Anarchist Black Cross

The ABC group of Poznan has been existing continuously since 1996. In this period, according to the acquired experience, forms and range of our activity were changing.Since several years our work has been focusing on practical support for activists of the anarchist movement and other groups cooperating with it. As a result of long-term observations we concluded that one of the biggest problems in the movement is lack of financial and legal backup. We were fed up with noticing different groups, one by one, being trapped in judicial scrambles after organizing even a small protest. Next activists, instead of doing their work, were forced to pay fines and if they didn't the state could blackmailed them (in Crakow, for example, well known local anarchist was arrested before every inconvenient for the state protest under the pretext of unpaid fines from the past). This is useful for the authorities to control the movement by endless court proceedings.
In recent years our work has been focusing on these issues. We have decided to consistently aim at a situation, when any activist accused of something connected with social activity wouldn’t have to bother about repression, being aware that if anything happened, the legal support would be assured as well as financial help if he/she was sentenced.

On this purpose in 1999 we have found „Wolnościowe Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych – ACK Życie /Libertarian Insurance Association/” that has been working until today. Its task is to relieve small ABC budget.

The principles of insurance initiative are based on the idea of treasury of the mutual help. Every few months activists pay little amounts of money to the insurance treasury and in the case of troubles they get aid. The insurance initiative has its statute, where its basic rules are written down. Five-persons' council of representants from three ABC centeres in the country watches over the functioning of the insurance initiative. Since the beginning the insurance initiative a person asking for money is obligated to show the documents pronouncing the final sentence. Next the person gets money or she/he is informed of non-admission such (it concerned fines for offenses that have not been in the field of our help).

Since 2002 we have been regarding forms of repression that touch workers in their workplaces as analogous to national-disciplinary ones. The insurance initiative widened the scope of giving help as well on costs to defense workers against repressions from employers. In 2005 there were first funds payed out to insured Brigestone company's worker, who demanded respect for workers' laws.

After few days' riots in a Cable Factory in Ożarów, as a part of action Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers' Initiative), we appealed together with group from Warsaw for support for the accused workers.

Apart from that ABC Poznan conducts typical activity, what includes: publication of leaflets about how to behave while you are arrested; coordination of anti-repression groups during demonstrations; preparing reports, sending petitions and protests; organization of press conferences about repressions from the state etc. We also support, as far as we can, arrested and repressed activists in Poland as well as abroad.

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