On the night of May 23rd, the police in Warsaw arrested three anarchists on charges of an alleged arson attempt of a police vehicle. The three were transferred to a remand prison where they are to be held in custody for three months, awaiting trial. They face up to 8 years in prison. Media frenzy broke out over the arrest in the past few days, with high-ranking politicians and experts on terrorism discussing the matter on TV. Photos and video reruns of the arrested walking with chains around their feet and hands are broadcast on public transportation. The text below is a translation of the statement that was sent out by various groups from the anarchist and wider social justice community in Poland, in response to these arrests.
Open letter in connection with the arrest of three anarchists in Warsaw
The mass media in Poland are releasing increasingly more absurd, one-sided reports about the arrest of three anarchists on Monday, May 23rd. We interpret this as an attempt to intimidate and criminalize social justice movements in Poland….
Land Occupier Collective Raided (ROD)
ROD (Radykalne Ogródki Działkowe) / per. Radical Garden Land / – the only representative of the movement Reclaim The Fields in Poland – needs support! A resident has been arrested and charged with trying to burn a police car. ROD is an occupation and cultivation of garden allotmants in Warsaw to stop them being destroyed by speculation.
ROD is an untranslatable play on words. Originally the shortcut R.O.D. means Rodzinne Ogrody Działkowe (Family Allotment Gardens) but we translate it as Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe (Radical Allotment Gardens).
The main goals of ROD collective: The basic of existence our group is autonomous, voluntary and self-organized initiative, free from any kind of hierarchy and discrimination. The members of collective try to be involved in reclaim the fields movement by occupying and ecological use of the area of the allotment gardens – to secure it from devastation by the developers.
Warsaw has a very special SCAM in the land grabbing context. The main tool used by big business to legally land grab is a process called “re-privatization”.
It mean that Warsaw City Council tries to “give back” all buildings and land to the descendants of pre-war owners. That means 80% of Warsow. Exactly the same amount of city was destroyed in the war, and rebuilt by tenants and people from the whole of Poland with public money. Now so called “developer companies” look up old descendants (or find false ones) buying for a ridiculous price rights to the buildings or lands from them and becoming new owners.
One of the effects of this is that now there are 600.000 empty business spaces in places where a few years ago were townhouses. Further tens of thousands of old flats are empty. At the same time in the outskirts of the city closed settlements are growing, built by the same companies.
Land which is occupied by the ROD collective was grabbed under this re-privatization process. But to say that we are there because of this particular situation of the land would be too much. We just chose this land because it was a good place to start to spread info about Land Grabbing and show sustainable living in practice, as well as occupy resistance tactics.
Anyway, it was clear for us that sooner or later something would happen. The area was just too nice to be not interesting to some developers. So it is also true that even though we were not looking for conflict we were open to the possibility of finding it.
ROD is a kind of laboratory where in a radical and friendly atmosphere we got knowledge and skills about planting vegatables and herbs, derive energy from renewable sources, food processing, constructing spaces, tools, things for everyday using and organizing a social life for the community and the neighborhood with using the different tactics of resistance and struggle against capitalism.
We strive for self-sufficiency and sovereignty, and we work in accordance with the principle of do it yourself.
For more information about Reclaim the Fields Poland visit: reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org
Warsaw: Update on arrests, Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe raided..(gardening Collective Occupiers)
[Correction Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe was raided only, no eviction attempt]
On the night between Sunday the 22nd & Monday the 23rd of May three comrades were detained near the car park of South Warsaw police station. Cops claim to have found an explosive device under a police car. All three comrades were taken into custody at the station and one comrade was severely beaten. The comrades refused to cooperate and denied all accusations of ‘terrorism’ and attempting to bomb the police station. The comrades received support from the anarchist community and 3 squats from Warsaw (Przychodnia, Syrena, Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe) and were provided with legal representation.
The same day police raided Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe ( The Radical Alllotment Occupation) squat where one of the arrested comrades lived and search for evidence. According to the “Reclaim The Fields” website: “Cops arrived between 4 and 5AM.
They invaded the squat area by cutting fences and demolishing the gate with a forklift. Six undercover police invaded people’s rooms. One friend woke up and found himself surrounded by cops questioning him about his identity. They then proceeded to search the entire squat.”