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(en) Poland, ozarow - more info, ABC

From "Laure" <cube@zigzag.pl>
Date Wed, 11 Dec 2002 16:15:42 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

More info about Ozarow from the Poznan group of Workers' Initiative.
*****News from Ozarow protest*******
On 26th of November the workers of Ożarów Cable Factory, who have occupied
their factory for 219 days, were brutally beaten and forced to remove from
the main gate of the plant. Buses filled in with the securities from the
IMPEL company who were hired by the owner of the factory, Bogusław Ciupała,
arrived in the morning. The police saw all accident but nobody reacted to
brutal attacks on the workmen. Moreover, after a few minutes they arrested
the most resistant workers. Some people were hurt and about ten were
The situation calmed down although some workers tried to set up the
roadblocks at 9 a.m. However, about 2 o'clock p.m., when the workers were
gathering on the road again, the anti-riot police started to push down the
crowd from the road into a pavement. The policemen used the truncheons and
kicked the defenceless workers, especially the most helpless women. None
knows why and on which ground the police also took out accidental people
from the crowd.

One hour later the workers moved from the road to main gate because lorries
carried out the industrial machines wanted to leave the factory. Some elder
women were on their knees and prayed but it didn't make the anti-riot police
stop. One more time, they pushed out the crowd in very rough way. Praying
women were beaten in their heads while the rest was clubbed in their backs
and legs. The crowd started to cry out "gestapo". But the police still made
nothing of helpless people and tried to provoke them. In the meantime,
indignant people threw lorries leaving the factory with stones and "molotow
   To sum up, ten workers were arrested and at least four were taken to
hospital (for example, a man who lost conscious as a result of being
strangled with a truncheon by a policeman).
 In a Wednesday's pronouncement a chairman of Protesting Committee,
Arkadiusz Sliwiński, said: "the brutal attack of a drunk horde of bandits
named members of the security on helpless, calm participants of the
manifestation in the presence of the police forces, made workers be
desperate"." Inactivity of the police in the moment of attack of the
securities and unlawful breaking the legal manifestation by the police
explicitly show that the low in Poland is not obligatory. That's why we also
feel free to not observe the rules in the life-threatening situations."
The Protesting Committee of the Shipyard in Szczecin protests also against
"inhuman, egregious and punishable" treating the workers of the liquidated
factory by the security, the police and the government. Workmen of the
shipyard wrote that the last events indicate arrogance of government and
unworthy treating human being in Poland. Protesting pronouncement addressed
to Prime Minister was sent also to the president and Home Affairs and
Administration Ministry official (MSWiA). Protesting Committee is indignant
with the owner of the factory in Ożarów who hired the security to break down
the legal manifestation and with the police who didn't react on brutal
behaviour of the security forces.
A lot of different social and worker organisations showed solidarity and
sympathy with workmen from the factory in Ożarów. The Mayor of Ożarów
Mazowiecki considers bringing a suit against securities hired by the owner
of Tele-Fonica, who attacked the workers.
Next days of the protest looked like previous: few minutes before lorries'
leaving from the factory about one hundred armed police forces pacified
workers' manifestation pushing down them from the road. Secondly, the police
arrested accidental people. When workmen tried to set a camp on Tuesday, the
security intervened with the consent of the police because the road seemed
to be private area belonging to Tele-Fonica. After few hours the police made
a statement than the road was rather public so that the police could
intervene. Unexpectedly, the anti-riot police entered also to the nearly
infant school. They arrested working men while women trying to persuade
policemen to withdraw were insulted. To give reasons for their coming, the
police "found" in the infant school few bottles with petrol, which were said
to be left by workers (without any evidence).
On Friday the protest was supported by workmen from the shipyard in Gdańsk
(crews from Cegielski in Poznań, the shipyard in Szczecin and others
supported Ożarów from the very beginning) and activists from the Anarchist
Some private media like TVN and Polsat showed its egregious, ignorant
attitude to all events. Their news about the incident recalled the best
products coming from the propaganda from communist regime.
The workers of the factory in Ożarów started their protest over seven months
ago. It's sad to hear that any institution, influential people (like the
government, the media, the owner of the factory) hadn't reacted to their
petitions and begs until such drastic event happened. A lot of people had to
be beaten and arrested to make the government aware how big the problem is.
 The Labour Ministry official invites at least representatives of protesting
people and the local government from Ożarów to negotiations on Wednesday
(03.12.02). However, the workers don't take the government's promises
seriously and announce that they will not join negotiations till carrying
out of industrial machines from Ozarów will be stopped.
On last Sunday and Monday (01.12.02 and 02.12.02) any lorry arrived to or
left the factory. Carrying out of the factory equipment was stopped. But it
doesn't mean that the workers from the factories in Poland will forgot about
wrong done to them. The activists from Trade Union and workers organisations
announce protests. On 6th of December OKP (Polish Protesting Committee) is
to gather in Łódź. One of the subjects will be organising the day of the
general protest in Poland. The Worker Initiative and Anarchist Federation is
going to organise protest on 13th and 14th of December in Wrocław, Szczecin
and Poznań. Solidary duties are to be on next Saturday and Sunday near the
main gate of the cable factory in Ożarów.

Appeal for support of Ozarow protest

The workers of the cable factory in Ożarów have protested without any brake
for over seven months. They are blocking the main gate of factory to make
carries out of the machine industrial impossible.
The factory had worked without any problems (a lot of orders, good financial
position, work on three shifts) as long as Tele-Fonica bought it. The new
owner, Bogusław Ciupał, from day to day dismissed all crew and stopped the
The official reason why the factory should be closed was that marketplace of
the telephonic cables broke down. The owner made nothing of the workers who
could produce every kind of cables (not only telephonic), had a new
technology, good machines and had fulfilled every order. No negotiation with
the workers had been made. That's shows how owner of Tele-Fonica who has
monopoly in the polish marketplace treats people working for him.
All industrial machines are going to be carried out, a ground belonging to
Tele-Fonica is for sell. Nobody cares that the factory gave cost of life for
the great majority of the families from Ożarów and from a neighbourhood.
Workmen have only one postulate (demand) - the factory should work again.
>From the very beginning the workers took into consideration every possible
solution: selling the factory to different owner who would open it, taking
over the plant by the workers. All possible legal ways of showing their
helplessness were used- demonstrations, marches etc.
 It's not a secret that the owner of Tele-Fonica, who became rich during
policy transformation in 1989, has support of the local financial and
political elite. That's why all activities going to opening the factory are
finished with debacle. A great number of members of this elite and plant's
administration wanted to close the factory as quickly as possible. They had
believed that the protest would have weakened very quickly. But the workers
are decided to fight to the end.
 Last days showed their determination, which became a symbol of a combat
about rights for a work and worthy life.

************** As a result of 5 days battle with police and private
security, 50 people were arrested. ALl of them are free now but they may
face fines or other prison sentences. The protest has been going on for
months while these workers have no income. Most of them cannot afford
attorneys. Workers' Initaive has been supporting this protest from the
beginning as much as we can. Now we are calling on comrades to help
financially. Now, in this hard and decisive moments workers of Ożarów really
need a strong support from all of us from outside. Every help is important -
it will show that their struggle is not isolated.

We are collecting money through the Anarchist Black Cross. Funds, with a
note "for Ozarow" can be sent to
PEKAO BP XX odzial poznan
ul.stary rynek 44
61722 poznan
swift code:
for USD: 10204085-5999100-270-44787
owner: marek piekarski

Workers solidarity!

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