„Syrians from Damascus needed urgent medical intervention. One person was vomiting blood and complained about chest pain. We provided the necessary assistance to the person in a serious condition and then donated warm clothes, food and clean water, heaters, warm soup and, as always, super sweet tea.”- wrote Salam Lab, one of the organizations that came together to form the Border Group, on January 3. They also reported that the migrants’ phones were destroyed. The screens were broken, the inputs to the chargers were bent with screwdrivers.
„Members of the group also stressed several times that they have been victims of physical violence by both Belarusian and Polish services.”- add activists from Salam Lab.
Since August, the Border Group, consisting of 14 organizations, has been continuously working on behalf of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border who are victims of torture, violence, and whose civil rights are not respected. Since August, people have been continuously arriving in the forests of the border zone, and we know of more than a dozen deaths.
The Border Group has just published a summary of its activities in 2021. The scale of abuse by the Polish state, which is completely ignoring the problem, is overwhelming.
The Group’s report, covering activities from 15 August to 2 January, speaks of 7700 people coming for help, including 405 children in the period from 15 October. Humanitarian aid is provided along the entire length of the Polish-Belarusian border, which is over 400 km. A total of 900 humanitarian aid interventions have been carried out.
„I hope that one day people from the Border Guard will answer for breaking the law and torture inflicted on innocent people. I have read descriptions of such acts in the accounts of people who survived World War II, who wrote about German executioners and Soviet camps,” wrote Janina Ochojska, MEP and founder of the Polish Humanitarian Action, commenting on the actions of Polish services during the humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
On 3 January, in a gesture of solidarity with Janina Ochojska, in many Polish cities public figures reported themselves to prosecutors’ offices, notifying them that a crime may have been committed.
– In the face of the crime that is taking place on the border, it is simply impossible to remain silent. Because this is a crime and we must call a spade a spade. It is a crime that the Polish authorities, instead of rescuing people, people and not refugees, in a life-threatening situation, deliberately, cruelly and with full awareness condemn them to death. It is also a crime to persecute and silence those who are trying to help, such as Janina Ochojska, who was prosecuted for her words of truth. It is in solidarity with her that over a hundred activists (you can still join us) are today denouncing themselves. I also say that the Polish authorities commit a crime and I will have to bear the punishment for it”, says Ewa Jałochowska, a writer who, together with other activists, filed a denunciation to the prosecutor’s office in Warsaw.
A statement is available on the Internet, signed by more people, accusing the Polish government of crimes against humanity.
„Free School, Free People, Free Poland” – under this slogan protests were on 3rd of January in front of the offices of the school superintendents and the building of the Ministry of National Education. On the entrance doors to the buildings in dozens of cities manifestos were nailed, containing the three theses. But this is not the end of the protests.
Few politicians provoke such social resistance with their actions as Przemysław Czarnek. The minister of education inspired youth to begian another series of protests against the ideologization of Polish schools, expressed in the law called Lex Czarnek.
The minister has set himself the goal of taking control over extra activities conducted in Polish schools by non-governmental organizations. Until now, the consent of parents was enough to organize such classes. Czarnek wants them to require the approval of the school superintendent. In this way, the ministry wants to combat classes it considers ideologically hostile, such as sexual education.
In addition, the bill contains several other disturbing ideas, giving Czarnek the tools to interfere in the teaching process, including the ability to dismiss the head of an institution on the recommendation of the school superintendent.
The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Nowy Sącz will again conduct an investigation in connection with the damage to DVDs that constituted evidence in the case of the accident of the government column of former Prime Minister Beata Szydło in Oświęcim.
On December 10th, the District Court in Chrzanów overruled the prosecutor’s decision to discontinue the investigation into the damage to three discs that constituted evidence in the case led by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Kraków.
The damaged discs contained, among other things, the recording of the passage of a government column. Investigators will have to determine precisely who had contact with the media. The investigation is at an early stage.
The accident occurred on 10th of February, 2017 in Oswiecim. Police reported that three government cars with then Prime Minister Szydło (her vehicle was in the middle) were passing a Fiat seicento. Its driver let the first car pass and then started to turn left and hit the car where Szydło was. The car with the head of government consequently hit a tree.
Since the morning of January 4th, miners block the shipment of coal from the mines of the Polish Mining Group to power plants. At stake in the protest are raises and wages for working on Saturdays and Sundays. Since September, miners have also been extracting coal on public holidays, but the payroll fund has not increased as a result.
The miners in groups of a dozen or so have set up blockades on the railroad tracks that carry coal from mines to the power plant. They started in the morning, changing every few hours. They remained in place for 48 hours. They are displaying flags of the Miners’ Trade Union, the August ’80 Movement, the Solidarity Miners’ Union and other trade unions. They also inform about the strike alert; a referendum will be held in the companies and the employees will decide what to do next if the protest does not bring any results.
– For today, we want to arrange money for employees who worked overtime – Bogusław Hutek, the head of the mining „Solidarity” told journalists in the morning.
Since September, miners have been extracting coal seven days a week. However, the salary fund has not changed in their favour. Therefore, people who have been extracting the raw material, which is still strategic for the Polish energy sector, have been doing their hard work partly for free. They want compensation for this. And they remind that there would not be a need for an express increase in extraction now if the Polish government had not imported Russian coal in previous years, guided only by bargain prices. Now, when these supplies are not available, it expects the mines to deliver more raw material immediately.
The second demand of the protesters is a pay rise: the average salary in the Polish Mining Group would reach 8200 PLN gross.
Since 2017, the Polish government was supposed to use the Pegasus spy system for surveillance of politicians and judicial employees. This was revealed by John Scott-Railton, an expert at the Citizen Lab institution, which determined that Roman Giertych, prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek and Senator Krzysztof Brejza were victims of surveillance in Poland.
The Citizen Lab group based at the University of Toronto has found in its expert report that Civic Coalition Senator Krzysztof Brejza was a victim of surveillance using Pegasus software. This occurred in 2019, at a time when Brejza was the head of the KO campaign ahead of the general election. Previously, Citizen Lab reported that lawyer Roman Giertych and prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek had been surveillance.
In Wrzosek’s case, the Warsaw District Prosecutor’s Office refused to initiate proceedings after the prosecutor filed a notice of „alleged cyber attack on her cell phone.”
Why it worth reading Rosa Luxemburg a century after her death, was Rosa really an opponent…