and others demanded an investigation into the incident and punishment for the cop. The Prosecutor for Praga, Renata Mazur, just recently dropped the case, claiming their was a lack of clear evidence.

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Occupation of Square in Warsaw

On the last weekend of May, there was an occupation of a square in central Warsaw. Members of ZSP took part in the event, speaking with passerbys about various issues. The event was immediately harrassed by police which tried in various ways to get rid of the protest. Among the most disgusting ways is something that authorities in Krakow thought up to deal with a similar protest: to try to charge protestors money for using the territory! The action was legalized, but only for a few days, and after the legalization ran out, the police busted the occupation. This included seizing property, including personal property like people's wallets. The next day a picket in defense of freedom of assembly was held in the same place.

Below are a few photos.
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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Informational Action During Museum Night

On May 24, several museums in Warsaw went on strike, closing their doors to the public. ZSP in Warsaw has been in solidarity with museum workers.

On May 19, during the annual Museum Night event in Warsaw, members of ZSP held an informational action about budget cuts in cultural institutions, loss of jobs and repression of one worker who was involved in action to save his work place.

A few cultural institutions in Warsaw will probably be liquidated because of budget cuts, including the Technical Museum, the Warsaw Chamber Opera and the Praha Cinema. We are in solidarity with the workers of these institutions, who are fighting against their closure.
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Friday, 18 May 2012

Against Rising Water Prices and In Support of Parents' Struggle

Members of both ZSP and the Tenants' Defense Committee protested at the City Council on May 17. A group of parents were also present who successfully fought to overturn a huge increase in fees for nursery schools. The administrative court ruled against the City Council's decision... but then the City Council decided just to introduce a new rule about payment. This time, their idea was to charge parents an hourly rate for these schools and the effect is going to be just the same.
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Case Postponed Again

Some members of ZSP Warsaw who are members of the Tenants' Defense Committee are being sued for a video they made and posted on the internet where tenants describe their problems with their landlady and she is filmed in action. After months and months of delay, we were back in court on May 16. Nothing much happened and the case was postponed again until October.
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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Picket at Empik

On May 13, ZSP picketed at another Empik bookstore in Warsaw, kicking off a national campaign against the chain.  Contact with Empik workers started a couple of years ago when we received many denounciations against the firm from people around Poland during the "Worst Employer of the Year" contest. Every year, more and more employees wrote with the same complaints: unpaid overtime work, being forced to work while ill, having trash contracts, being forced to do heavy or dangerous work, lack of proper health and safety measures and mobbing. Now a few employees around Poland want to fight back and one is even suing the chain for unpaid overtime. And we offer our support to them and all workers who would like to organize.

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Case of Jerzy Madziarowicz-MIX reopened

In November 2011, a young worker, Karol M., suffered at accident at work on a construction site in Warsaw. He was employed illegally and did not have proper safety equipment, not even a helmet. He fell into a coma. The owner of the temporary work agency Jerzy Madziarowicz-MIX (also related to the property where the accident occurred) denied that Karol worked for him. The family, which was faced with the double horror of the accident and the financial consequences (since Karol was not insured), decided to fight, so that other workers would not be harmed by Madziarowicz and to get compensation for Karol.
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Action during Roche Corporate Meeting

On May 10, representatives of the Roche headquarters in Basel organized a meeting with Roche Polska workers in Warsaw. Since over 100 people attended, the meeting was held in a cinema in the shopping mall next to the Warsaw office. We were informed of the event so we organized an informational action.
First, leaflets were left in the cinema and posted around the shopping mall. Security was tight and it was difficult to stay in one place. Information about Roche practices were handed out also to people in the shopping mall and then posted in the neighbouring area between the mall and Roche offices.

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Legal victories through the anarchist optic

The following is a personal opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the view of everybody.

In recent weeks, I have been a little surprised by small rebellions and about-turns on the part of various authorities. In Poland we have become quite used to the fact that courts and controlling authorities usually take the side of those in power: bosses, landlords and city officials. But we have seen some small victories lately in legal matters.

