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Ożarów 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 arrested.

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 coctails".

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 Federation.

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.

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