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(en) Poland, WARSAW, MASS PROTEST AGAINST THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT APRIL 29, 2004 - Update

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://www.alter.most.org.pl/aes/29eng.htm)
Date Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:11:20 +0200 (CEST)


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action call | anti-wef | info | maps | important | info | may day | legal info | the media | Polish language
protest | forum | press | accomodation | translations | contact | walpurgis
> INFORMATION
Important new information! Updated March 28. During the action day there
will be legalized demonstration starting at 11:00; the meeting point is at Rondo
Babka. (See map below.) At the time of the demo, a person will be available for
contact in person at the Rotunda on the corner of Al. Jerozolimskie and
Marza?kowska Streets. Emergency telephone numbers will appear soon, so
please check back. Due to problems with police and media provocation, some
locations will not be revealed too far in advance. (Police have already tried to
intimidate some places offering accomodations, so it is important not to give
them too much advance notice.)

Following a series of hysterical articles in the press and much public debate,
the Summit location was changed from the Palace of Culture to the Hotel
Victoria, with some events occuring in other places such as the Grand
Theatre, the Main School of Economics, etc..(See map below.) The Hotel
Victoria is in a more controllable place and is next to a military point. Zones
have been created and access to much of the city center will be greatly limited.

We know that borders will be heavily controlled, so take appropriate
precautions when arriving.

PLEASE contact the accomodation group well in advance if you want help in
this area. DO NOT arrive on the day before the action with no ideas where to
go. Such actions will cause a bit of chaos and distract us from what we've got
to do, so be reasonable and prepare yourself. (Sorry for the lecture but
somebody always shows up at the last minute and expects people to drop the
other 100 things they have to do to help them.)

If you do not, for whatever reason, receive addresses for events, you may get
information at the Infoshop on Lotewska St.11 from 12-20 from Saturday,
April 24 onwards.

The keepers of this page will be involved in a 'propaganda bloc'; if anybody
would like to join it, contact us through the Forum page. This bloc will
probably hand out leaflets and set up some sidewalk discussions. If you would
like your leaflet translated into Polish, let us know.



MAY DAY WILL NEVER DIE!

This year, May Day will be something special --- especially disgusting! As
Poland celebrates its accession to the EU, we will be there to remind people of
the origins of May Day and to have an anti-accession Hyde Park. Meet at
Palace of Culture at 12:00. A street party is being planned for that day and we
plan to be there.

LEGAL ADVICE

Legal handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to help participants in a
demonstrations, occupations and other forms of direct action. Know
your rights!

*At the demonstration*

Come as a group, leave as a group, stay in a group and stay alert.
Make sure you move in good order - keep together and keep moving - and
avoid entrapment (in a cul-de-sac surrounded by police cordons). Do
not remain or leave alone. Most arrests occur at such times.

According to a new planned law on people gathering in a public place
(in Feb 2004 this had not yet become law), it will be forbidden to
participate in a demonstration if you are masked, or if it is difficult
or impossible to identify you. The planned law excludes participation
of such people from any public gathering - i.e. you can be immediately
arrested. The new law extends the financial responsibility of the
organisers and leaders of any gathering, and makes everyone who
participates in a demonstration financially responsible for any damages
happening during or immediately after the end of the demonstration.

Beware of still and video cameras. The images may be used as evidence
against you. Provide yourself with a change of clothes or a quick
change of appearance, in case your clothes show traces of potentially
criminal activity (paint for example). After a demonstration, the
police are liable to track down participants according to appearance,
or clothing descriptions, and they may very well make arrests in
adjacent streets, in buses or trams, even some hours after a
demonstration. Do not loudly brag about what you did or about what you
know other people have done. Try not to mention names. You could be
"caught red-handed" at any moment.

Keep some identity documents on you.

If someone is stopped beside where you find yourself, it's a good
idea to think of a solidarity action, e.g. a blockade by sitting on
the ground in the path of the police car holding the arrested person.
Well organised non-violent resistance can often free an arrested activist.


