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23 Polish Antimilitarist Activists Violently Arrested

23 Polish Antimilitarist Activists Violently Arrested From Krzysztof Krol

23 Polish antimilitarist activists were violently arrested on Sunday (30/03/2008) at a private flat of one of them morning after coming back from a demonstration after-party in Slupsk in nothern Poland.

On Saturday (29/03/2008) noon a demonstration against the plans of locating up to ten silo-based long-range missile defence interceptors in Poland took place in Slupsk, a city in northern Poland. The military base where the shield would be placed is located near this city. Around 500 people took part in a peaceful march in the city centre, after that around 50 people came to the military base and tried to come inside but were stopped by the police. Nobody was arrested, one person got a fine for using swearwords and drinking beer.

At night a techno party organized by anti-war activists was organized at one of the local pubs in Slupsk. The activists came back to their flat and around 6 a.m. cops raided their house and arrested the people inside, aged 18 to 35. The police used heavy violence, beating up the activists with batons and using pepper spray. One of the activists had his arm broken and later managed to run away from the hospital.

After an immediate reaction of other activists, lawyers and media cops gave their official version of the event which says that the activists were arrested for „violating the night silence”, some of them are charged with an physical assault and verbal insult of a police officer. First activists were released after 12 hours of interrogation, cops claimed that the activists were drunk and had to sober up before they were questioned. So far (Sunday, 10 p.m.), around 10 people are out, 9 who are charged are still detained and they are said to leave the arrest tomorrow (Monday, 31/03/2008) by 3 p.m. The cops had no legal warrant to come inside the flat. It is not common to send a dozen or so cops to silence people at night, so the argument about them being too loud is clearly a lie.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday around 30 anarchist and antimilitarist activists came to protest in front of the police station where the others were arrested. They shouted slogans against police repression and police violence and demanded releasing all arrested activists. Probably thanks to high media presence, they were not repressed in any way. The activists will probably need financial help for lawyers, if you want to help contact Poznan ABC (preferably in English/Polish) ack@rozbrat.org

The demonstration on Saturday in which hundereds of activists and local people, a street theatre, a samba band and Food Not Bombs group took part was organized as a part of a campaign against the installation of missiles and the building of the US base in Poland.

Recent polls in Poland released by State television claim that 50% are against, 36% support while 14% are unsure. When compared to a poll conducted 12 months ago for the daily broadsheet Rzeczpospolita (Republic), those who support (moderately or strongly) the proposal has grown by 6%, those against has fallen by 1% while members of the public who remain unsure fell by 5% to 14%. Opinions are being crystallised, the government propaganda machine is on full steam ahead but the voices and arguments of the majority, those opposed, remain marginalised by the mainstream media.

The Sunday intervention is a clear sign of state repression against anti-militarist activists who are supposed to be shown as terrorists/hooligans/drunk youths, it's a method used to crimiminalize the social movements, a method that is not a new one in our reality. We will not subject to any intimidation! STOP STATE REPRESSION! SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!