Various protests to protect one of Europe's largest wild wetlands against a highway. Join them!
Anarchists, environmentalists, some NGOs and just plain citizens have been involved lately in stepping up the protest against the destruction of the Rospuda Valley, one of Europe's largest wild wetlands, in the north east of Poland. The government plans to build the Agustow Bypass, part of the Via Baltica highway, though these wetlands, despite the fact that there is a proposed alternative route. Recently, the decision to start the construction people was signed by government bureaucrats, which means that the bulldozers can come at any moment. We suppose they are only waiting for the snow to thaw to start this work.
In response on February 12 a camp has been set up on the sight. So far there are some members of Greenpeace and other ecological organisations and some anarchists there. They are camping in rather rough winter conditions. We suppose that when it gets a little warmer next week, a larger group of people will go, including a large anarchist delegation.
In Warsaw, ordinary citizens started a daily action at the Ministry of the Environment which is growing in number. Anarchists from FA Praga and the Praga Bicylist Group, supported also by Green Mazovia, have started some protests at the Budimex headquarters: Budimex is the company which is to start building in the Rospuda Valley.
At yesterday's picket, anarchists pointed out the political and economic aspects of the decision to build in the valley, not only the environmental impact. It was also pointed out that while Budimex firm and some politicians who invested in the land along the highway route will profit, Poland will probably get a fine imposed by the European Union for destroying an area protected by Nature 2000 and that normal citizens will have to suffer because their tax money will be wasted to pay that fine.
The protests are supported by a large group of people in society, even though most don't come out to protest; a huge amount have signed protest letters though. There is a lot of support from unexpected quarters as well, for example yesterday the Lech Poznan football team also lent support to the protest.
At this moment you can find most news and updates on viabalticainfo.org And don' t worry, there is a part of the site in english as well. Also Indymedia Poland can be good to check.
More about the Rospuda Valley Wetlands: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rospuda_River
Background information about the project and example letters to sign and send you can find on the site of Bankwatch: www.bankwatch.org
Pictures from the camp on the Polish Greenpeace site (you can also get an impression of the winter weather).
Join the camp and help defending Rospuda!
Join the camp! but first year this information:
Prepare for heavy weather conditions: low temperatures, snow, wind.
Think twice if you are determined enough and tough to sleep in a tent in a forest in such a situation. We do not discourage you from joining the camp of Independent Republic of Rospuda - but we ask you to compare your courage with what is needed there.
If you want to come, please take with you:
- a tent
- (very) warm sleeping bag/blankets/thermal blankets and other sophisticated [...] - so you will not get frozen at night
- some bowls and cutlery, a cup
- lot of warm clothes
- waterproof shoes
- wellies if you have one
- torch(es) (incl. head torch)
- creams protecting from cold and wind
- first aid kit
- some camping heaters
If you have spare sleeping back - take it.
If you can bring climbing equipment (and can risk loosing it) - bring it as well.
There is no water and electricity in the camp.
One every few days you will be able to use some of the neighbourhood households to wash yourself, and if you will get frozen to stay overnight in one of them to get better.
There will be some meals available, and if you will need to make additional shopping it will be possible.
Please organise yourself in bigger groups (if possible) so it is easier for us to get you from the train station.
Whoever wants to come or support the camp should contact Agata Zielinska on 0048 503 157 028
1. No alcohol/drugs.
2. It is peaceful initiative. So be respectful towards other participants.
3. You are responsible for yourself.
Don't criticise what you don't understand - first ask. It can happen that there is some justification for it
It is also possible to support this camp financially! Send money to the following bank account:
Account number (IBAN): 44 16801206 0000 3000 1447 1454 (with adnotation "Rospuda"!!)
Name account holder: Fundacja Instytut Spraw Obywatelskich (The Civil Affairs Institute)
Full address account holder: ul. Wieckowiskiego 33/127 90-734 Lodz
City / Country: Lodz/Poland
Name Bank / Branch: Invest Bank
Swiftcode (BIC): IVSEPL PP