Tuesday 26 October 2010

Another Victory for Tenants

Following the occupation of City Hall, bureaucrats met with us and tenants, this time in much more serious fashion, sending all the main people in the adminstration. They were shaken by promises that we would be visiting them too.

One concession the city finally gave was to decide to finally publish a list of houses which have reprivatization claims started in court - this is about 10,000 buildings in Warsaw. This decision came after one of the lists - which the city claimed didn't exist - made its way out of City Hall and into our hands. Members of ZSP delivered this information to all the buildings on the list and have been busy handling people's questions since then. We suppose the city finally realized that its better to publish this themselves - despite the fact that they really don't want to - than to have their documents taken and delivered with a message from us that this is what the city is not telling you. Read more!

Monday 25 October 2010

City Hall Occupation of President's Office

Today we decided to visit the President of Warsaw in City Hall. People announced they were there to see her and took over the meeting room. A ZSP banner was hung on the balcony of the office overlooking the square and as soon as we decided to speak from the bullhorn from the office, Vice President Jakubiak showed up. As we have much outstanding business with him and matters to discuss, we sat down to a meeting. The Tenants' Defense Committee presented 20 postulates which they would like to be implemented and demanded that he answer each one. The meeting was filmed and went out on the radio. 
Read more!

Friday 22 October 2010

Tenants Protest, Strike Actions Continue

Today tenants blocked rush hour traffic and demonstrated against city housing policy, calling for the dismissal of the entire adminstration and condemning the role of all authorities in supporting the system of exploitation and speculation. 

With slogans such as "evict the administrators before they evict you", "trust the authorities and you will wind up homeless" or "communal housing in the hands of the tenants", the demonstration made its way around the center of the Praga district, which is highly effected by reprivatization, rent increases and gentrification. Some undercover cops made their way into the demonstration and tried to arrest one member of ZSP but people blocked the police car and he was unarrested. Then they tried to arrest another, but again unsucessfully. The demo lasted a couple of hours, speeches were made and people invited to join the struggle. Hundreds of leaflets and copies of our newspaper, Zaplata, were handed out.
Read more!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Warsaw / Kiev: Pickets for abolition for so-called "illegal" immigrants

On Oct. 22 there will be a picket in front of the Sejm in Warsaw organized by immigrants concerning abolition for people in Poland without legal status. On the same day, our comrades from Priama Dija will organize a picket at the Polish Embassy in Kiev.

Statement of ZSP on abolition for immigrants without regulated status in Poland 

ZSP demands immediate abolition for all people called "illegal" on the territory of the so-called "Republic of Poland" without the permission of the state.
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Sunday 17 October 2010

Thousands of Buildings Now Public Housing May be Privatized

From Oct. 15-17, members of ZSP Warsaw delivered notices to over 1000 buildings in Warsaw informing the tenants that their buildings, now public housing, may be privatized. Currently there are claims for close to 10,000 buildings in the city - tens of thousands of people living in public housing may be effected and soon face drastic rent increases or eviction.

The information on which buildings in the center of Warsaw already have cases in court concerning their reprivatization came from a classified document which we received. See the press release below.
Read more!

Tenants Open Assemblies

In connection with the Warsaw rent strike and in response to the city's fake social consultations, ZSP, together with the Tenants' Defense Committee. has been holding open assemblies of tenants. The aim of the assemblies is to build the protest movement and encourage activity and self-organization in the various neighbourhoods of Warsaw. At the first meeting the idea for some protests were  generated which will take place this week. In the meanwhile, people are trying to gather more support in the neighbourhoods to organize themselves and take action. Read more!

Monday 4 October 2010

Demonstration and Action Against So-Called "Consultation"


Today tenant activists protested in front of a court in Warsaw against the legal farce that many people encounter there. Many tenants wind up in court fighting for the right to live in their homes after unfairly losing legal title or fighting against eviction. In the most dramatic of cases, they sometimes even have to fight for the right to their children because the state can take them away if their housing is substandard.

After some time, the crowd went to the so-called "social consultation" that the city tried to organize to avoid speaking to tenant organizations. The city organized the meeting on the same day the protest was called, quietly announced it and required people to register, giving them only two days to do so. Activists delivered a couple of hundred registration forms, dashing the hopes of the bureaucrats to hold this "consultation" without the activists.

Read more!

Saturday 2 October 2010

Demonstration: Public Housing in the Hands of the People!

ZSP held the first of a series of demonstrations since the calling for a rent strike in Warsaw. It was a local demonstration around the Praga neighbourhood which stopped in front of different buildings which experienced problems and where tenants organized and are fighting back. Among the problems are reprivatization, dangerous physical state of the building and problems with landlords. Some people from those buildings spoke out to the demonstration and people on the street. We also stopped in front of abandoned buildings, condemned buildings and buildings for sale.
Read more!

Friday 1 October 2010

ZSP to Start Series of Direct Actions

Hundreds of people packed into the City Council today to participate in the extraordinary session forced by tenants. There was not enough room in the main hall so people packed into two halls outside and watched the session on big screens. People were hoping that a resolution proposed by the tenants would be passed, even though it was clear from the beginning that the ruling party was strongly against.

There was a presentation on the effects of certain aspects of the city's housing policy which was quite shocking and caused great debate. Vice-President Jakubiak, whose office was occupied and tenants tried to recall last year, responded to the presentation and was treated with intense heckling and shouting from the audience. The session lasted until 22:30, when councilpeople, trying to cut the whole thing short, got to the voting. It was clear from the beginning of the session that the politicians would not vote on the resolution since the city sent their lawyer to give a negative legal opinion on it. In the end, the council voted that the President of the City should call a group of "experts" to consult with her on the housing issue.
Read more!