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

May Day - The Struggle Continues

On May 1 anarchists and anarchosyndicalists held a May Day march in Warsaw. During the march we spoke about the worsening situation of the working class: the widespread use of trash contracts, raising the retirement age and the capitalist attack on all that workers' had gained in the past hundred years. We criticized the mainstream unions, which compromise with the bosses and refuse to call strikes, even when faced with the most drastic of situations.
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Against the Politics of the Euro

Over the past couple of years, more and more social and political organizations and grassroots initiatives in Warsaw have been fighting against the city's social spending policies. We have seen movements and protests against public housing policy, the closure of schools, the privatization of school cafeterias and huge fee increases in nursery schools. (The latter have been cancelled due a judgment in favor of parents who launched a legal challenge against that decision.) All of these initiatives share a common sentiment: that the city does not care about the basic social needs of most of its residents, who are working but poor and who cannot afford private hospitals, education and rents.
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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Not guilty!

Finally there is a verdict in the case against Jakub and Marek related to a demonstration from 14 months ago. Then the authorities tried to make a crap case against them, with various bullshit charges. Today the court decided that our friends are not guilty.  This means that the state treasury has to pay the cost of the court proceedings - another waste of our tax money just meant to try and scare people from protesting.

It didn't work.

The verdict went out on TV since the case had drawn a lot of attention. Everybody was really happy and afterwards there was a little celebration.

We refuse to let social protest be criminalized and are very happy that it didn't happen this time.
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Eviction Successfully Blocked

Members of ZSP, the Tenants Defense Committee, the Warsaw Tenants Association, Syrena squat and others blocked the eviction of a single mother today. It was another example of direct action in practice.

The house, like many in Warsaw, became privatized and the new owners raised the rents. In such situations, the city rarely gives help. The city's own statistics show that 97.5 percent of such tenants are not able to get replacement municipal housing.

In other cases, a tenant may be offered replacement housing, but it can be much worse - for example, too small, without a bathroom, heat, etc. In this particular case, the city did not offer a regular municipal flat, but so-called social housing, which the family would have a right to stay in only until 2013. Also the flat has only one room and it cannot even be divided in any way for privacy. The family asks for a normal replacement flat from the city.
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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wikipedia Censors ZSP

As it turns out, a bunch of right-wingers are active in censoring articles on Wikipedia in Poland. On the portal Center of Anarchist Information, we can read what the censors say about attempts to put up a page about the organization. Amongst the arguments the right-wingers use is that "nobody knows if it even exists and nobody ever wrote about them" and there is a lack of any sources about their activity!!! A few of the wikipedia editors have said there are "no sources" about ZSP's activity.

Of course this is not true and ZSP even appears quite often in the mainstream press. We have a few articles even reprinted on our home page: (not all of course... the mainstream press is not always a good source on information :-).

This just shows what organizations like ours face to deal with - constant harrassment from the right wing that ideologically dominate the country.

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Picket at Empik

On April 21, ZSP held a picket at an Empik store in Warsaw against working conditions in the chain and in support of workers who are organizing and beginning to take some actions. Empik is a huge chain of bookshops and for the last three years we have been in contact with workers from around the country. The initial contact was made through the Worst Employer of the Year contest. Every year we get dozens of complaints about them and last year they received 3rd place, for which they threatened to sue us. But that just caused more workers to send us evidence, with which we helped them to organize complaints and now some legal cases. Furthermore, we have heard that some employees have started to engage in various acts of sabotage as some sort of revenge.
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City's Show Crumbles to Pieces

On April 19 we went to see the President, Mayor, etc. at a public PR show where they gave keys to the first family which will move into new, "deluxe" public housing. The city, builds almost no public housing units, but when it does, it tries to make them look like luxury estates... and usually holds a competition for the families who can move in, not taking them on the order or the huge waiting list. The President and Mayor, etc. proudly took the journalists on a tour of the new building on Thursday. But on Friday night, a huge part of the facade just fell down. Local residents alerted the Tenants Defense Committee and we made the politicians and administration get over there on Saturday.  There was a look around the building and there will have to be an inspection.
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Solidarity with Antti

On April 20 we made a solidarity action against political repression in the form of the threatened deportation of Antti R.  (More info about the case: or We visited the Russian Embassy with a small picket, condemning political repression by the state. We also pointed out that the Russian state allows fascist murders to prowl the streets but go after political activists. We know that it is just a symbolic action, but we send our best wishes to Antti who is fighting his expulsion and we hope that other people will do the same.
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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Solidarity with the Workers of Huta Batory! Action at Alchemia Shareholders Meeting

