<alter-ee> Anti-Border demonstration in Warszawa

Carwil James alter-ee@lists.most.org.pl
Mon, 30 Jun 2003 09:13:36 0200 (UTC)


Anarchists demonstrate against borders
Police demonstrate global apartheid

Carwil James


WARSZAWA, 30 June 2003-- A spirited crowd of local anarchists and radicals 
from throughout Eastern Europe and beyond held an unpermitted march today
protesting borders and deportations.

Poland, which voted to join the European Union this month, is poised to
move from a country of people excluded from Fortress Europe to the frontline
of deportations and enforcement against peoples from the East, Asia and
Africa. Tomorrow was the original date (since postponed) for the imposition of 
a new visa regime on Poland's eastern neighbors: Belarus, Russia and the
Ukraine.

Against this, activists said today: No new iron curtain! Stop
deportations! 

Marching beyond banners declaring this in Polish and Russian, nearly 100
marchers moved from the giant market in Warszawa's Praha neighborhood--where 
many of the vendors and shoppers have origins outside the new Fortress
Europe--across a half-kilometer long bridge into downtown Warsaw.
Demonstrators waved black and red flags and shouted in five languages: No human being
is illegal.

The issue is front and center for the Polish anarchist movement, which is
hosting a four-day anti-border conference and then a six-day anti-border
camp to be held at the Belarussian border.

After crossing the bridge the march was met with a series of police
incursions, most of which were calmly walked around. After turning south and
marching several blocks, a front of police began to hold marchers back and
wrestled for the banners which were leading the march. Several demonstrators
were pursued for carrying flags or bullhorns and a police cordon surrounded
about half of the demonstrators. As the police snatched four of five
people out of this group, they began to hold together, using their banners as
protection.

Then a slow process began... As if to demonstrate the reality of global
apartheid, the police began asking for documents. For reasons that are not
entirely clear, some people handed over their passports and had them looked
and then were released. Others were bundled into police cars. During the
middle of this processing, one unrelated person walked up to Bankomat and
withdrew money, not more than 5 feet behind police lines. Altogether, at
least 10 and probably around 15 people were being arrested and are held
about a block away from where i am writing this. Both Poles and internationals
are in police custody. Again, for no apparent reason, a detachment of
thirty riot police deployed to the scene as the last three people were arrested.

A gathering of several dozen activists is outside the police station in
support.