*Detention and identity controls*

Language alert: Polish has (at least) two different words for levels
of being held by police: ,,zatrzymanie" - short term, up to 48 hours -
which we translate by "detention" and ,,aresztowanie" - longer term -
which we translate by "arrest".

If you are stopped on your own and find yourself surrounded by police
people during an action, best say nothing, refuse to acknowledge any
accusations made and stoically await developments. Don't panic!
Generally refuse to make any declaration except for the formal
requirements: your identity, age, address and employment. If there
are several of you, try and exchange identities and telephone numbers
in order to avoid being isolated.

Police officers, when taking action such as detaining someone or
checking identity, are obliged to:
1) provide their rank, given name and family name; even non-uniformed
policemen (such as the ABW - secret police) are obliged to provide
an identity document so that you can write down their name and
the name of their service
2) provide the legal basis as well as the specific reason for their action

When detaining someone, police have the obligation to check that you
are not carrying weapons or other dangerous objects that could be used
to carry out a crime or other offence or could be used as material
evidence (which is why you should not take your address book, illegal
drugs, nor even a penknife with you, and if you have a mobile phone,
keep in mind that the police may read all the phone numbers you have
stored on it - don't store numbers of activists at high security risk).

If you have been subject to violence, do not hesitate to insist on
seeing a doctor and receiving a certificate of sick leave even if you
are not in employment (it costs about 50 PLN but it's worth it, it's
an extremely serious piece of evidence against the police).

In the police station (komisariat) a report on the detention is prepared
and given to the detained person. Within 7 days you have the right
to file a protest in court against the detention. You have the right to
telephone to whoever you wish. You have the right to contact with a
lawyer.

The detained person has the right to be immediately freed, if:
1) the reason for the detention is determined,
2) the court decides to free you (in the case that you file a protest)
3) in the opinion of the doctor, your life or your health would be
in danger if you remain detained

In any case, you must be freed within 48 hours of being detained
(,,zatrzymany"), unless a court order is obtained for temporarily
arrestingyou (you will be ,,aresztowany").

During a body check, you have the right to insist on the presence of
someone you wish. You have the right to be body-checked by someone of
the same sex as you.

*Arrest*

Temporary arrest is the imprisonment of someone actually accused
of carrying out a crime. Being arrested does not imply guilt. If you
are guilty of the action and what sentence you would have are decided
by the court based on a judgment at the end of the criminal proceedings.

Only a court (not police) can decide to temporarily arrest you. Before
temporary arrest, a court or a prosecutor listens to the accused.
You have the right to use the telephone. You have the right to a lawyer.
In deciding whether or not to temporarily arrest you, your own claims
will be heard.

In order for you to be temporarily arrested, there must exist the
following conditions:
Firstly - it must be very probable that you committed the crime.
Secondly - at least one of the following conditions must be satisfied:
* a reasonable concern that you may escape or hide
* a reasonable concern that (your freedom) would cause difficulties for
the court procedures
* it is necessary to protect the court procedures because you risk a
punishment of 8 years or more imprisonment (,,surowa kara")
* a reasonable concern that you may commit new crimes against life or
health or against general security

,,Surowa kara" ("raw punishment") is that when the accused risks
an imprisonment whose upper limit is at least 8 years (if the crime
risks imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years, then the upper limit is
5 years).

For participation in a demonstration, the penalty can be e.g. for
assaulting a public servant - max 10 years. However, most criminal
actions carried out during direct actions are misdemeanours (,,wyste;pki",
"delits") which risk lower penalties (e.g. for infringing upon a police
officer's body space - max. 3 years, for insults - max 1 year) as well
as minor offences (,,wykroczenie").

*Minor offences (,,wykroczenie")*

In relation to participation in a demonstration we can be blamed for
minor offences such as making graffiti, distributing pamphlets or
showing banners in public places, destruction of public or private
property, using rude words etc. Penalties include:
1) arrest
2) imprisonment
3) fines
4) reprimand (critical words against you)

The punishment of arrest lasts at least 5 and at most 30 days; it's
counted in days. The procedure happens in front of a magistrate for
minor offences. The verdict on the punishment is not recorded in the
Central Punishment Registry, so in a formal sense is "not a punishment".

