GB No. 5-6, summer-fall 1991
I was taking photographs. As others had done the day before. Some young people had chained themselves to the trees. Some others were in the trees.
An investor's crew arrived. A company appointed to tree cutting and a representative of "Warimex", a Polish-Austrian mixed enterprise about to construct a hotel by Plac 3 Krzyży in Warsaw.
"Fuck off" I heared from the engineer-director. At the moment I wanted to document one of the laborers punch a young man - the engineerdirector pushed his dirty finger into my camera objective. I displayed my press license. "You can ... me" was the reaction. Then I say there's no prohibition of taking photoes here. There's no prohibition of staying. But I won't scuffle with a gentleman!
I am taking photoes from outside the fence: a brawl, a struggle. In the West a company acting this way would be lost. Here the company goes on cutting the trees in spite of the people chained below. They are cutting the trees with the people there.
I am photographing. The directorengineer is pushing a long-haired one. Tearing him. Suddenly, he comes up to the fence I am taking photoes from behind. He comes running near and spits straight at my face.
I am afraid of AIDS. And after all: I won't let an investor spit at me. I phone the Home Office spokesman. Then, a few calls more and a room in the 16th Police Station. A nice official woman comforts me saying such times people are upset. Every now and then someone spits at somebody's face.
I call the "Reporter" editorial office for which I have been preparing the material. Then I apply for suing for the director-engineer-investor. I believe my personal dignity was encroached upon. Soon I will know if the director will be sued for from a public or private accusation.
When I get back to the territory being picketted by the environmentalists I learn they were identified and threatened with a fine. I think there will be the money to pay. And to buy some farbs and linen with the remaining.
PS. The investor of the hotel is ARGEWIEN PORR INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSALE BAU HINTEREGGER (AUSTRIA).
Sure you know the story. It repeats so ofren in so many pieces of the Earth.
This time it happened in Warsaw, Three Crosses Square, 31 mighty trees, fourty year old trees lost their lives for a hotel to arise in their place. Is it more needed than they were? We were blocking the cutting for one week - the last tree fell down on April 23th at 8 A.M. in the presence of some 15 or 20 gentelmen wearing blue caps and a few other gentelmen known to us from the proceeding days. We could do nothing - on that days they prevailed in number like at least 12:1. They did not let us near. So we were standing helplesly and watching them killing. And now only the trunks and the creak of a saw in my memory. One might only wonder who is to blame for the trees' death. And it is us - people. It isn't enough for all that to say "We are sorry". They are dead and cannot forgive us anymore.