Statement by ABC Warszawa on the attack on the Syrena squat

The following text is a statement by the Anarchist Black Cross group from Warsaw. We publish it underlining that it is in the opinion of this particular group, based on our experience and history of involvement in the situation that has taken place in Warsaw for several months.

As an Anarchist Black Cross group from Warsaw, we cannot help but speak out about the events that took place on December 5 in Warsaw. Some of us, and as a group, somehow participated in the process of resolving this situation, for example in one of the forcibly disturbed meetings of the Syrena social collective, to which we were critically invited in a situation of escalation and demonstration of force as a tool of action.

Some people from our group were also involved in the months-long process of solving this situation as part of the weekly meetings of the Syrena social collective. Some people took an active part in the defense of Siren 5.12. Our commitment is also to write one statement to people who use violence / threats of using violence, which these people could get acquainted with at one of the meetings of the Syrena social collective. Our commitment is also not to sign any of the previous statements that appeared during these events and after December 5 in closed communication and in the public network. Our commitment is a proposal of a workshop meeting for all people involved in this process in the spirit of restorative justice, which we expressed somehow in October. Our commitment is also a change of the meeting place, because after one of the situations of using violence, we felt ourselves and ourselves endangered, and therefore the actions that we take as a group. Our commitment is also the knowledge of various dynamics and processes that have been going on in Syrena for many years, to which we both as individuals and as a group have a critical attitude. We take full responsibility for all our activities and those that we have not performed. We did as much as we could.

At the same time, we wanted to clearly condemn the attack that took place on December 5 by the clinic squat and other people, because we know that there were also people who did not live there. As we have done so far, we also condemn the use of violence in space and against members of the Syrena community. We believe that as a movement we work to find other tools for resolving conflicts and disputes within its framework, so that the only violence we face is the violence of the mechanisms of the nation state and capital and ours against it. What we also care about is inclusiveness, security and the rights of us as people involved in this movement and people as part of society in the face of all kinds of exclusion and oppression. So we feel that we will not be able to cooperate or support the people who actively participated in the escalation of this situation and who attacked the Siren on December 5. This can only take place when these people voluntarily submit to the remedial process, bearing at the same time the full consequences of their behavior expressed in such a process.

We would like to persuade other groups to do so, not only the anarchist ones, also from outside Warsaw, because this situation may permanently destroy and divide our environment and leave a great unhealed trauma, lead to even greater fragmentation, conflict and marginalization of anarchist and more broadly libertarian ideas, which are not have nothing to do with what happened on December 5th. We also see these phenomena in our group and try to work through them together.

At the same time, we hope that in the course of such a process, over time, we will be able to look at the various dynamics and errors of all of us who participated in this situation, ignored it or boycotted it, believing that it did not concern them. For if all those who have an opinion on this subject, but most of all and / or care about something, then we should move on to the conversation on how to protect ourselves from such situations and events in the future. However, we believe that this cannot be done from any point other than the condemnation of the disgraceful attack that took place on December 5 and permanently destroyed the work of dozens of people injured that day, hundreds of people working for change in Warsaw and thousands throughout Poland. Our movement is also a part of the international organism and network, to which we should provide together clear information about what happened in Warsaw and what we feel about it.

As a group that, from the very beginning, wanted to support all those who acted regardless of their economic and social status and other conditions, we cannot agree to the game of oppression and privilege that is being played right before our very eyes. We are aware, however, that this situation bears the hallmarks of a backlash in the face of changes taking place in the Polish anarchist movement, where some of this movement usurps the right to call what is anarchism and what is not, excluding other people and thus defending their status in this movement. So we call on the Warsaw anarchist community and other sympathizing groups to create a forum that will actively deal with this topic, while not imagining that it will not come from the point of condemning the situation of December 5, calling it clearly unacceptable violence and pointing to its perpetrator. We consider this to be the most important task that we face together, of course in respect of the important daily work that individuals and groups do in so many fields.

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