Sunday, 3 June 2012

Action against Property Speculator

In April, there was a blockade of an eviction. (See video below.) However, one has to remember that blockades do not always solve the problems of the tenants. On June 5, the landlady will try to evict this woman again and, we presume, with more force.

On the 28th, there was a picket at the local council. But we also decided to target the president of the real estate company directly. She owns another building and a few restaurants. (By the way, there have also been complaints about the crap pay there,) We went to picket at CK Oberża restaurant, on a pedestrian street in the center of Warsaw.

People handed out information about the situation. The building which her company purchased (for 4 million zloties - about 1 million euro - nota bene, very cheaply) was build before the war but was almost completely destroyed in 1944. Since only fragments of the first two floors remained, and the rest was destroyed, the city did what they did in many places in post-war Warsaw: they got some materials and got some people who needed a place to live and told them to rebuild the house and then they could live there. That is how Iwona's family, and others still there, came to live there in 1946.

Such houses cannot be understood to be the former property of pre-war owners, because what was there before the war was destroyed and what was built afterwards was on public money, with free labour of people who would live there. These houses legally should not be returned, but.... Furthermore, once they are returned to "heirs", (some of which later turn out not to have the rights), they are immediately sold "in good faith" and the state acts as if such transactions can never be voided.

So the house Iwona lives in with her teenage son is now the property of a real estate company. The president also owns an impressive building on a pedestrian street in Warsaw and has many business interests. People like her though are not satisfied and go on collecting pieces of real estate, as if kicking out people and making them nice for the bourgeois were a nice hobby. In relation to our disgust, we call on people to boycott the businesses of that woman, including restaurants CK Oberza, Jajo and Zanzibar.

It should also be noted that we were harrassed by one representative of the restaurant who called the police on us and threatened to sue us for loss of revenue. The police thought they would be clever and allow this woman to copy our personal data during identity checks. Which is a violation of the law on protection of personal data. Luckily we managed to film this procedure. Another example of how police can choose to protect the rich against the poor. (Although we have also seen at other times, that this is a choice and the police can also chose to not do it.)

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