GB No. 2(17)/95



In the centre of Wrocław, near one of the biggest and busiest streets a park is probably going to die. The area embraces over 100 trees and many of them are more than 50 years old! Why? Why in the region of damaged environment, in the suffocating Polish city, do the remaining green patches have to die? Because someone wants to earn money, someone invested some capital in the affair and someone is afraid.

Designers and building companies are those who want to make some profit. They keep asking: what 100 trees? We are going to fell only 40 of them and plant 80 instead! The park means a big profit also for the Army who has bought the park from the municipal officers. The latter are those who are afraid.

We are not afraid at all but we do not have sufficient money. We only want to have air to breathe and this is the reason of our protests against a block of flats that is planned to be constructed in place of the public garden. It is going to be a seven-floor building, 200m long. We do not want 80 seedlings in place of 100 old trees!

On 18 October 1994 we, environmentalists from the Oława and Nysa Kłodzka Fund, students from the nearby schools and all citizens interested in the undisturbed existence of the park want to spoil the plan. On this day, at 10:30 a.m. employees of the Municipal Office were to inspect the park but, unfortunately, they were not able to fulfil their duties.

Firstly, they were captured by extremely inquisitive journalists. The media did a wonderful job: the protest was broadcast on the radio and tv. In all the local newspapers newsflashes were issued about the action, accompanied by photos of the menaced park.

The park, the very trees had been completely transformed. As part of the demonsration black cloths were tied around the trees with banners: MAY DAY, I'M GOING TO DIE. Among the protesters there was a professor of dendrology at the Wrocław University and an architect: apparently not all environmentalists are freaks. At the end of the protest several students from a nearby secondary school came shouting "Save the park!". Eventually, the confused officers went away.

The problem regarding the park has been discussed for a number of years. despite protests of citizens (a court trial included), of environmental organisations and scientific authorities, the Army has been persistently trying to implement their plan. For how long will the pro-environmental thinking be neglected? When will it be that our decision-making bodies understand that fresh air to breath is priceless?

Piotr Hańderek
reprinted from Zielone Brygady 1/95

GB No. 2(17)/95 | Contents