Sunday 20 December 2009

Strange Method in JWC Campaign

The campaign with immigrant workers from JWC Construction is on hold since there is nobody working there right now. It seems that a couple of years ago they started the groundwork for 4 construction sites which were all completed this summer. Then the crisis hit and not only did people have less money, but also banks didn't want to lend large amounts for mortgages. The result: a lot of flats that haven't been sold yet. During the winter, there is a break with construction and nobody is working with them. It is unclear whether they will start new construction in the spring. The campaign concentrated on that company naturally depends on that.

The campaign started as a result of a strike of Chinese workers in Warsaw over the summer. ZSP helped out in this case. The main idea was to encourage organizing and provide support if needed to the immigrant workers should something go wrong on these construction sites. Most foreign workers in similar situations have trouble knowing what their rights are in Poland and trouble fighting if, for example, they are not paid. Not getting paid is an endemic problem on construction sites. Read more!

Friday 18 December 2009

Attempt to Block City Budget

An attempt to block voting on the City Budget until the city agreed to reassign 100 million zloties to pay for repairs to public housing, which was promised last year, failed. Security was too tight and there were too few people. A couple of members of ZSP and KOL made the awful mistake of chasing after one politician who was avoiding us and wound up in a different wing of the building were we were prevented from leaving and returning to the council. Only a couple of people were left in the council and, although the process was heckled and disturbed, it could not be blocked.
Read more!

Thursday 17 December 2009

New Blogs

ZSP have two IWA oriented blogs: (English) and (Polish). We try in future to make proper page to collect actual informations in different languages as source on information about IWA groups. Also we try to continue translations of most important things. Currently we have no possibility to do translations of everything we like, but at least we can have good information source. Read more!

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Tenant's Bonfires

Tenants are organizing bonfires in the city. These are events when people come out to network. It is done with two aims: to get people networked into the tenants' movement and to draw attention  to the fact that many people have no heat in the winter.

Today's bonfire also became the first public confrontation of residents from Praga with gentrification. When I write "public confrontation" I mean by that a confrontation in which almost 100 residents were protesting and giving public expression to the problem. Plenty of small private incidents have occurred with residents and yuppies, but this was the first time people said out loud that there is a problem that the city financially supports the projects of artists as part of its plans to change the neighbourhood but at the same time doesn't help and even tries to drive out not rich local residents.

The stimulus for this was the planned "unveiling" of an overpriced rubber statue of a deceased neighbourhood drunk across the street from the vacant lot where the bonfire was held. Some artists and politicians showed up but quickly ran away. Neighbourhood residents made this "unveiling" themselves and vented about the social priorities of the city.

An article about this protest and links to photos are here: Read more!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Antifascist demonstration

13 December members of ZSP Warsaw went to antitotalitarian demonstration in Lodz. This is anniversary of the martial law in Poland and fascists hold anticommunist demonstration. Some antifascists from Lodz organized antitotalitarian demonstration but we perceived the very strong anticommunist tones to include not only state communists, but idea in general. One boy from ZSP wrote the critics and it proved true, some people have the liberal ideas and anticommunism. Not all, but this tendency is.

The group from Warsaw went to Lodz with anticapitalist banner, which even made small group of liberals leave march. But it made discussion from people on the street. Also there were antifascist leaflets for public. ZSP stands against the creeping fascism in society. Read more!

Thursday 10 December 2009

Tenants Protest at the Sejm

December 9, the Tenants' Defense Committee and other tenants' organizations took part in a demonstration in front of the Polish parliament, the Sejm. The main theme of the demo was to protest against the law on tenants, which protects property owners more than tenants, and which allows for wild reprivatization of property and discrimination of tenants from reprivatized houses. The tenants say that the law has got to go and burned it and other unfavourable decisions of the local and national government in protest.

The protest was held on the eve of a court case being brought by a tenant which challenges the constitutionality of the law, in particular pointing to the fact that if the city sells a building, it must provide substitute housing to the tenants of the sold buildings, but has no such obligations towards tenants from houses that are reprivatized.

Read more!

ZSP becomes part of IWA

At Congress in Porto Alegre in first week of December, ZSP became newest member of International Workers' Association.

In Polish, IWA abbreviation is MSP. Read more!