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(en) Czech, afed - Poland: You can not burn us all! - Why Poland is battling against the restitution of flats [machine translation]
Sat, 23 Dec 2017 11:53:23 +0200
Privatization of the public sphere takes many forms. Restitution is one of them. It should
represent the restoration of property confiscated by the communist government to the
original owners, heirs or those who have acquired restitution rights. The last restitution
wave in the Czech Republic has created an influential land magnate of a total unpopular
Catholic Church with which it has to count on development projects. Warsaw is no better at
this, since the nineties there is restitution of flats, which results in thousands of
evicted long-term tenants. Flats go into the hands of developers who turn them into living
for smithanka or in a luxury office. That's not far from everything. Under Warsaw, many
crimes, including murder, have been committed in Warsaw against the tenants. However, the
events do not remain unanswered by tenants, solidary groups and anarchists.You can not
burn us all! .
In order to understand this process, we have to make a bit of history. During World War II
almost 85% of Warsaw flats were demolished. After the war, the Polish People's Republic
launched the nationalization of the land and the reconstruction of the metropolis. Workers
who participated in the renovation were given new flats instead of salary. After the fall
of the Bolshevik regime in the 1990s, some interest groups began to demand property and
restitution became a profitable business. Developers started buying at very low prices
from elderly owners of restitution rights. Flats costing several million were worth thousands.
In 2006, the government approved the deregulation of rents, and the developers increased
the rent. Thousands of people found themselves executed within a very short time and ended
up on the street. These were people who could not afford commercial rent, such as seniors,
single mothers, retail chain employees, and assistant workers. De facto, they were
privatized along with apartments as part of the equipment. In the eyes of developers,
however, it was a damaging, difficult insect, and to get rid of it, they started hiring
deratizators, private security agencies. After the emigration of the socially weak, those
who have tightened the rent have also come to the fore. They were an obstacle to further
investment projects. They did not even spoil the deratizators. It started with threats of
further rent increases and continued openly by mafia practices, the destruction of
equipment in corridors, flats, and physical attack by tenants. Some practices were quite
cunning, in the abandoned flats there was a continuous reconstruction. Everything had to
be done to prevent them from living in these houses.
One of the busy tenants was Mrs. Jolanta Brzeska. She lived in a house that was
reconstructed after her father's war. In 2006, a delegation appeared in front of the
house. It turned out that the house was returned to the original owner in the restitution.
Including tenants. In the following months, the tenants received indiscriminate threats.
Mrs. Brzeske's apartment tried several times to break a bunch of sharp boys who claimed to
have a permanent residence at this address. It was not until Mrs. Brzeska contacted the
solidary group that the attempts ceased. After this incident, she contacted other tenants
and decided to deal with the situation. In 2006, together with several members of the
Solidarity Group, Warsaw Tenant Association
(Warszawskie Stowarzyszenie Lokatorów), which launched a campaign against restitution and
housing policy of the municipality. In 2010, the association contributed to the release of
the first report on the crimes committed in the restitution process, which the political
class had mercilessly ignored.
In March 2011, a burnt body of Mrs. Brzeska was found in a forest on the outskirts of
Warsaw. From the beginning of the investigation into her death, both the police and the
prosecutor claimed that Ms. Brzeska had committed suicide by self-immolation. After two
years, the case was postponed. Jolanta Brzeska became a symbol of tenants' resistance. The
slogan "You can not burn us all!" (Wszytkich nas na slealie!) Began to resonate through
the streets of Warsaw and other cities experiencing similar restitution practices. In
March 2017, the Minister of Justice renewed the investigation into the death of Mrs.
Brzeske, under pressure from the public, on the grounds that she was most likely murdered.
In the second half of 2017, after countless protests by tenants, the issue of restitution
of flats was successful in the public debate. It has been shown that government officials
and municipal councilors have been working for years with security agency deratizators,
who provided important information. The result was the arrest and prosecution of some
The extent of this affair is enormous. Thousands of flats were thrown into the bosom of
businessmen, often without verifying their claims. Developers dominate the market in the
most lucrative Polish neighborhoods. Kaczyn's clefefacial administration is now
relentlessly abusing the restitution process to consolidate its power. The tenants'
movement, which includes a number of anti-authoritarian and anti-authoritarians,
fortunately does not trust the politicians, and the ruling ultra-conservative right, which
has participated and participates in the looting of public space, especially not. The
tenants' movement calls for a more effective investigation into the murder of Mrs.
Brzeske, a new law that removes developer claims and compensation for victims of restitution.
Tenants are not a commodity!
You will not burn us all!
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