Thursday 19 April 2012

Support for Antifascist Action in Bialystok

On the night of April 8-9, a band of fascists in Bialystok went on a spree of violence, attacking people in some clubs, screaming about killing gays and leftists. Some people were stabbed, one guy was beaten to death. Many of the attackers were related to the group Blood and Honor. In response to this, antifascists called for a mobilization on April 15. As there are not many in that city, they asked people from Warsaw to support.

The atmosphere was very tense. Just the day before, there was a confrontation with fascists from ONR in Katowice. Police cordoned off antifascists on the way to demonstrate, immediately arresting about 50 people. 108 were arrested in total. Of course there was repression and harrassment of antifascists. So on the way to Bialystok, we were aware the police were going to be after us. They started by following the two buses from Warsaw and pulled them over on the road. They said that they were going to search for weapons and they wanted to ID and film everybody, which of course people refused. There was detention of the buses for about an hour and then more police following. In the meanwhile, antifascists who were there in Bialystok and tried to go to the demo was cordoned off as well. Despite that and thanks to constant pressure made by those on the bus (ie, even Polish radio was interviewing people from the bus about this police harrassment), the buses were finally allowed to arrive and the people to demonstrate, although in a hostile environment which scared off many people. However, when the demonstration went around the city, many people showed their support against the violence.

The Warsaw group of ZSP wrote a statement in support of the demonstration and actively participated.