On April 13, Alchemia company, which last week fired striking workers from Huta Batory ironworks in Chorzow, held an extraordinary shareholders meeting at its headquarters in Warsaw. ZSP went to protest the firing of the workers, the use of temp agencies to replace permanent jobs in the ironworks and Alchemia's plans to do this in other workplaces and to protest Alchemia's plans to liquidate the ironworks.
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Support for Antifascist Action in Bialystok

On the night of April 8-9, a band of fascists in Bialystok went on a spree of violence, attacking people in some clubs, screaming about killing gays and leftists. Some people were stabbed, one guy was beaten to death. Many of the attackers were related to the group Blood and Honor. In response to this, antifascists called for a mobilization on April 15. As there are not many in that city, they asked people from Warsaw to support.
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Protests against Roche

On April 19, Roche corporation held an international meeting in Warsaw to announce „restructuring plans” which will mean mass firings and outsourcing of about 200 IT jobs in Warsaw and Madrid.

Representatives of the corporation from different countries came to the Hilton Hotel conference center. One member of ZSP went into the conference hall with leaflets denouncing these actions and calling on workers to take mass action against the company. Some IT workers who would be affected were also present. Outside was a picket in a place right below the windows of the conference and, with excellent acustics, this was heard very well.

ZSP is advising the workers about to be fired about how to claim benefits that they were denied when they were falsely employed as „entrepeneurs”.

We thank the comrades of KRAS who on April 17 made a picket in Moscow at Roche. They report that there was a lot of interest and many workers took their leaflets.

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Protest against Housing Policy

Members of the Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP protested against city housing policy when the President of Warsaw came to the grand opening of new public housing units in the Praga neighbourhood. We confronted the President, the local mayor and other functionaries with the fact that while they are making PR for the city by showing that they built 70 apartments, at the same time the city public housing supply is being decimated by privatization and lack of repair, making existing housing unfit for living.

The city is widely known for giving generous bonuses to politicians, especially from the ruling party. The Mayor and ViceMayor, not elected by the people but appointed by the President, are at the top of the list in terms of bonuses. They were very happy to see us

(we even had a sign in English, in case any foreigners were interested in what we were protesting about)

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Friday, 6 April 2012

Solidarity with the Workers from Huta Batory!

Today we went to the offices of Alchemia to confront the management of that firm who were threatening to close down the Huta Batory ironworks in Chorzow because the workers went on strike.  We found that the office was closed for the day: not sure if they were scared of us or all meeting to decide to shut down the ironworks. Which they announced later in the day. So we will be back. Below is the story of a wildcat strike and what capitalist greed can lead to.

If you are pissed after reading this, send a nasty email to the company!

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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Continued Protests against Privatization of Cafeterias and Political Manipulation

Members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee visited the local council meeting today in the Central District of Warsaw to protest against plans to privatize some school cafeterias there, which would lead, among other things, to the firing of 186 cooks. What we encountered would be beyond belief – if only we weren't already convinced that the political process is completely rigged in this city and the democratic process is completely ignored by the ruling neoliberal party.
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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Demonstration against Privatization of School Cafeterias

Today we demonstrated against the privatization of  school cafeterias in Warsaw. Both parents and cooks participated in the demo. The cooks talked about how the catering companies offer jobs on trash contracts and in the areas where the jobs are done by outside service providers, there is an extremely high turnover. They suppose that the workers are used a short time on temp contracts and changed. One cook complained that she has been working over 30 years and now is at risk of losing her job. She is over 50 and noted that it is very hard for women like her to find other work. Parents complained on the other hand about increased costs and the increased likelihood that the private companies would try to save a lot of money by serving smaller portions, serving leftovers or using worse ingredients in the food.
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Saturday, 31 March 2012

March on March 31 - Capitalism is Cannibalism!

On March 31, we marched in Warsaw against various anti-social nightmares created by the capitalist disease. Despite the mixture of rain, hail and snow throughout the day, and despite rumours in the papers that we'd start a riot and occupy key government offices, which scared away some of the people, a few hundred people marched through the city, stopping at various locations to talk about problems such as eviction, reprivatization of buildings, militarism, the high cost of education, poor working conditions, anti-union repression, corruption in the government and the role of the police, etc. etc. etc.
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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Protest against Corruption and Closing of Cinema

On March 24, members of the ZSP and Tenants' Defense Committee took part in a protest against the planned closure of Kino Praha, the only movie theatre in the Praga district of Warsaw. This protest was much more a condemnation of political corruption and speculation than a defense of culture, with the vast majority of banners brought explicitly political in nature.

