GB No. 1, autumn 1989


Only a couple of political decisions taken within last 45 years ruined Kraków after a thousand years of full bloom. And nowadays again the decissions about the future of the city are taken nothwithstanding the will of the inhabitants in party offices. (The offices of the Polish United Workers' Party - note by the editor.) This concerns the Duty Free Area Kraków (DFAK), the Zone of Special Economy Kraków (ZSEK) and bulding of the hotel in Cichy Kącik (Quiet Nook -the last green quarter near the Old Town). The secret projects of ZSEK and taking decisions which are to change the character of the city for many years have drawn the attention of the Małopolska's Branch of Polish Ecological Club (PKE) and Civic Committee for Saving Kraków. Unfortunatelly the representatives of these two bodies were not allowed to acquaint themselves with the plans of DFAK and ZSEK. So one has to steal them from the town office and copy them. It is pecular way of getting know what the authorities are going to do with our city. Then the first stipulations of the people interested in ecology came into being and first protests and petitions were sent to the authorities of city and press. But the authorities, hoping that the people interested in the election to the Parliament fail to notice this problem, disregarded the stipulations of ecologists and prepared so called "accomplished facts" as fast as it was possible. The press fed people with the visions of night clubs and sky-scrapers. The first serious decisions was taken in the atmosphere of merry dreams about living in PEWEX (Pewex shops - the symbol of wellfare). People's Council of City Kraków accepted the assumptions to the project of DFAK and ZSEK nevertheless they were not given the full text of the project. The dramatic appeals lodged during the session of the People's Council helped nothing. Very soon the Kraków group of the Greens' Federation lodged a protest with important departments of administration and with press. The protest concerned the way of creating and approving the zone's project. It included the stipulations to the project formulated as 13 questions (the petition is entitled "The City (Sold) for Bucks" and is wholly published in this number of Green Brigades). There was no answer.

Some days later the Economic Committee of the Cabinet with minister of Industry Mr Wilczek arrived to Kraków. The members of the Greens' Federation had no choice but to demon- strate. They organized a picket at the building of the City Office, where the authorities of Kraków and ministers from Warsaw decided about the future of our city. Some thousands of fly-sheets with the 13 questions were given at the banner "Before you sell Kraków ask the inhabitants if they agree". Over thousands of signs was collected under the open letter to the authorities.

The ministers from Warsaw of course accepted the project of DFAK and ZSEK and the president of Kraków was prepearing in a hurry the project of the decree for the Cabinet. Simultaneously the Małopolska Branch of Polish Ecological Club and the Civic Committee for Saving Kraków did not stop sending appeals and protests. At the end of May three days were given to PKE to proclaim its opinion about the projects of the Cabinet's decree. The Polish Ecological Club questioned entirely the idea of the Zone of Special Economy. In spite of that the project of the decree has been sent by the president of Kraków to the Cabinet without any alterations. Soon the final decision was to be taken in Warsaw. So the group of Greens from Kraków has decided to go to the capitol of Poland.

On June 8 ten persons from Kraków and some more from another towns picketed the seat of the Cabinet at Krakowskie Przedmieście Street demanding to leave the decisions con- cerning Kraków for Cracovians.

Later on the Greens' Federation organized three more protests in its city. They were organized together with the Freedom and Peace Movement (WiP) opposing the building of the hotel in Cichy Kącik. (Look "To build or not to build?" in this issue.) The first common picket was directed towards the workers of the City Office. The banners were unfold before the entrance to the building. The aim of the protest was explained through speaking-tube and the members of the Federation and WiP carried the fly-sheets around among the civil servants.

Afterwards we asked in writing to allow us to give a speech during the following session of People's City Council. We received no answer, we were not allowed to the session and all we received was a promise of a meeting with the president of the council. The president Mr Kozub mwt with two representatives of the Greens' Federation. Over two hours they talked about the hotel in Cichy Kącik and the zone of special economy and about the ecological development of our city. The Greens proposed to establish a consulting group at the People's City Council, consisting of representatives of independent environmental and social movements and organizations. This group should neutralize the influence of lobby of technocrats and managers. In the future it would take part in creating the conceptions of the development of the city and watch over its realization. Mr Kozub agreed for it. chyba"toit"albo"withit"?

Some days later the people from the Greens' Federation and WiP organized a manifestation in front of the editorial office of "Gazeta Krakowska" (Cracovian Newspaper) and "Dziennik Polski" (Polish Daily), because the both papers have written nothing about social protests against the hotel in Cichy Kącik. Some demonstrants equipped with banners and speaking-tube, climbed the tram-stop's shelter close to the windows of the editorial office. The others distributed fly-sheets.

So fare (September 1989) na final decision concerning the experiment called Zone of Special Economy Kraków has been taken. This experiment means another great treat and danger for the city already affected by enormous pollution caused mainly by The Nowa Huta Steelworks.

If the projects will be introduced the social and environmental movements and organizations will start the general civic resistance in order to protect Kraków from the dreams of technocrats and selling it out.

No matter what will happen, we have to defend our city at least until the strong and genuine teritorial self-goverment will have taken care of it. May it be chosen soon!

Grzegorz Peszko
Cracovian Group
of the Greens' Federation

GB No. 1, autumn 1989 | Contents