Statement of ACK Belarus on Dzmitry Z.
On December 5, there was a brutal takeover of the Syrena squat in Warsaw, which was caused by an attempt to throw Dima Z. out of the squat. Z. lived there for about five years, and the long-lasting internal conflict in the squat turned into violence and threats of violence by Dima. During the lengthy public discussion of the incidents, a collective eviction decision was made which he was informed in advance and given time to pack up but refused to voluntarily move out. Consequently, he was removed from the building and his girlfriend was given the opportunity to pack her belongings and leave the tenement house when she was ready. Later, an armed crowd came from the neighboring squat of the Clinic and attacked the inhabitants of Syrena, who had to flee for fear of violence.
It is worth noting that Dima Z. is one of the prisoners we supported at the time. In 2013, there was a group fight with the right-wingers in Brest, after which three people, including Z., were convicted. He was released in 2016 and moved to Warsaw. His past, as well as the high-profile case of Belarus and the large number of political refugees who arrived in 2020-2021, created an image of a martyr around Dima, oppressed by privileged Polish activists.
As a political collective, we are aware of the responsibility of the ACK to support the repressed. During his time in prison, we visited over 100 cities in Europe, disseminating information, including his case, highlighting police brutality, circulating numerous statements calling for solidarity from the international community, and doing everything in our power to write him down on international lists of anti-fascist prisoners, so that he would receive support and make his name known, among other things, in the context of repression. All this gives each prisoner a certain reputation, and we cannot always fully vouch for the political views and methods of operation of individual activists. Moreover, we cannot predict how these people will behave after their release.
It is worth admitting, however, that the publicity we have created helps individuals to take advantage of the political infrastructure of anarchist movements and other movements associated with them. It is much easier for them to migrate, meet with a friendly reception in squats, and use the help of local anti-repression groups. We are not saying that Dima Z. has integrated only thanks to the ACK, but we cannot claim that ACK support plays no role in the perception of the repressed activists in Belarus.
We are especially annoyed by the fact that sometimes such “activists” come and take over local political spaces that arose as a result of the struggles of local movements with which the repressed Belarusians had nothing to do with, but only use the products of these struggles and consider themselves entitled to decide about them. the future, covering itself with its “affliction”.
There is no simple solution to this problem. We can only call on activists not to create in their heads the pictures of fighters with the system in the case of migrants from Belarus. Each person is trustworthy only when he gains it in direct interaction with new people he meets.
We condemn the behavior of Dima Z. and his support group.