from The Commoner
Fighting Catholics, Fash, and Catholic Fash – An Interview with the Polish Anarchist Federation
In this instalment of our ‘Blueprints for an Anarchist Future’ series, we had the please of speaking to the Polish Anarchist Federation, who are doing wonderful work federating the various anarchist organisation in so-called Poland. In this interview, they spoke to us about the way they are organised, their local activities, and what it is like fighting fascists and Catholics trying to worsen people’s rights in the country. You can find them on Twitter, and on their website.
What part do you hope to play in the anarchist movement?
We are based locally in the city of Wroclaw, but we are looking for contacts and making propaganda in smaller places around us.
We want to contribute globally and locally with our experiences and ideas in all the struggles we are suffering nowadays.
As we are working locally in our community, we are trying to radicalise the left of our town to anarchist ideas and practises and help other libertarian groups in our city, as some of them might not have experience, due to this we created the KWW (Free Wroclaw Confederation) in order to collaborate all together.
Another point we are working on is about the exchange of ideas with other groups inside the Polish territory and outside.
How are you run, are you horizontally organised and who makes the decisions?
We are working horizontally on regular meetings each week. We have some functions which are reviewed collectively and changed after time.
As a federation, how do your various groups federate, and how do you encourage their autonomy and self governance?
As we are in two federations, we have two ways which are more or less similar.
At KWW; Free Wroclaw Confederation, each group is autonomous, and we are located locally in our town and surroundings. Each group sends a delegate with a mandate just to put in common the decisions of each group and confirm the accords.
At the FA; Anarchist Federation, each group has their daily actions as we are autonomous and the reality in each city is very different so the main fronts of each group may vary.
Actually we have two meetings per year where each group sends a delegate, the delegates cannot say their opinions as they have the points expressed in the meeting by each group so they put in common the group’s opinions and confirm the agreements made previously by the groups.
We’ve got different groups and contacts, but unfortunately as the contacts are one or two persons they don’t have a “vote” in the decisions as they aren’t groups yet, but they can express their opinions to the rest of the federation.
We also have to communicate with other federations an “Office”, which is a group of delegates.
Right now we are working on the creation of Zielona Fala, which are groups from the FA more concentrated on the ecologist front.
How do you approach collaborating with other anarchist groups, both inside and outside of Poland?
Inside, as we mentioned we try to have good contact with the rest of the groups but unfortunately outside the so-called Poland we don’t have many official contacts with other groups which is a thing we would like to change for sure.
How do you interact with your local community/ies?
Right now via KWW, many of our militants are in different fronts, for example we have a group of Food Not Bombs where we try to help everyone who has a need regarding food or clothes.
At the group Akcja Lokatorska we are organizing ourselves to stop evictions. With the union ZSP we also are doing propaganda and fighting in our working places.
As FA right now we are more concentrated on the Pro-Abortion demos, as the national-catholic government in the so-called Poland has banned abortion.
We are producing propaganda, organizing demonstrations and blockades, and throwing propaganda into the internet.
What specific problems do you face in Poland, and how have you approached those problems?
Nazis. We have to defend ourselves so we have to train martial arts, and take care of ourselves at each moment as there can be attacks, as happened during the last demos.
As polish society is more balanced to the right actually the people are starting to loose the goal of the last demos and protesting just against the ruling party so we are trying to remind them of the main goal of why are we fighting.
Also the Catholic church is quite a big minus as not only are they ruling the country, they are also financing the fascist organizations so we are driving the propaganda this way also.
What would you say was your biggest win as an organisation?
We were invited to some platforms to talk about the gentrification and the urbanization due to our fight against the rising speculation and gentrification.
Also we were the first to propose and move the confederation in our city and now we are about twelve groups working together, fighting in many fronts and helping each other.
From the last years due to the propaganda of the Federation many people started to militate in our group and also opened new groups which drove to the opening of two squats in our city after a long time without one and a progressive development of our movement in the city.
What have your interactions been like with the local and state government?
We have a campaign trying to make public transport free as there are many cities in Poland where its free and here its rising more and more, which is an interesting long-term front. Lately they answered to a letter we sent.
Also we are having our pluses and minuses with our youtuber-mayor, after he sent a group of bandits to evict one of the squats.
How important is security culture to you and how do you help foster it?
Its very important to us as you can understand mostly because of the fascists.
If you had any advice for anyone wanting to create an organisation like yours, what would it be?
Just start, that’s the most important, if you have people near/groups ask for help making propaganda and so on… but starting is the most important.
Also don’t concentrate your propaganda in just one place, internet is a very interesting place to throw your propaganda, but the propaganda on the streets is very important. Educate yourself because the idea is the most important for a movement. The one who’s next to you today, tomorrow might be a fash as is “more popular.”
Take your shot as sometimes unexpected situations occur in our society and we have to be more or less prepared to it in our advantage in this fight against this system.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, if somebody/group would like to contact us, please, feel free to do it we are more than happy to talk with you. We really think that we have a lack of propaganda from abroad and there is a need to bring here some debates which we might not be having today but they will be important tomorrow.
And finally we would like thank you so much for this interview and for the ones made to the rest of the groups as they are very interesting and thanks for the labour you do too.