Thursday 30 June 2011

On June 30, the mainstream union Solidarity held a large demonstration in Warsaw. Members of ZSP, plus guests from the IWW and WSA from the US, went to the demo to hand out leaflets and agitate for rank-and-file unionism and for a general strike.

We pointed out that while working people were rebelling in many parts of Europe, here the unions have moderated struggles and often avoid methods such as strikes. The whole idea of a general strike is avoided.
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Sunday 26 June 2011

Campaign Against Price Increases

Last month the ZSP protested against price increases at the City Council. Despite hours of controversial debate, the neoliberal majority had already decided to do what they had done in many cities throughout Poland: raise the prices of different public services in a way that average working people would have to bear more costs.

The price raises are quite significant: public transport costs on average 70% higher (with some tickets raised even more), water and sewage 30% higher and, worst of all, the price of public nursery schools raised almost 600% for most people. It is true that the prices for the nursery schools will be lower for people earning minimum wage, but the highest rates are already imposed on anybody making just 60% of the average wage and will cost almost 300 euros a month (!!!) This is completely unaffordable and will hit working class mothers, especially single mothers the most. It is simply impossible for the average working mother to afford this price!
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Wednesday 22 June 2011

OTTO Workforce sends thugs against activists; ZSP launches new picket campaign

There is still the situation of injured worker Maciej, who does not know if he will receive further sick pay due to the inappropriate actions of OTTO, and now some people working in Wroclaw were also cheated and not paid for all the hours they worked. Due to the continued revelations of problems with OTTO Workforce, including more incidents brought to light by Dutch investigative journalists, ZSP announced that it would picket OTTO every day starting June 20, for at least the next two weeks, and maybe longer.
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Sunday 19 June 2011

Real Democracy Now

On June 19, an action entitled "Real Democracy Now", called by some Spanish students and local activists, was held in Warsaw. There were some open discussions on the Copernicus Sq. about the nature of democracy, problems in society, etc. etc. The local ZSP participated, along with some international comrades, from CNT-AIT, SP-AIT and KRAS. Since we had a slightly different idea about what "real democracy" means, we handed out leaflets (in different languages) explaining ideas of self-management and why we are against all forms of government. There were many discussions with passersby, although few took part in the action. Poland is still a long way from Spain or other countries were such mass public meetings have recently taken place.

ZSP called on people to be more active in public life and to take action against the anti-social decisions of the government. As an example, it mentioned the recent increases in the price of public transport, nursery schools and utilities such as water. This decision was highly unpopular among people, but there were no protest movements to stop it (ZSP and the tenants movement were literally the only ones to mobilize). Now there is a chance to overturn the decision by referendum. It is much harder to do, but still possible. It would have probably required less effort to protest beforehand than try to change it later. Nonetheless, we think this decision should be fought, not accepted - and all depends on if people mobilize. ZSP will be active in this campaign in the next two months.

We also stated that this year, as always, we will be boycotting the elections and we call on people to become more active in grassroots movements and try to build forms of self-organization. During the summer we will be moving around the neighbourhoods, again trying to make local assemblies. It is a long and difficult task but we hope that in the future such initiatives will inspire people's imagination and bear fruit.

Some photos from today's action are below. The text of the leaflet in Polish is here.

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Sunday 5 June 2011

Statement Regarding Police Action during May 28 Protest

ZSP strongly protests against the actions of the police during Saturday's demonstration on Trzech Krzyży Sq. In Warsaw and against them in general.

While many millions of people in Poland are condemned to poverty, the government spends our public money on protecting the elites and (unsuccessful) attempts to scare the people that do not agree with this system and decided to publicly show their opposition. On Saturday, there was an army of police on the streets, making life difficult for ordinary people by creating cordons and detours. The police scared off and threatened many people on the way to the demonstration that if they go, they would not be allowed to leave. Police armed with tear gas was mobilized against demonstrators, there were snipers and a new instrument of repression, the LRAD.
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