Radical Anti-Fascist Action - Bialystok/Poland - Winter 2002/2003

Poland is a country, where like in other places danger of nazism and fascism still exists. Far right organizations and parties are gaining upper hand and have significant presence in local and national governments. But not everyone is happy with that situation and some people decided to resist. Organized Anti-Fascist movement started in Poland in 1992 with formation of Anti Nazi Front in Wroclaw, at this time one of most nazi-infested cities. Movement quickly grew and till 1994 there were Anti-Fascist groups in majority of bigger Polish cities. Some of these groups were just street orientated self-defense groups , some were more politically orientated, although all of them had militant character.

Bialystok was always city full of nazi scum. Before first Anti-Fascist groups were organized here, fascists almost totally controlled streets and cultural life of the area. This changed when more and more people started resisting them. On the beginning these were only small groups, but they quickly grew. Spring of 1994 turned out very badly for nazis as there was first Anti-Fascist demonstration and also first and till now biggest street confrontation between nazis and Anti-Fascists. Despite of having about three times more people, fascists were taken by surprise and suffered many injuries that day. Since then antifa demos in March became a tradition continued till present time. There were confrontations almost every year but most of the time Anti-Fascists won. Apart from that widespread tactic of targeting most active nazis in their homes, work places and schools was employed and it quickly gave positive results. Also there was more and more propaganda on streets, schools and other public places. Leaflets were distributed, posters placed on walls, lot of graffiti made and in general nazis could feel our presence almost everywhere. Shop, which was distributing nazi propaganda and music got firebombed and quickly withdrew from this practice. There were more and more militant actions as Anti-Fascists understood that there can be only one approach towards nazi scum- confront them physically wherever they appear.

By the end of 90s Anti-Fascist movement suffered serious split as many activists turned towards legal methods of fighting, obviously not understanding that police and state will never be on our side. Because of that militant movement in Poland was reduced to just 2 or 3 groups, as many people became disillusioned and lost hope for things to be better. Meanwhile nazis were not sleeping and after brief period of apathy they started attacking again. Bialystok was no exception. People active in anarchist and alternative movement were shocked, but resistance quickly started again. In 2000 Radical Anti-Fascist Action was reformed and started regular activity again. Our rule is "Wherever they go, we go as well". It means that we try to stop nazis in any place they may appear. Anti-Fascist patrols are being formed and they manage after few months of hard fighting to make area around our squat safe and also to stop or limit nazi activity in many places. This doesn't go without a price though. Apart from injures as a result of nazi attacks and during street fights, we are becoming a target of widespread criminalisation by police. Anti-Fascist are being charged and persecuted, many times cases are clear frame-ups. Till now various activists had been charged with following crimes: assault, assault with robbery, grievous body harm, violent resistance, insulting a police officer, possession of a weapon, burglary, aggravated threats to a person. Few people are also investigated for criminal damage. We had to spend big amount of our energy and funds on defending repressed activists. During this time two people received sentences on probation and there is one prison sentence, which we hope to overturn in appeal. This wave of repression is a result of our uncompromising stand against nazis. We are also against co-operation with any political parties and groups, which try to use Anti-Fascist struggle for their own means. This made us a visible threat to some people and because many fascists are in city council, activities of police and courts are hardly surprising.

Our current area of activity is opposition to growth of Fortress Europe, combating state racism (we take very active part in anti-border camps in Poland, directed at racist government policy against immigrants) and of course permanent opposition to any nazi activity we discover in area. We also support and use tactic of permanent pressure on right wing groups, what forces them to limit and in many cases stop their activity and be concerned about their own safety. We continue to be only street orientated, militant Anti-Fascist group in the area and we can claim many successes in combating nazis. What you can do to help us? First of all start your own Anti-Fascist group. This struggle is international and we must know that there are comrades around they world fighting for the same cause. International solidarity is a must! Distribute information about our struggle, support Anti-Fascist prisoners, fight back! We wait for any news about your activity. We are also in continuous need of funds, not only for legal help, but also for present activity. Organize benefit shows for us and raise funds. We will use them in best possible way! We wait for a contact with all militant anarchist and Anti-Fascist groups.

15-662 Bialystok 26

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