[Warsaw] Tens of thousands of public housing units may be privatized: ZSP informs tenants, calls on them to join rent strike

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akai
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Oct 17 2010 20:08
[Warsaw] Tens of thousands of public housing units may be privatized: ZSP informs tenants, calls on them to join rent strike

From Oct. 15-17, members of ZSP Warsaw delivered notices to over 1000 buildings in Warsaw informing the tenants that their buildings, now public housing, may be privatized. Currently there are claims for close to 10,000 buildings in the city - tens of thousands of people living in public housing may be effected and soon face drastic rent increases or eviction.

The information on which buildings in the center of Warsaw already have cases in court concerning their reprivatization came from a classified document which we received. See the press release below.

Oct. 13, 2010
PRESS RELEASE

On the Publication of the City's Secret Report

On Oct. 13, tenants' activists informed the press of the existence of a secret report compiled by the city administration, deliberately hidden from the public. The report, which "wandered out of city hall", is a list of buildings in the Downtown (Srodmiejsce) adminstrative district of Warsaw towards which court cases concerning "reprivatization" have been initiated.

The information therein is not protected in any way by any regulations on data
protection. Furthermore, as adminstrative procedures initiated towards housing which is currently municipal, this information should be publically accessible, as should any report made by public institutions and paid for with public funds.

We have provided the press and the public with documentation attesting to the fact that on more than one occasion we have asked, in accordance with the Act on Access to Public Information, for such a list. We received answers claiming that no such report exists.

We have asked the city, on more than one occassion, documented in the stenograms of the City Council, to compile such a report. On Sept. 30, Vice President Jakubiak, during the session of the City Council, was asked if such a report existed. He replied "no". Tenants organizations again asked that such a list be compiled and made available on the official web pages of the city.

However, Jakubiak was not telling the truth and now we have the report in our hands. It is 60 pages long and concerns over 1500 buildings in the Downtown of Warsaw.

ZSP declares that it will publish this report and will personally bring this information to each building on this list. What is more, we will absolutely reject any claim that this information is confidential in any way; it does not qualify as such under the administrative law of this city. Therefore, we will not hide ourselves and publish it on Wikileaks, but on our pages and the pages of the tenants' groups we cooperate with. We will not be threatened by any bureaucrats or lawyers and will not remove it. If the city continues to refuse to make public information available to citizens, we will do anything necessary to obtain this information ourselves and get it into the hands of the people it concerns.

The residents of each building indicated on the list will receive information on this
process, which may result in the loss of housing for thousands of families. And they will be informed, in plenty of time before elections, which politicians and adminstrators are involved in the conspiracy to keep such vital information from the people and will be invited to join both the rent strike and upcoming direct actions against politicians and city administrators.

We will continue to take direct action against the state which participates in banditism in the name of the primacy of inherited property, against the administration which conspires with speculators and refuses to be accountable to inhabitants, against the slumlords, both private and municipal, who profit while keeping the people in squalor and misery and against the whole system of governance and landlordism.

ZSP Warsaw

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fingers malone
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Oct 19 2010 18:28

Hello ZSP Warsaw
Today some of the squatting grannies of San Bernardo were in court for eviction and at the protest outside I read out your solidarity message (from quite a while ago) and told them about the rent strike and you got a big solidarity cheer from the crowd, good luck with it and all the best from Seville.

akai
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Oct 19 2010 18:33

Thanks and please keep us informed about what is happening with them. Are they evicted or what happened? We send our solidarity again!

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fingers malone
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Oct 20 2010 10:57

Hope I´m not highjacking your thread, well the local government housing agency are trying to evict three households, two of them have been in court now. We´re waiting to find out the results. The housing agency have been doing a major hatchet job on them in the media, saying they are jumping the queue, they are not really in need, and so on.This agency is controlled by Izquierda Unida (United Left) which is a coalition with the communist party in it, and the leader of this agency takes the whole action really personally and hates the people involved now as it has been embarrasing for them politically so he has been threatening people who do have tenancies that if they support the people who are up for eviction then they will have their tenancies taken away. And these people are about eighty. They´ve been phoning them and saying "oh we´ve seen you on the television protesting". In spite of this intimidation four of the grannies came to the court protest yesterday.
We really appreciate your solidarity and I will keep people here informed about your struggle, if any of you want to get out of the cold in Poland this winter come south it´s very sunny here.

akai
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Oct 20 2010 14:19

Thanks for the comment. It is relevant - the details may be different but the stuggle the same.

And also, the problems happening here affect seniors to a large extent. We also have 80 year olds being evicted - even survivors of concentration camps. One said to me that she survived the nazis but won't survive this government.

Also here is intimidation, which is why some people striking do not come to demos and say it.

Power to the grannies that resisted!

akai
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Oct 22 2010 19:24

BTW, our grannies are getting angrier and angrier here.

A few things make a little sabotage against our protests - politicians running away, today rain right before our demo... but we note that the mood is getting a lot better and more defiant as people are angrier and angrier.

Today we went around the neighbourhood, made some noise during the rush hour. The authorities are getting increasingly pissed and sending undercover police after us now and increasing invigilation. About todays action with photos:

http://zspwawa.blogspot.com/2010/10/tenants-protest-strike-actions-continue.html

akai
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Oct 25 2010 19:19

Today was an occupation of the City Hall:
http://internationalworkersassociation.blogspot.com/2010/10/warsaw-city-hall-occupation-action.html

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thegonzokid
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Oct 26 2010 11:02

Good stuff. Thanks for the updates!

akai
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Oct 28 2010 18:57

Another update:
The day after the City Hall action, we had another long meeting with various bureaucrats. We have got at least one concession, which is no doubt the result of the direct action in the main news: a list of the buildings with court cases concerning reprivatization will now be maintained by the city and published on their webpages. Surely there is still room for them to fuck up something but they are trying to save themselves the embarrassment of getting their documents taken and having us deliver the information to people.