MORE ADVICE

1. Do not keep SMSes of any kind relating to the demo in your phone.
2. If you are staying at a private house, try not to have all the details
written on some paper with you. Write the phone or address for example on
your leg instead. Such information may give the police info which they could
use to warrant a raid or other visit.
3. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is playing it smart. If you are not from
Warsaw,
you absolutely must familiarize yourself with the area, transport in and out
of the area, etc.. DO NOT get lazy about doing this. Do not think, "OK, I'll
find an organizer there and s/he will lead us where to do". Avoid waiting to
the last moment and then coming up to "organizers" with questions on where
to go. In such situations, if anybody is bombarded with questions on things
you could answer yourself (where's the bus, where's the metro), then that
person cannot keep 100% aware of the situation. Although there are always
cases where you need to find a local for urgent help, not knowing where the
bus stop is does not count as one of them. Don't get passive. Also, learn
the faces of as many locals as possible.
4. Be very careful when taking pictures. Resist the urge to take photos if
any person may appear in the frame doing anything perhaps illegal.
5. If you absolutely cannot afford an arrest for any reason, leave before
arrests begin. Do not hang out in the area. Do not go to any activist
center. Go sightseeing. If you are a person in some high risk category, you
may want to discretely inform a local, especially if you want people to keep
an extra eye on you. If you are alone, it is important to also find a
partner of some sort and arrange to watch out for each other.

SPECIAL NOTES FOR FOREIGNERS: The police are obliged to find you a
translator. However, in the event that nothing serious is being charged, you
may want to ask someone who speaks Polish to translate for you instead and
try to save some hours while they find a translator. This is for cases when
you expect that you will be realized within 3 hours. This is the typical
processing time. Most misdemenours (blocking traffic, making noise), will
end in this symbolic police gesture.

Foreigners are held in a different place than Polish people.

Poland still has Stalinist registration laws on the books where you are
obliged to register with the police within a few days of arriving. In fact,
this law is only ever cited when trying to give people a hard time or
persecuting people from third world countries. If you have a stamp which
says April 27 in your passport, try to know the time of a late train and
claim you haven't been in Poland 48 hours. In you cannot claim this, just
act shocked that such uncivilized laws exist and blame the authorities for
not making this known to tourists. It's a minor thing but the cops pulled it
out against people last year.








MAPS

Click here to download maps. (More maps available soon.)


Downtown Warsaw. The zero zone (or 'strefa') is marked in red. It includes the
Presidential Palace (yes - a PALACE!), the Grand (Wielki) Theatre, Hotels
Bristol, Westin, Victoria, Sheraton, Lazienki Park, The Sejm and the Main
School of Economics. The yellow zone will have limited access (but not to
YOU!).

The Palace of Culture is the Building delineated on the map between Plater
and Marsza?kowska St.





A more detailed map. The exact location of the main Summit meetings is
outlined in blue.


Another view of the city. Important places to note: number 7 on the map -
Hotel Victoria. Infoshop - close to the letter 'U' in CENTRUM. Note the
arrow, upper left: Rondo Babka is the circle at the top left. The street leading to
it - Jana Paw?a. 'N' in Centrum is the Palace of Culture terrain. The Central
Station is marked 'E'. 5 is the Sheraton - the Sejm is below it, to the right.



Rondo Babka shown in red. The blue line is the Vistula river.

Rondo Babka can be reached by trams 16, 17, 19, 22, 27, 29, 33, 35, 47 and
bus 406. It is easily accessible from the Central Station and Centrum, from the
Praga side and the north of Warsaw. It is north of Centrum. By metro, go to
the last station, Dw.Gdan'ski and walk west towards the skyscraper.

Note the location of the metro. The red line is Jana Pawla St.

Infoshop on ul. Lotewska.

Kino Praha.





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