Thursday 10 March 2011

Half Victory for the Right to Demonstrate - Police still Abuse Power

Last May, Maxwell Itoya was killed by a cop in Warsaw. (See May 2010 archives.) ZSP members were at the scene and organized a demonstration the next day. The demonstration, which gathered at the place of the murder, marched onto the police station where police were still holding people arrested during the police riot in which Maxwell was killed.

The demo marched a few kilometers on a main street and got to its destination without any interference whatsoever by the police. However the police are shits and when most people had already left, they tried to pick off individuals to ID. They did not target us, although they know us well.

This is a typical police tactic, to try and intimidate new people in an attempt to make them afraid of such actions. They did not want to charge us with organizing an illegal demonstration but wanted to charge some participants with "disturbing the peace".

We protested against this shit behaviour, stressing that it was the racist raids and action of the police and the murder which was the problem, which nothing has been done about, not our screams of protest. Suprisingly, the main newspaper and the Helsinki Foundation supported the right to demonstrate and condemned the behaviour of the police. On March 9 we learned that the police finally decided to drop most (but not all) the cases against the demonstrators. They decided to charge 6 people with... using vulgar words in public. They are also looking for a 7th person who they claimed used foul language.

Mainstream media on case:,news,unikna-kary-bo-to-bylo-quot-spontaniczne-zgromadzenie-quot-,128762.html,95190,9216706,Policja_nie_ukarze_za_manifestacje__Tylko_za_przeklenstwa.html