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(en) Polin, No Border Camp In Krynki

From "Laure Akai" <cube@zigzag.pl>
Date Wed, 11 Jul 2001 03:47:51 -0400 (EDT)


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The No-Border Camp in Krynki is coming to an end and was quite successful,
despite Polish secret police's attempts to shut us down.

About 300 people from a dozen countries came to the camp which was held on a
farm in Kundzicze, outside of the border town Krynki. The camp originally
was to be held in Krynki but the authorities outlawed the event which was to
include a multi-cultural festival of poetry, theater and music. Police
harrassment before the event included firing the director of the House of
Culture were these concerts were to be held and threatening him, threatening
numerous activists, giving Bialystok anarchists problems with the demo in
Bialystok, phone taps, etc..

The press was alerted to these police actions and so apparently they decided
not to do anything in Bialystok where there were lots of journalists but to
wait until Krynki. There were border police checking all members of the camp
who left it. On July 7, we decided to have a happening, music, info-tent and
lecture on Tartar minorities in the region in the central square in Krynki.
(This was supposed to be transmitted live on the no-border network but
obviously didn't happen.) We were greeted by something not seen in Poland
since the martial law days: the police, border guard and army was there
which not only a lot of police riot squad but a tank, some carriers, water
cannons, etc.. (And later a  helicopter.) They arrested 4 people and beat
more and basically tried to start a riot but the activists were smarter this
time and just did their thing. The whole town came out and it turned out
that a lot of people supported us very vocally, many even speaking at our
event and visiting our camp later. This turned out to be a total (and very
rare type of) victory for us as the police looked awful in the eyes of the
people. Normal people were yelling at them and harrassing and laughing at
them after that, a few of them had stones and were ready to fight the police
and a few visited the camp and said they would support our actions.

That was basically it for the police except on the 11th (today), there is
supposed to be an attempt to cross the border so there may be further
trouble.

At the camp we talked a lot to people about why we disliked the border
regime and this was fairly well received by the public. We also had a number
of talks and events including workshops on various subjects, meetings,
discussions, a fabulous outdoor film festival, a disco, tourism etc.. And I
guess we'll never forget the soccer match against the locals where our team
proved to be amongst the world's worst!

Laure


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