Warsaw: Tenants' Day

On Oct.2 we took part in the annual Tenants' Day event in Warsaw. This year we walked around the streets of Praga where tenants are suffering from issues such as privatization, slumlord tactics and landlord harassment, rising rents, gentrification and negligence by the city. People stopped in front of houses where there have been battles related to privatization, eviction, city corruption or gross negligence and the tenants told their stories, what they have been doing to fight the situation and the reactions of the state or city authorities or landlords. In this way we brought these problems once again into public view in the neighbourhood, giving people a chance to hear about them, meet their neighbours and discuss further action.

After a walk around the neighbourhood, stopping at various buildings, there was a meeting at the bandshell in the park, where people discussed what else can be done and told a little more about their problems. A few people in the park found out about the existence of a movement this way and joined in to explain their own situations.

Members of the ZSP are also among the founders of the Tenants' Defense Committee, which organized this march with some other building or block associations, some of which we helped them set up. It is worth noting that the Committee decided hold this event instead of go into an event with a heavy presence of political vanguardists in order to stress the grassroots aspect of the movement, free of politicians, parties, self-organized and self-funded and we support this philosophy.

We also send a special greeting of solidarity to tenants in Serbia who may be effected by the decision to restitute property to the heirs of pre-WWII owners or whoever obtained the claim. Members of ZSP and the Tenants' Defense Committee declared the desire to help share knowledge and experience with tenants and comrades in Serbia, should they need to fight dislocation and other effects of eventual reprivatization.

Photo gallery: http://lokatorzy.info.pl/dzien-lokatora-2011/

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