There is a long story behind the politics of the issue. The cinema is owned by Max-Film, which is a company owned entirely by the Mazovian Voievodship and controlled by the powerful Marshall of the Voievodship and a few friends of the President of Warsaw. The company is infamous for having destroyed many valuable cinemas in Warsaw, some of them irreplaceable cultural institutions, usually to sell to real estate developers with whom the politicians are thought to have business interests. It runs cinemas outside Warsaw as well and is currently trying to auction off cinemas in three cities where there aren't many other cultural offerings.
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Demonstration in Defense of Elba

On March 23 there was a demo in Warsaw in defense of the squat Elba, which is threatened with eviction. Many people marched in defense of the center, which has existed a few years and is the oldest squat in the city.

Members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee came and criticized the policies of the city and government. Speaking at the demo, one of the members of ZSP reminded the people at the demo, most of which are usually involved in cultural but not political activities, that squatting and creating alternative cultural places are good but not enough; we need to be fighting more strongly against the logic of capitalism and the city authorities which treat the city like a source of cash, stripping its public assets, gentrifying and making a war against those without big money and attacking independent social movements. Members of another tenants group, WSL, also reminded people that evictions are happening all around us, not only to the squat.

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Fighting against the Government's Anti-social Policies

Activists from the ZSP and the Tenants' Defence Committee strongly condemned the policies of the government and the city of Warsaw during a press conference dedicated to the increasing number of evictions to be expected in light of the upcoming end of the protection period on March 31.

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Against the Privatization of School Cafeterias and Dismissals of Workers

On March 20 we went to a session of the local council to protest plans to privatize more school cafeterias in Warsaw. The city wants to privatize cafeterias in 66 schools this year, firing 190 kitchen staff. The kitchens would then be run by private companies who would employ people on much worse conditions.

ZSP and ZSP education workers oppose these plans and is organizing amongst the kitchen staff and parents. Besides the problems of the casualization of the kitchen work, we see that the privatization of the cafeterias lead to higher prices and aggravate already existing class differences. Last year, when 33 cafeterias were privatized in Warsaw, the cost of meals rose by at least 30%, making them unaffordable for some parents. The present average cost of meals makes the price of 20 meals equal to about 10% of the minimum wage.

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Protest at Russian Embassy

On March 16 ZSP was planning to hold a demonstration at the Russian Embassy in support of Russian antifascists. Unfortunately earlier that day, police raided a squat in Warsaw, using tear gas, bringing water cannons and the LRAD. Since most comrades were there, we could not hold the demo as planned, but since some comrades showed up, we picketed anyway. We complained about the actions of nationalist, racist and fascist groups in Russia and the actions of the government, both in sometimes supporting this and in attempting to criminalize antifascists.

Solidarity is sent from those who couldn't come but still support the struggle against fascism.
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Support for the Ryanair Don't Care Campaign

March 12-18 was the International Week of Support for the Ryanair Don't Care campaign. ZSP published an article on the internet, postered and handed out leaflets about the situation of workers in Ryanair and about the campaign. Informational actions took place in Warsaw and Poznan on March 14-15.

On the photo is an action at Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw.

Since we handed out leaflets in airports and trains, we had leaflets in different languages. An English-language leaflet can be downloaded here.
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Picket at Roche Polska

On March 5, ZSP organized a picket in front of the headquarters of Roche Polska to demand the reinstatement of our comrade Jakub and to denounce the continued use of falsely self-employed and outsourced workers to deny workers employment contracts and various benefits.
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Friday, 2 March 2012

Squat raided, comrades arrested

Nine people, including a few members of ZSP were arrested March 1 when the police raided a squat. The property was one of many city-owned buildings which are left to rot by the city administrators who are helping the gentrifiers. During the winter, irreparable damage often occurs in uninhabited buildings, which are sometimes deliberately left with water so the pipes can freeze and burst, or which have the windows removed, so that damage is caused by the snow. The 9 people, who had nowhere to live, cannot afford the rents in this city and have no hope of receiving munucipal housing (since the city doesn't give much of it, there are huge lines of people who need it, but the city is busy destroying what they have or privatizing it). So they took matters into their own hands and squatted.
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Jola was Murdered one Year Ago

Housing activist Jolanta Brzeska was murdered one year ago, burned alive in the Kabacki Forest. She had been fighting against the landlords, notorious slumlords Mossakowski and Massalski and was the only old tenant left in the building. She was abducted from her apartment and murdered violently. The police have still got "no suspects" and the landlords were never even questioned.

