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(en) Poland, Warsawa, Against Rent Liberalization

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 20 Dec 2004 20:23:51 +0100 (CET)

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Here is an English version of our leaflet. A demo is being held in Warsaw
which we will participate in.
The authorities are leaning heavily towards rent liberalization, a move that
will throw hundreds of thousands of people into further poverty. It is a
well-known fact that most working people in Poland have just enough money to
pay their bills and many not even that. Rent liberalization will mean that
basic housing will become unaffordable for many people and will increase
homelessness and misery as people become forced to live in even more
overcrowded conditions.

Landlords claim that they need more money to make repairs to buildings but
there is no proposal to control that raised rents actually will be spent in
such a way. In fact, in most cases where rents have been raised, we see
little or no evidence that any repair work has been done. We also know that
in some housing estates, funds meant for repair have been stolen or misused.
Such situations can only be avoided when the operating budget of a building,
including all income and costs, are available for all to examine and come
under direct control of the tenants.

We are concerned about the growth of land and property speculation by people
with money, looking to make more money, usually at the expense of people who
cannot afford to own anything themselves. If housing speculation is the norm
and if social (subsidized) housing is not built, the gap between rich and
poor will widen even beyond its already obscene proportions. This will hurt
the whole society irrevocably.

Our solution is public involvement and direct action. Instead of raised
rents, we demand:
- that public housing be turned over to the people and taken out of the
hands of the authorities who take money every month and do practically
nothing in terms of maintainance
- that a nominal sum of money saved by firing the bureaucrats (perhaps 2% of
former rents) be donated (on a voluntary basis) for the creation of new
- that squatters be permitted to live in any abandoned buildings or

A solution must also be found for switching ownership from private landlords
to communally owned buildings in a way that is fair but does not recognize
the landlord's right to compensation from potential lost income when the
landlord is using property ownership to make money (for example, instead of
working an honest job.) Using your wealth to earn easy money off poor people
is unconscienable.

We call on tenants to organize themselves with their neighbours now! Your
strength will be in grassroots, community organization. Don't wait until you
find you can't afford your rent or you're getting evicted!

Anarchist Federation, Section Praga (Warsaw neighborhood)

On March 20, 13:00, there will be a meeting of tenants from Praga (Old and
New, South Praga also welcome). Please contact us at Targowa 22 for more

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