Monday 15 February 2010

Tenants Take Over City Meeting

Members of the Tenants' Defense Committee and residents of three apartment blocks fighting with local politicians and a corrupt housing administration found out about a meeting of a committee which was to be dedicated to their case. The meeting was scheduled just before the council session in downtown Warsaw. So about 40 people showed up and demanded that the council deal with their problems immediately.  Fearing possible action by the tenants, the politicians changed the agenda of the council session and the situation of the tenants was discussed for hours.

Although the behaviour of the head of the housing administration and some politicians ranged from scandalous lies to pretending not to be able to do anything, others were sympathic. A member of Parliament came to argue on behalf of the tenants. A few concrete demands were met, but others not yet; tenants are waiting on some studies and decisions.

As a result of these protests, some politicians have called for the dismissal of both the head of the housing authority and the Mayor. A vote to recall the Mayor will be held at the next council session but it is not likely to pass. Still, a clear message was sent that people cannot be treated like trash by the administration.

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