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(en) Poland, Warsaw, Repression of Forums (W29)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 24 Apr 2004 10:44:42 +0200 (CEST)


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Two Forums planned for the time of the European Economic Summit in Warsaw
are still looking for a place to take place after intense pressure from
police, media and the political apparatus forced them out of their location.
The Alternative Economic Forum was to be held at the Polish Teachers' Union
and was reserved for many months. After a poorly written and sensationalist
article was published in Gazeta Wyborcza, the union headquarters was ordered
closed. It is not clear exactly what prompted this decision but there is a
lot of rumor and speculation as to how this happened. The head of the
teachers' union was, until recently an outspoken activist: there is even
his anti-war text on the page of Poznan anarchists. (Some members of the
union are also members of OKP. See alter-ee archives or Abolishing the
Borders from Below for description of their action.) Recently, this union
head decided to try to get into the structure of the European Parliament.
Rumors are that somebody very important called him and complained about ours
presence there are names which have been thrown out are Warsaw President
Lech Kaczynski, PM Leszek Miller and, President Kwasniewski himself.
Although this union head refuses to comment, people from the teachers'
union, a journalist and an important person I know believe that the
President, under whose patronage the Summit is organized, may have seen to
this himself.

In a related story, the New Left party where also organizing a conference
which has been repressed. According to them, the dean of the School of
Management was threatened by the Ministry of Education and Sport. The school
is private and need their approval in order to be entitled to issue degrees.
They were apparently threatened with losing their certification.

Although we are not very fond of the politics of this New Left, we are
similarly outraged by what has happened to them.

At a press conference, people criticized the authorities who, by encouraging
and causing the repression of peaceful discussion and debate, deprive people
of something constructive to do during this summit and radicalize the mood
of everyone.

Organizers of the Alternative Economic Forum have not called off the event
but may cancel several planned lectures. If an affordable indoor venue is
not found, it will be held outdoors.

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