Demonstration in defence of Rozbrat

Molly
Drukuj

On Saturday, March 20th, the second demonstration in defence of Rozbrat took place. About 1,500 people from Poznan, Poland and from abroad took part in it. Next Friday, on 26th March, an auction of the grounds of Rozbrat is going to take place. Meanwhile, the issue of Rozbrat still has not been solved and the actions of the city authorities stil favor the potential owner and developer.

The demonstration started at 6.00 p.m. in the centre of Poznan. Many squatters from Berlin and different Polish and foreign cities arrived there. They were representing various social and political organizations. There were loads of banners with slogans in Polish, English and in German, saying eg. “City is not a company”, “Reclaim the city”, “Rozbrat not for sale”, “Stop the privatisation of public space”, “Rozbrat stays, no compromise”, “No to the culture of money” etc.

At the beginning, the organizers welcomed all the people who came for the demonstration and thanked them for the support. People form different political and social organizations made speeches about the importance of Rozbrat.

Later, the demonstration stopped in front of NH Hotel, a luxurious hotel owned by the same people who own Greenkett factory in the outskirts of Poznan, where the workers' rights have been heavily violated. One of Workers' Initiative members (a trade union active at Rozbrat) made a speech about it.

Few hundred meters further, two activists from Poznan were detained for an attempt to drop a banner from the roof of one of the houses on the route of the demo. A group of masked up demonstrators rushed into the staircase of the house where the activists were being I.D.ed – both of them were immediately set free. At that time, the demonstration was waiting for the events to follow. After the situation was clear, the demo moved forward and stopped in front of the American consulate. It was an occasion to remind about the 7th anniversary of the American invasion on Iraq. An activist from the Anarchist Federation, who had taken part in protests against the war, made a speech there.

When the demo was entering the Old Square Market it stopped close to the hospital on Szkolna Street where our comrade from Cegielski factory, Marcel Szary, has been for several weeks now. He's seriously ill and no visitors could come to see him during the protest but the crowd shouted “Marcel Szary, we're with you!”.

On the Old Square Market, activists from different squatters', political and disabled people's organizations made speeches supporting Rozbrat and they criticized the authorities for their politics targeted on profit. Three videos about Rozbrat were screened on the wall of one of the houses on the square and then the march moved in the direction of the City Concil Office on Kolegiacki Square. It was getting dark and red flares were fired on the sides of the demo. 50 people from samba group were leading the demo with marching rhythms.

The demonstration entered Kolegiacki Sq. and stopped in front of the City Council Office. A small dummy version of Rozbrat was put in front of the office, some people put up red and black flags on the building. Another speeches were made in which the city city politics were criticized. The speakers emphasized that the city doesn't belong to the businessmen, they protested against the commercialization of public space. It started to rain heavily and at the same time another action started. Some masked up comrades went up on the sign with the directions to different partner cities of Poznan and put stickers saying Rozbrat on all of them, showing that Rozbrat is everywhere.

“20 theses on the development of Poznan city” were nailed to the door of the office. Then the building was bombarded with fireworks, the protesters were constantly shouting “Rozbrat stays!”, “Hands off Rozbrat!”. Two effigies depicting the mayor of Poznan and a developer were burnt, smoke grenades were fired. The demonstrators were shouting “When you buy Rozbrat, you buy trouble”. Shortly before 9 p.m. the demo was finished.

The police practically didn't interfere in the demonstration. One arrested person turned out to be wanted by the police and he was only watching the demonstration. Very few policemen were present at the demo, although there were many civil cops visible. Many police forces were based in the neighborhood but they were not visible. After the demo the plain clothes cops detained one person and interrogated him at the police station. After two hours he was let free and so far, hasn't been charged with anything.

The goal of the demo was to show our disobey to the neo-liberal politics of the city authorities, who represent the interests of business and also to show the potential investors that an attempt to evict us from there will be met with strong resistance and it will be really expensive. We're ready for direct and legal fight.

We would like to thank all the people who took part in the demonstration and the support for our protest and many solidarity actions. Without you the struggle for Rozbrat wouldn't have been so visible. Solidarity is our weapon!

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