Friday 19 August 2011

Soldarity with CNT in Visteon Cadiz

Today comrades in Warsaw and elsewhere took part in the International Day of Struggle against Ford-Visteon called for by the CNT in Spain and the IWA. The multinational is outsourcing work, creating a network of companies and doing all sorts of machinations to avoid tax liabilities and their responsibilities towards workers. Using front companies such as Visteon, Ford divides up and sends out work, opening factories, shutting them down, moving money around to hide their wealth and even to cheat the workers. 450 workers in Cadiz face the elimination of their workplaces due to corporate greed. The CNT union section in Visteon is fighting against the closure.
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Picket at the Sejm

On August 18th, tenants organizations picketed at the Polish parliament against the possible reintroduction of eviction without any rights to replacement housing. Currently, people can be evicted not to replacement (social) housing, but to temporary housing as well. This temporary housing has no legal definition, which means that families are being sent to overcrowded homeless shelters which meet no standards at all. The Constitutional Tribunal has condemned this as being a violation of rights and ordered the government to adopt an appropriate standard and definition of temporary housing by this fall. However, it has failed to do so and, the absurd consequence of this is that the politicians are interpreting the lack of any binding definition of temporary housing to mean that they have no obligations at all.

All the political parties, which are rushing through dozens of amendments before the upcoming elections, have decided to ignore this, since, in reality, they all want to avoid the obligation to find housing for evicted people and probably all find this a convenient way to do this.

ZSP is considering different actions in response to this matter. We have already declared that we could help people squat people, but probably an action at the Parliament is long overdue!
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Saturday 13 August 2011

How to for Freeriders

Next week the prices increase on public transport in Warsaw. The local ZSP has started up the NIEKASUJ (don't validate your ticket) campaign, which the comrades in Wroclaw started some time ago in that city. Part of the protests now include street theatre showing different ways to act if you meet a ticket controller. The aim of this is to show creative ways of getting away without paying your fare or how other passengers can help people who are caught. We are starting to make videos and inviting other people to submit their own creations. Also we ask people to send us information through a form on the internet so we get ideas about which places are more controlled than others. (We already know that the poorer areas and places where foreign workers ride are the worst.) We are also working on the creation of insurance for fare dodgers.
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Saturday 6 August 2011

Protests Continue Against Price Increases

Protests have been taking place continuously against price increases. Mostly we have been riding the trams, buses and metro and giving out leaflets, calling for direct action. Today we gathered at the Centrum metro station. There people told about the different methods of direct action and called on people to act in solidarity with those not paying their fare in order to discourage the work of the ticket controllers. People spoke about social protests in other countries, including protests against transport fare increases which recently took place in Portugal. There was also an interesting discussion about the history of recent social movements in Poland, how the leaders of movements like Solidarity came into power and sold out and what lessons we can learn about the nature of politics and political power.

A couple of days ago, boxes with more than 151,000 signatures demanding a referendum on the price increases and the privatization of a utility were delivered to the City Hall. But their lawyers are now claiming that citizens cannot change anything that has already been decided by the City Council - although nothing in the Act on Local Referenda would suggest this. It is clear that they will try everything possible to block this initiative because most people would vote against the increases. For us this just shows the limitations of trying to act through the system to change anything, so ZSP calls for more social opposition and direct action.

Besides calling for direct action in the transport, we also called on a boycott of elections and more participation in social protest and self-organization instead.

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