Tuesday 15 November 2011

Statement Around Incidents Related to November 11, Repression and Hysteria

First, we would like to thank the people who came to Warsaw, especially those who travelled from abroad to show solidarity with the goal of resisting the spread of far-right manifestations. Our goal is a common one: a world where such ideas finally hit the dustbin of history, where people unite to show their opposition to the far-right, nationalism, racism and fascistic ideologies.

We also express our condemnation for many incidents around the participation of these people in the blockade.

First, we criticize the media for its role in creating hysteria, before, during and after the incidents related to November 11 regarding these people, especially regarding the German activists.

An image was created for these people from the beginning. They were presented as practically some paramilitary group. In the meanwhile, paramilitary training goes on in Poland, in the camps of the far-right, without too much notice – certainly the media forgot to create hysteria about the mobilization of such people to the capital for the 11th, instead looking for some external threat.

Second, we condemn the police and the state which empowers it for their actions. Those arrested on Nowy Swiat, mostly people who had just arrived in the city and had done nothing at all, had to spend time in jail where they were abused in different ways. Some were threatened, inappropriately searched, beaten and harassed verbally. Several incidents of police violence occurred at the police station on Wilcza St.

During the demonstrations, we also saw the police bring the LRAD, which shouldn't be used and cannot be legally used for dispersing protesters in Poland.. They used water cannons, tear gas and violence and we should note that the government is using these demonstrations as a pretext to tighten laws on demonstrations and to justify the use of stronger police force.

The increased power of the state to repress and the habits of police violence is has much in common with the fantasies of fascists.

We criticize the media which also publishes the unconfirmed and false statements of police spokesperson Mariusz Sokolowski regarding the incident. We are wondering why none of the journalists have asked the police how it is that they claim in the press that the Germans had some weapons if none of these people, who were later arrested, were charged with having any weapons. Also, how is it that the buses these people were riding on were searched 3 times, but according to Sokolowski, they appeared in Warsaw with weapons? Is Sokolowski implying that the functionaries searching the bus let it travel to Warsaw with these weapons? This version of events is clearly not credible.

Thirdly, we criticize the luminaries of the group Krytyka Polityczna. When the foreign antifascists were in Nowy Wspanialy Swiat, (the place they were arrested) a member of that group spoke with the police and then assured the foreigners that if they calmly left, they would have their IDs checked and let to the demonstration. Instead, they were arrested, harassed, threatened, beaten, have to go to court. If indeed the people at Krytyka were promised that nothing were happened but instead these people were mistreated by the police, we would expect there to be a public outcry against police abuse made by these people. Instead we only heard a weak statement of denial that any incidents occurred complaints about how the media portrayed it, without any statement about the actions of police. Further, they made every effort to distance themselves from the people arrested, relating the whole incident only to the effects on their public image, but not expressing their solidarity for the people who were jailed.

Finally, we express our strong opposition to the words of the President, Bronislaw Komorowski when commenting the presence of German antifascists in Poland. The President denied that there was a problem with fascism in Poland and went so far to say that ONR cannot be considered a fascist organization. This shows how much this is a problem in Poland.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski and other politicians commented that the presence of the German antifascists was a „disgrace” for Poland. They did not however make any comments about the large groups of people who travelled abroad to the right-wing march, such as members of Combat 18, Blood and Honor, Jobbik, Forza Nuova, 1389 or UNA-UNSO.

The neoliberal establishment, which raised an international fuss during the presidency of Lech Kaczynski about the right-wing in the government, is whitewashing and turning a blind eye to the fact that the current government is not much different. We condemn all those participating in the conspiracy of silence and making excuses for nationalist ideology in Poland.