Nov 23, 2008

Defend Polish Antifascists

from a friend of antifascist list. -CAlexander

OK, the text below is written in a rather soft, legalistic way because it's also meant for the mainstream. The situation is that most of the seasoned anarchist activists managed to avoid getting IDed, but a lot of young kids who read about the action in the paper or on the internet were IDed and are being called in to the police. They're trying to get them to talk, to admit to being guilty, to take big fines... So we are making a campaign. The more international e-mails and letters sent, the better. The part underneath the stars may be reposted anywhere.

No Repression for Standing up to Fascism!

Once again, the Polish state protects fascists and antisemites.

On November 11, the far-right antisemitic group ONR (Radical National Camp) held a march in Warsaw. The group is known for violent attacks on homosexuals, extreme nationalism and antisemitism.

ONR organized protests during the "March of the Living", an annual march where Jewish teens (and others) from all over the world go to the Auschwitz death camp. During their protest, some of the people held signs that said "Heil Hitler" or had other nazi and antisemitic slogans. It also organizes annual commemorations of a pogrom in Myslenice. Various formal organizations, including political parties, religious associations and the like have appealed to the authorities on numerous occasions to uphold the laws forbidding the public propagation of fascism and antisemitism but this is usually to no avail.

Often the marches of ONR lead to counterdemonstrations but these are normally accompanied by strong police measures against the counterdemonstrators. ONR has also adopted the tactic of not disclosing the real location of their marches much in advance, which would make it difficult for people inclined to register a legal demonstration to do so. In addition, the police do not usually allow counterdemonstrations in the same place.

This year a counterdemonstration could not be organized and instead a group of people decided to conduct a civil disobedience by vowing to stand in the street in front of the march and not let them pass. The action was nonviolent in nature. Many people not involved in any political movement before came to the action.

The people were surrounded by police and released much later. Many passerbys who were not part of it got caught in the police cordon. Other pedestrians spontaneously joined the antifascists.

Despite the fact that ONR is a hideous criminal organization, it is those who have stood up to the spread of fascism and antisemitism, who have decided to publically manifest their disapproval who are likely to be criminalized. Several young people have been summoned to police stations and, after refusing to testify, were threatened with court cases if they did not agree to accept fines.

The fines are quite high - several times higher than usual for such a misdemeanour. It is clear what tactics the police and using and why.Clearly the police are trying to intimidate and come down hard on young protestors, some of whom have never been to a demo before.

We are calling on people to send a letter to the Interior Ministry and the President of Warsaw asking them not to repress the antifascists for their action of conscience.

A sample letter is attached below, but please add something from yourself and modify them so that not all the letters are the same!

People who have sent letters by mail or fax are asked to send copies to:

Anarchist Solidarity group is also preparing help with legal aid. People wishing to make contributions should contact them to obtain bank details: or

November 11 Solidarity Group


to: Grzegorz Schetyna
Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration
Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji
ul. Stefana Batorego 5, 02-591 Warszawa
fax (0-22) 845-00-20
to: Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz

President of Warsaw

Urząd Warszawy

pl. Bankowy 3/5,00-950 Warszawa

Fax: 022 595 30 52


We are writing to express our concern over the increase in fascist and antisemitic marches in Poland. We believe it is the duty of citizens to protest against the spread of far-right extremism and hate. On November 11 in Warsaw, people took and stand against fascism and antisemitism and they may now face heavy fines or have court cases. The state should not help fascism and try to punish those who resist. We ask that there be no punishment for the antifascists.