Tuesday 7 February 2012

The Farse of "Social Consultations"; Comrade Tells off PM during Pseudo-Debate

Once again, the government tries to undermine social protests by pretending to "consult" with people after the fact. After signing agreements on ACTA, protests are still being organized throughout Poland. The Prime Minister, sensing that his popularity might fall, decided to organize some bullshit discussions and invited some organizations to a "debate" on it, after giving some misleading information to the press that Poland might not ratify it after all.

People are not that stupid. First, they pointed out that whole texts of the actual agreements are not published - an annoying habit of the current government to hide acts and other documents that are normally public information. Secondly, the understood damn well that what the PM intended to do was to show presentations, do PR, fill the audience with people there to support him and take a few symbolic questions, mostly from the pseudo-experts that the government picked themselves. The organizations all issued a statement that they boycott the farse.

We agree with that, although we would take it a bit farther. Because some organizations aim to have "consultations" with the government, and this is a very fashionable theme that even some anarchist groups are promoting. We don't see the point in legitimizing their power, especially when they will not give what you want anyway. That said, we sometimes go to things like this in order to tell the politicians off, interrupt proceedings or otherwise show them a hard time.

So the PM organized this pseudo-debate, with most of the protestors boycotting and this farse was being broadcast through the media. One of the comrade from ZSP decided to do there are tell the PM off. She describes what happened:

..."I crashed the event, managing to just walk in, and, in addition, with a knife in my pocket. I wanted to see for myself and see who actually came.

The "debate" was no real debate. The Prime Minister made some boring presentation and those who wanted to speak started to write their names on cards... Unfortunately the meeting was an ad vocem conversation between a few. The great majority of questions from the hall or the internet were never heard and if heard, never answered. 

The Prime Minister "came in" a few times just to say that it was some sort of favor of him to make any "consultations" at all ... He clearly said that they will not withdraw their signature from ACTA (and even that it was legally impossible) ... He said that he "deeply respects" institutions such as referendums... but then concretely said that he will never bow under the pressure of any social group, in no matters. Later I asked him (more or less) "What would have to be the scale of social protests in order for you to take them seriously. How many people have to go out on the streets? How many people have to sign a petition to hold a referendum?" Of course I got no answer to this. Instead Tusk got all upset about my statement that the meeting is a farse and that I agree with the people and organizations boycotting it. They turned the microphone off but I still managed to exchange some words with the PM... the whole exchange is recorded and on the internet. "