Sunday 29 May 2011

Day of Rage met with Police, Snipers, LRAD

On Saturday, May 28, ZSP organized a demonstration in Warsaw against anti-social policies. The demo was held during the Meeting of Presidents of Central Europe and the visit of Barak Obama to Poland.

Already on Friday we experienced problems with the police, who turned Warsaw into a fortress with closed streets and riot equipment everywhere. Despite this and despite attempts to redirect protests we were able to get to the side of the Presidential Palace. However, the next day they had decided that we could not march as planned and brought a few hundred police against a crowd of a similar size. (With even more police ready in nearby vans just in case.) People were able to observe snipers on nearby rooftops.
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Saturday 28 May 2011

Barracks for Obama Action Takes Place Despite Police State

Yesterday half of downtown Warsaw was blocked off from vehicle and pedestrian traffic and the city looked like a police state because of the meeting of Central European presidents and the visit of Barrack Obama, The media had been speculating for days what would happen to a couple of demonstrations planned - two demonstrations planned in the framework of Days of Rage and the annual marihuana march. ZSP declared that we would not be illegalized and would turn up at the Presidential Palace as planned. Nota bene, the Presidential Palace was in the zero zone.

We did not manage to get right in front of the Palace for one reason: very few people were able to come at all. But about 50 people managed and we got within 50 meters of our goal, to the side of the Palace, on the main street - so we were able to great the motorcades and Obama.  (Some photos below.)

During the demo there were speeches about the anti-social policies of the government and against spending public money on creating a security state or militarism. The heavy presence of the police and closing half the city to its residents was also condemned.
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Friday 27 May 2011

Protest at City Council against Raising Prices

On May 26, members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee protested the city's plans to raise prices for public transport, rent in municipal housing, water and sewage. The council was interrupted for a while by the protest until we agreed that we would like to hear the criticisms of the proposals from the opposition. We were invited to present four people to officially speak at the council, one on each topic. We also wanted to hear the opinion of Solidarity since there was a big functionary and one union rep also present. But they were not invited to speak and, although we protested, their written opinion was not read aloud in the session, meaning that we were the only people from society allowed to publicly express our opinion officially. (!) This is because they know that they will hear our opinion anyway - through the microphone on the podium, or through the bullhorn - they will not shut us up. They did try though; many city guards were brought in, expecting our protest and these were new people (as we suspect the city was not happy with the failure of the old ones to stop us). When we interrupted the session and were making speeches on the bullhorn, they tried to stop us, but we refused and managed to stay.
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Tuesday 24 May 2011

You cannot ban our rage!

Rumors have been circulating in the press about the ban of the protest and action entitled „Barracks for Obama”, organized by the ZSP, to be followed by an anti-war demonstration. These are part of the demonstrations planned during the visit of Barack Obama and the presidents of other countries for the Meeting of Central European Presidents.
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Monday 23 May 2011

Protest and Street Party in Front of Frontex HQ

On May 23 there was a protest and street party in front of the headquarters of Frontex in Warsaw. The action took place in the framework of the week of actions and events against borders. Activists gathered to protest the murderous policies of the agency that hunts migrants, leading to the increase of human tragedy.

Earlier in the day, friends and activists gathered on the spot where one year ago Maxwell Itoya was killed by a cop. Max was killed in a racist incident last year, also during the time of our international conference against Frontex. A description of the events can be found in the May 2010 archive of this blog.
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Sunday 22 May 2011

Conference - Days against Borders

On May 21 members of ZSP Warsaw gave talks at a conference organized in the framework of the Days against Borders. The conference included discussions on the situation of foreign workers in the EU and Poland, the problems they encounter and organizing campaigns and on the relation of Libya to EU immigration politics and the current situation in North Africa.

Throughout the week there have been discussions, films and small actions against Frontex, the EU border agency which is located in Warsaw. A demonstration in front of their headquarters is planned for Monday.

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Sunday 1 May 2011

Protest against the Amendment of the Act on the Protection of Tenants' Rights

April 29 there was a protest against the Amendment of the Act on the Protection of Tenants' Rights. The proposed amendments would allow the city to raise rents and lower protection for tenants. The protest started at the Ministry of Infrastructure and marched to the Parliament.
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