Friday 21 January 2011

Citizens Confront Local Government, Conflict Heats Up

Today a group of more than 60 people went to the local council of the Praga district in Warsaw to confront politicians and try to force politicians to resume the session of the local council, which is being run by a group appointed by the President after the chairwoman of the last session (in November) called a break and never resumed it. A council session was opened but soon turned into pandamonium.
Besides politicians and citizens calling that chairwoman a criminal, it also turned out that one councilman from the neoliberal party was the object of newspaper headlines today, claiming that he was charged with possessing child pornography and trying to have sexual relations with a teenaged boy. He admitted the latter but claimed that the pornography was a "set up" by members of the other party who wanted to get rid of him. Another group of people came in, demanding that this councilman resign. All hell broke loose, everybody was shouting and accusing each other. Amidst the confusion, the chairwoman, who the others had been trying to remove as chair, called another break and quickly ran away before anybody could stop her.

Some people started to get up, scream, make speeches. A shouting match broke out between citizens and politicians, with each side threatening each other. One politician was even threatening to get his neighbours from the mafia after some local activists, who also made their threats. In the end, the presidential appointees remain in charge of the neighbourhood, nobody knows when things will resume and all matters are suspended in the neighbourhood. Again, the ZSP reminds the politicians that they just annoy us and should not even exist. While different people came and demanded the resignation of concrete politicians or members of concrete parties, we say that none of them are necessary for us, and they only serve to annoy us and live off our tax money. As the people and politicians parted, people reminded the members of the council that they know where they live and that next time, they will see more resolute action.