GB No. 5-6, summer-fall 1991



From the beginning of July 1991 roads leading to the dam on the Dunajec River in the Pieniny Mountains are blocked. The main organizers of this action are: "Freedom and Peace" movement and Anarchistic Federation. There are some other young, radical ecologists from other groups as well (among others: "I prefer To Be", Green Federation). On the adjoining area there are some hundreds of policemen gathered by the authorities, which announced the state of emergency and treat all cases under summary procedure (which means limited right for the accused to defend himself as well as for fair and suitable case; make it possible to arrest with no judgment and breaks human rights convention) - all sanctions remind those from early eighties against "Solidarność". There are more analogies to communists methods: one of the leaders of the action was illegally proposed to be sent for a psychiatric examination, what was announced to the public; protesters were accused of not submitting to policeman's instructions concerning the traffic (although it was not a public but an internal road of the building site). In time of Martial Law in Poland one could be punished for shouting such a word as for instance "Solidarność" due to breaking the silence. The result of the action was more then 200 fines. The "winner" collected (in fines) an equivalent of a half-year salary.

Apart from the blockades in Czorsztyn there were actions in Kraków (blockade of the investor's office) and in Warszawa (picket of Ministry of Justice). At this time some trials come on (appeals), there are posters on the streets "Poland - a country of ecological prisoners". Not one of a dozen or so parliamentarians from the Environment Protection Commission appeared in Czorsztyn (there were about 10 MPs from "Freedom and Peace", 2 from Workshop for All Beings and some members of the Polish Ecological Club in Sejm).


On 10th October, 1991, during the visit in Cracow of the Presidents of Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, the members of WiP, FA and FZ have prepared pickets against the repressions of ecologists in Poland and Slovakia (Gabcikovo). That would have been nothing extraordinary, the whole action was rather an improvisation. The small group, which gathered at the Market Square had on it only a small amount of posters, which they gave away to the rabble awaiting the leaders. There were some foreign ecologists with them, guested at that time in Cracow at the YDC/NZS Seminar Youth Gathering on Environment and Development "Our Common Future - For Richer or for Poorer?". What was their astonishment, when suddenly a group of plain-clothed men went at the serenely standing Poles, pushing them with the help of policemen into a police-car and driving them away into an unknown place.

At the police station they were neither searched nor interrogated! When in the cell they demanded the opportunity for writing a complaint for the detention, they were treated with gas!

Although there were no means for the detention, although the seminar has addressed an official protest (3 out of the 8 detained Poles were the participants of the seminar) the whole group was released after three hours. The sufferers have lodged a complaint for an illegitimate imprisonment.

It seems worth adding, that during Margaret Thacher's visit the anarchist's picket lasted for about... 2 minutes - until the police intervene.

The pronouncement of Tomasz Żylicz, of Ministry of Environmental Protection, involved in the theme of economical instruments of environmental protection, was another source of surprise for the participants of the conference. Until now I thought him to be a sensible person, up to the moment, when in the presence of the participants of the "Dam the dam" action did he say that the police was sent to Czorsztyn to protect the demonstrating against the highlanders! It of course is a checked out method of securing the citizens. You'd better close all of us in prisons and camps. Nobody shall assault us there, we will not walk incautiously under the tyres of a car, we won't push our fingers into the socket!!!

for information of not only animalists

In August this year it was announced that bullfights would take place in some cities in Poland. Journalists, animalistic, ecological, anarchistic organizations, immediately started protesting. In some cities bullfights were forbidden. In Szczecin, Poznań and Chorzów corrida took places although there were no proper licences or it was even against the official decisions (like in Chorzów). The reason of such a lack of concern was that organizer of these profitable dealings in Poland was the trade union of soldiers. To be sure it was not the Spanish corrida, but its more "gentle" French version nevertheless in Chorzów (6th August, third "show") it seemed to be gladiators' fights with "greens" as martyrs.

Begun as an quiet picket near the stadium entrance it was attacked by police with no reason and no order. The same did the stadium guard. In time of sitting on grass of the stadium the protesters were pushed against horns of bull. After a few minutes another bull was released. The audience shouted "Ole!", "More blood!" when the bullfighter provoked the bull to attack the sitting group. Seeing that police did not want to intervene, some more active spectators took a hand in situation. In that moment they started to scream seriously "Let's kill them!" and other abuse. At last the police intervened... not to stop the illegal "show" but to help beating the "greens" (French "artists" were leaders of action and one them tried to rape a protesting girl on the stadium). Miraculously no one was killed. All the things happened by daytime, in a big city with the participations of massmedia.

A month later the police commander, involved in this "happening" was reprimanded. However, because of the prosecutor's incompetence, the French were released. Nobody knows if any higher officers will take the consequences of organizing the corrida. As usual the police was beating "greens" who, in this case, really protected the execution of the law. There are no comments of any moral authorities concerning this case which testifies to growing of fascist public feeling, no committee was gathered to investigate this case. There is a regular lawsuit as in any case of trashing. (But there is no real effect after 3 months of investigation.) There are some programmes in massmedia which make fun of protesters. There are some signals from other CEE countries about possible corrida's there.

The Polish corrida was organized by a French firm ORIS from Beziers and Sisteron.

Andrzej Żwawa

GB No. 5-6, summer-fall 1991 | Contents