Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Congress of the Anarchist Federation of Poland took place on February 17th to 18th in the city of Szczecin, Poland. The report of the participants follows,
"This Congress attracted special police interest; we were informed that the police visited the space the day before and probably left a listening devise. They also decided to visit the space but left after people explained that they weren't invited and nobody would talk to them.
The Anarchist federation accepted two new sections: FA Dublin(Molly Note:I assume this refers to Polish workers presently resident in Ireland) and FA Pila. For the first time, observers to the Congress probably outnumbered FA members. Unfortunately attendance from the sections was rather low with only groups from Lodz, Warsaw-Praga, Gorzow, Krakow, Poznan, Silesia, Szczecin and Torun attending.
Special attention was paid to upcoming campaigns including protests and calls for a referendum on the placement of a US missile base in Poland, mobilization to the Rospuda Valley, May Day and the G8. It was also decided to hold a few days of anti-militarist actions around the time of the anniversary of the war in Iraq.
It was decided to hold an anarchist integration camp in Poland at the end of August. Other discussions and campaigns discussed included actions in defense of refugees, a proposal to but land for an ecological village and ways to promote direct democracy.
A number of internal and organizational matters were also discussed and decided. Many ideas were discussed relating to increasing participation inside the Federation and improving the information flow and cooperation between sections. It was also decided to do more to utilize existing resources and to publicize things like the collective secretariat more widely.
The next Congress will be held in the fall in Krakow."
Molly Note:
Anarchism has actually experienced a dramatic growth in Poland in recent years. The website of the Polish Anarchist federation can be found at . The Polish FA is very much like the French FA as it is a "synthesist" organization that brings together anarchists from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The website has an very out of date English section like most anarchist websites in Eastern Europe. Translations to French or Spanish are non-existent. What the Poles are proving as we speak is that it is "possible" for a dynamic synthesist federation to exist and have a real presence in the world. It's hard to say if their experience(or that of the French FA or the Italian FAI) is directly transferable to North America as the ideological divisions here are much deeper than in Europe. But it at least shows that such a method of organizing is applicable in at least some places.


Larry Gambone said...

Ah ya beat me to it. I was gonna post that on my blog! Anyway it certainly shows that anarchism is advancing in Poland. Not only do they have the Anarchist Federation but I believe there is some sort of functioning syndicalist union as well, and a number of Individualist groups.

beinghad said...

Didn't becoming a member of the EU have something to do with freedom of speech and right to peaceful assembly? Why are the secret police still playing with groups and trying to intimidate people. Obviously nothing has changed since they pulled my passport and held me there for a year on trumped up charges. No wonder everyone ran away.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is akai from the Anarchist Federation in Poland and I came across this by accident. This is very interesting but it doesn't look exactly as you imagine, so a bit of clarification.

No, anarchism is not exactly on the rise, although the level of activity of some groups is quite high and certain types of activities have improved.

No, a synthesis organization does not work well in Poland. FA as a synthesis organization has been experiencing problems with this for many years. The objectives of some groups are too different. This means that in reality, when some group proposes a project that most other people don't like, there is the painful rejection process. For example, at this Congress the group in Krakow, which is the only one that has anarcho-capitalists, made a proposal that others didn't want and felt quite alienated. Also, a couple of groups that before had mixed ideas, like the group in Szczecin, split up into two groups with one group withdrawing from the Anarchist Federation.

Of course, despite this, the Federation "functions" to some extent, but so poorly that a lot of people fuck it. This is one reason it has an out-of-date web page. I suppose some people are alienated from it because it doesn't represent the type of organization they want; some want a synthesis organization, others not and this divide cannot be overcome.

I don't know of any individualist groups, only some individualists.

There are two workers' groups, one syndicalist union with lots of authoritarian leftists and one anarcho-syndicalist and communist one.

I don't mean to be condescending, but the EU doesn't have the slightest thing to do with free speech and peaceful assembly and it's actually quite shocking if that sort of information is floating around. Poland's constitution of the 3rd Republic guaranteed this. In theory there has been free speech etc. since 1989, but it's only a theory just like in any other "democratic" state. The EU is first a foremost an economic instrument - now it probably will become a military one as well. Since joining the EU, the situation in terms of activism has become worse since the EU is behind the Schengen activist databases which police use and has been instrumental in enforcing things such as intellectual property laws and counter-terrorist actions which are used to repress political radicals.