We protested to say that we will not forget this and remind the public that the city is also responsible for providing no solution or help for people in this situation.

To make matters worse, the slumlords had put huge rent on Jola's flat,which she was also fighting against. Now this debt was passed onto her daughter, who is also fighting in court against these bloodsuckers. These people, with no scruples or human decency, apparently do not give a fuck that one member of the family is already dead and that the other cannot possibly pay this debt, the result of these people's insatiable greed and desire to squeeze everything out of people with their real estate speculation.
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Protest of Polfa workers against Privatization

On March 1, about 500 workers of Polfa decided to protest and block the streets near the headquarters of Polfa. The protest related to the privatization of the pharmaceutical company. The 1200 workers of Polfa were promised a guaranteed social packet but it is clear that the State Treasury and Polfa are not interested in obliging the buyer. The workers say that if they are not given guarantees, they do not agree to the privatization.

We visited the protest with leaflets and hope that the workers will not cave in or agree to crap deals made by their representatives or the state.
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Protest against Repression and Eviction

On March 1 we held a protest in front of the court connected to the harrassment of our friends from the Tenants Defense Committee by the local authorities. Following many protests by the tenants, the authorities decided to condemn the flat of some of the most active people - not the whole building, but just the flat. After some manipulations with proposed replacement housing, the city decided to start eviction proceedings against the family of 4 - despite the fact that they never were late in paying their rent and invested a lot of money to repair the flat and make it liveable, while the city totally neglected their responsibilities as landlords. It is clear that this attempted eviction is intentional, all the more so since one of the politicians made threats against our friend.

To make matters worse, the city's lawyer asked the judge to hold the case in secret, not allowing any witnesses from the public. We decided that we would protest and not tolerate this type of abuse. Then, one hour before the case was to begin, at 9AM, there was a phone call from the court that the case was postponed. So we see what they are trying to do. Since we were informed to late to notify most people, we went anyway and held the protest in front of the court. We found that most employees of the court knew about this case and when we started the protest, all the windows opened and people stopped working to listen. Other people who were coming to the court offered their support and best wishes that we won't let the bastards wear us down. And we won't!
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Unions Stage Farce Protest against Pension Reforms

In general, we do not support the way the mainstream unions are organized or how they negotiate away workers' rights to the government. Recently, unions announced that "they would fight" against government plans to raise the retirement age to 67.

Here we have somewhat of a common cause, so we went to the protest at the Parliament while the government was discussing it and an alternative proposal, a "civil draft bill" submitted by one of the mainstream unions which would allow people to retire after 35 or 40 years of work.

Quite unfortunately, we found that the mainstream unions are still in their usual modus operandi. Instead of holding strikes or mass protests of rank and file workers, the 3 main union centrals in Poland - with a combined membership of well over 2 million people - mobilized their professional trade union reps and functionaries for a 300 person demo. This means that the strongest union organizations in the country put fewer people in the street than we will on March 31 and May 1, against one of the most important changes for workers. We can only guess the reasons for this, but one thing is clear: this is not a real fight.
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Against Labor Reform in Spain

On March 1, together with some Spanish students and expats, we protested against the labor reforms in Spain at the Spanish Embassy.

Below is a press release we sent about the action and the protest letter sent by the Spanish to the Ambassador.We also referred to a similar action held in Wroclaw the day before, but focusing on the police violence against students in Valencia.


General Strike against the Labor Reform!

The ZSP-IWA supports the struggle agains the labor reform and condemns police brutality

On February 29 and March 1 there will be two actions in Poland related to the situation in Spain. On February 29 we will protest in Wroclaw against police brutality towards student protests in Valencia, against the cuts in education and the attack against workers in Spain. On March 1, we are protesting together with students and other Spanish people against the labor reform in front of the Spanish Embassy.

The ZSP considers the labor reforms in Spain to be part of a global attack against the rights and material conditions of the working class and that only a determined, international struggle can stop the bloodsuckers who are exploiting us. Some symbolic protests are not enough. We have to organize ourselves in militant unions, with no interest in maintaining the system, without compromise.

We support the stance of our comrades from the CNT-AIT who are mobilizing around Spain against the labor reform, towards an indefinite general strike.

