Tuesday 12 June 2012

Action Against Local Government

Members of the Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP took part in an action yesterday against the local government. There is now a campaign to get rid of it and it seems that there is a lot of support.

(It should be mentioned that the board of the local council is not even democratically elected, but was appointed by the President of the city. And it is extremely anti-social in politics.)

The trickier question is what comes next. Both organizations have called for more popular control, public assemblies, etc. Of course, nothing really libertarian can function within the framework set up by the state, only outside of its realm. The grassroots movements have to be built up, which is an enormous task given the realities of society in Poland.

In the meanwhile, people would like to send a message that those who engage in anti-social actions cannot do so with impugnity.
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Friday 8 June 2012

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Action against the Euro 2012

On June 8, the Euro Cup opened in Warsaw. The city was full of police, military police and football fans. ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee organized a protest against the politics of the Euro. The protest was at the main roundabout on the way to the stadium, so thousands of people passed by.  People spoke about the money spent on the Euro and the fact that UEFA (which was exempted from tax in Poland) and a few businesses would be big beneficiaries, but that the public has spent already almost 26 billion euros on the spectacle. At the same time that Poland is spending a lot of money on games, children will go hungry as the city privatizes school cafeterias, makes cut in social services and raises the price on everything.

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Monday 4 June 2012

Actions worked to call off eviction

We are happy to note that the eviction of Iwona, planned for tomorrow early morning has been called off. This information came after ZSP, tenants and some other supporters picketed a restaurant owned by the same woman whose company owns the building which was privatized. Besides this action, there was a picket last Monday and plans for blocking the eviction. However, the bailiff has informed us that he will wait for the court to decide. There is already a decision for the eviction and the tenant even would agree to leave, provided the city provide her with appropriate social housing.

The bailiff is most likely acting on the instructions of the owner, so we understand that she is trying to avoid trouble. But we will take more action to remind her that it would be even better if she stopped speculating in real estate and left the tenants alone to live in their homes.
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Sunday 3 June 2012

Action against Speculator/ Restaurateur

Members of ZSP protested at CK Oberza restaurant in Warsaw to protest against the action of the owner, who is involved in real estate speculation and the eviction of residents on Hoza St.

One family is due to be evicted in a couple of days and we will be on the blockade, opposing the displacement of the residents by gentrifiers.
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Friday 1 June 2012

Court Case Continues in Defense of Free Speech and Tenants Dignity

Some members of ZSP who are part of the Tenants Defense Committee returned to court on May 16, fighting against a lawsuit resulting from the publication of a documentary video. The video interviewed tenants about their problems with their landlady, who claimed that we violated her good name.

The case is important because of very restricted freedom of speech in Poland and because tenants need to be able to tell about what is going on in their homes without fear of repression.
See also: http://zspwawa.blogspot.com/2011/07/in-defense-of-free-speech-and-tenants.html
More on the current case can be found here.

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Demonstration in Memory of Maxwell Itoya

On May 27, a demonstration was held at the place that Maxwell Itoya was killed two years ago. Itoya, an immigrant citizen of Nigerian descent, was at the former Stadium market place when police arrested a man who was selling socks. He was thrown to the ground and handcuffed, screaming for help. When Max intervened, he was shot by a cop and bled to death. This happened on May 23, 2010.
Then, the ZSP held an emergency demonstration onto the police station. Other immigrants had been arrested during the incident. The widow of Itoya (a Polish woman, left with 3 children) and others demanded an investigation into the incident and punishment for the cop. The Prosecutor for Praga, Renata Mazur, just recently dropped the case, claiming their was a lack of clear evidence.

(See: http://zspwawa.blogspot.com/2010/05/police-murder-riots-and-protest-against.html 
and http://zspwawa.blogspot.com/2010/05/demonstration-against-racism-and-police.html)
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Occupation of Square in Warsaw

On the last weekend of May, there was an occupation of a square in central Warsaw. Members of ZSP took part in the event, speaking with passerbys about various issues. The event was immediately harrassed by police which tried in various ways to get rid of the protest. Among the most disgusting ways is something that authorities in Krakow thought up to deal with a similar protest: to try to charge protestors money for using the territory! The action was legalized, but only for a few days, and after the legalization ran out, the police busted the occupation. This included seizing property, including personal property like people's wallets. The next day a picket in defense of freedom of assembly was held in the same place.

Below are a few photos.
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