Just before Polish teachers suspended their strike to allow for exams, Philippe Alcoy interviewed Dagmara. She gave us an insider view on the causes of the historic struggle of Polish teachers as well as on the solidarities of pupils and parents. From the French: Celine Cantat. Dagmara Zawistowska-Toczek has been a primary and secondary school teacher in the Polish city of Gdansk for 19 years. She teaches in two institutions (30 hours of in-class teaching with students, plus 10 to 15 hours of work at home). As she explains, she is a “qualified teacher,” the highest rank in the Polish school system, an ..
On April 8th, 74% of schools and kindergardens in Poland went on strike. The strike’s organizer is The Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP), close to the Social Democrats, but the strikers are also members of the pro-government Solidarność (Solidarity) union and non-union members. It is the biggest teachers’ strike since 1993 and possibly the biggest in the history of Poland. There is impressive solidarity and grassroots mobilization of a mainly female occupational group. Inter-school strike committees are being launched as well. The strike also enjoys broad social support. For example, many academic instituti ..
Protesting students of Albania! We are writing to you to send the words of solidarity and support from Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Despite the silence in the mainstream media, we have heard news about your problems and your struggle, which is an inspiration for us. We are students of the University of Warsaw, the Medical University of Warsaw, the Warsaw University of Technology and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, united in the Student Anti-Fascist Committee. Our country is in a similar situation to yours – a violent transformation into capitalism has brought us a social catastrophe, and the neoli ..
On November 30th the centre of the city of Buenos Aires was put on lockdown by the police, the military, and secret services. Martial law provisions were to continue for three days. US aircraft carriers lay offshore on the river plate and the airspace over the city closed. 40,000 police were on the streets of the city to protect twenty top government representatives and a few multilateral bankers; men and women like to refer to themselves as ‘leaders’. While the final official declaration notes that “Strong and effective international financial institutions help underpin growth and sustainable devel ..
Note by the LeftEast editors: this article has been reprinted from the blog of Gavin Rae, Beyond the Transition, with the author’s permission. The Amended Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, passed by the Polish parliament on 26 January, has caused a huge political domestic and international storm (the full English language text of the Act can be found here). As well as widening historical and political divisions in Poland it has opened up a conflict not only with Israel and Ukraine, but also with the country’s major ally the USA. The Act has now been signed by the President, although he ha ..
On Monday October 3rd the eyes of the world were for a moment set on Poland. Deemed “Black Monday” it was the day when pro-choice rallies took place in 87 Polish cities and small towns with more than 30 thousand black-clad protesters spilling over the streets and squares despite a heavy rain. That day was declared a nationwide strike of women and supporters in response to the looming project of a law drastically restricting, or practically cancelling reproductive rights of women and trans persons in Poland. This atrocious proposal would totally ban all abortions and further criminalize women seeking pregnancy ..
On September 27, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church signed a petition calling for a legal ban on abortion. The new children’s rights ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova, who has already declared herself as an obscurantic pro-religious spokeswoman, has enthusiastically supported the initiative of banning abortion, as well as post-coital contraception. As she believes, the “whole world civilized world supports such measures” — and she obviously meant the examples of Poland and Nicaragua. After the predictable results of the parliamentary elections (Putin’s United Russia party now controls ¾ of all th ..
The main result from this weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw was the official proclamation of a “containment” strategy toward Russia. So far, the practical consequence of this declaration is modest in military terms—a total of 3,000 foreign troops will be deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Far more important are the politics of this decision. The “Russian threat” is primarily defined as hybrid, that is it’s covert and exists on the borders of war and peace, state policy and social dynamics. The concept of “hybridity” is central in today’s confrontation between Russ ..