Not one step back!
Solidarity with those who are fighting!
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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Solidarity with Repressed Unionist at Hotel Sobieski (Radisson)

On February 28 we went to a picket at the Hotel Sobieski in Warsaw (part of the Radisson chain) in defense of a repressed unionist. Malgorzata, who had worked for 19 years in the hotel, was dismissed last year on a bullshit pretext after being harrassed by anti-union hotel management. First, she found herself demoted: the management liquidated her job and offered her a job as a dishwasher. To be reassigned this job, she needed a health certificate, but when she didn't get it, she was summarily dismissed for disciplinary reasons.

Malgorzata was the union rep in the hotel. The new management had just before that started a campaign of harrassing unionists. The new management had a hostile attitude towards the union. Also, they wanted to avoid some provisions of the collective agreement which would have given workers like Malgorzata, who had worked for the hotel since it opened, a bonus upon completing 20 years of service.

More pickets are planned at the hotel and possibly internationally.
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Demonstration Against School Closures

On Monday we demonstrated again against the closure of schools. The demonstration went from the City Hall to the Presidential Palace with a few hundred people - mostly parents and teachers. The ZSP has been supporting and trying to coordinate protests around this topic. Some people from the ZNP - one of the teachers' unions, also took part, as did the Education Agreement, which is a coalition of students, teachers and parents from a couple of the effected schools.

People called for an end to the closures and the defense of free public education.

A similar demonstration was held at the same time in Gdansk.
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Sunday, 26 February 2012

We are all Greeks

On February 26 we took part in a solidarity action called "We are all Greeks". It was called by local Greeks and a society of friendship and was meant to be a show of solidarity. People commented that they were fighting against stereotypes and the main line of thinking in the Polish press that claims that Greece is in trouble because it doesn't accept hardline austerity measures (like in Poland). We handed out leaflets about the crisis in Greece, more or less the same as this one and marched to the Greek embassy. We were not so comfortable with the fact that most of the Polish people thought that the best way to demonstrate solidarity was to bring Greek flags, but speaking to people we found that they were all angry about what was going on in Greece. We stressed that there is a deeper problem which is capitalism and invited those interested to other events which we will organize in the upcoming months.
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Artists Kill Brzeska a Second Time - Activists Fights Back!

On February 25 was the premiere of a play, "Who Killed Alona Iwanowna?", which was advertised as being based on Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and primarily an allusion to the murder of our colleague, housing activist Jolanta Brzeska. We were invited to a special pre-premiere showing for a small select audience on the 24th.
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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Open Assembly against Liquidation of Schools and other Budget Cuts

On February 18 residents of Praga and other interested activists gathered to discuss a strategy of mobilization against the liquidation of schools. The government has plans to liquidate around 800 schools all over Poland. In Warsaw the city first announced plans to close 18 schools, but we see that, without enough resistance, they are expanding these plans and that as many as 30-40 schools may be closed. The discussion involved what people could do to organize themselves against these and other anti-social policies.
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How One School Avoided Closure.. for now (the struggle continues)

We have already written about how some schools which were being closed in North and South Praga districts organized some protests. We went together with pupils, parents and teachers to confront the mayor of the neighbourhood and later we also were at the session of the local council.
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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Farse of "Social Consultations"; Comrade Tells off PM during Pseudo-Debate

Once again, the government tries to undermine social protests by pretending to "consult" with people after the fact. After signing agreements on ACTA, protests are still being organized throughout Poland. The Prime Minister, sensing that his popularity might fall, decided to organize some bullshit discussions and invited some organizations to a "debate" on it, after giving some misleading information to the press that Poland might not ratify it after all.
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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Solidarity with Library Workers! For the Reinstatement of Dismissed CNT Activists to the National Library in Madrid!

On February 3-4, ZSP Warsaw is holding informational actions in solidarity with library workers struggling against budget cuts and other measures which negatively affect both their working conditions and the quality of the libraries.
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City Council Liquidates Schools Despite Protests

When people found out that the city council was going to try and push through a vote on the liquidation of 18 public schools in Warsaw, protests were quickly organized in Warsaw, despite the -20 degree temperatures. On January 31, five protests were held in different parts of Warsaw and extraordinary sessions of two local councils were held. There, politicians from the ruling party tried using Orwellian language to get rid of the parents, teachers, pupils and neighbours protesting. ZSP and DZS (the Democratic Student Association) called on people to disturb and protest at the City Council.
(Photos below)
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