Update in the case of the Warsaw 3 (Poland)
In the previous months many important things happened in the Warsaw 3 case that we would like to share with our non-polish speaking supporters. Many of the materials we were only able to translate now and we apologize for this long silence! Below you will find an update about the case from February to end of May 2017. Here you can also read the updated chronology of the events.
The first trial of the three warsaw anarchists took place on may 31st.
Our comrades acknowledged the charges (which are now: property destruction), but they did not plead guilty, as they don’t consider the action they took as something you can ‘be guilty’ of. They also revoked the testimonies they gave while they were held captive in July 2016. They gave new testimonies that are narrower than the previous ones. Two of them gave also a detailed description of tortures they had to endure after the arrest.
The three had chosen a common strategy for the trial in which they openly speak about political motivations for their actions and take responsibility for it. They wrote political statements about their motives, police and state violence but judge didn’t allow them to read it (every time they tried to talk about the political context of their action, the judge stopped them saying: “That’s for the final speech. Today we’re talking only about the facts”).
At the time of the trial there was a solidarity demo outside of the court, with a broader anti-police and against the new anti-freedom laws context. Although it wasn’t very big, we are happy to say it was well heard inside the court room. Our solidarity drums and slogans were louder than prosecutor’s indictment.
The months before the trial brought many changes and divisions within the movement. We must say the enemy plays it’s cards well, and part of our milieu falls into his traps. To give you a brief insight into the case, we’ll have to go back a bit in time.
In February 2017 a squat in Cracov got attacked by 4 guys claiming to be local antifa. The reason of their invasion was gossips about one of the warsaw3 collaborating with police, mixed with accusations of being a snitch. He was at the time of the attack visiting friends at the squat and since they decided to defend him in front of the attackers, they became their target as well. The attackers didn’t produce any proof to support their accusations, but instead claimed that the proof is in the testimonies the three gave back in July 2016. However at that moment the files were classified, and the only people who had access to the files were the three themselves, their lawyers, prosecution and police. This makes it clear that the attackers were acting based on pure gossips. The result of their ‘visits’ during the next days was eviction of the squat and new charges for people living there.
Although the attack on the squat was clearly and act of stupidity, polish anarchist milieu did not condemn it or even discuss it publicly. 2 collectives that decided to support the attacked squatters were in the end seen as provocateurs aiming at dividing the movement. Also the mere existence of the violence was lately questioned, as the attackers are socially better connected in the movement than the attacked collective.
In April the three were informed about the change of police supervision. They don’t have to sign at police station any more and the bail was returned. They can leave the country and most importantly – they can finally talk to each other! They also acknowledged the charges of attempted property destruction.
One week before the trial and exactly one year after their arrest, an article reveling parts of their testimonies from 2016 was released. It was combining quotations with author’s assumptions, revealed identities of the the three, their personal histories, as well as medical records. It was quite obviously a strategy to further divide the movement right before the trial to prevent solidarity actions on the day of the trial. As a result the three had a chance to speak openly about the case for the first time since their arrest. They were not allowed to give any information before the trial because of a danger of new accusations, but since the article revealed some facts they were able to comment on those revelations.
Since the trial has started we are now free to give you some more insight into the case regarding the accusations about collaboration with the police.
As far as the accusations and rumors go, they’ve reached us in two versions (both concerning the youngest one) sometimes mixed. One version doesn’t hold a ground at all and is a product of pure fantasies not supported by any proof – of him being a snitch. The other version was that he has been giving or selling information to the police while in custody. We would like to focus on the second version and add a bit of context to it, since as we now know it is partly true.
After the arrest when our comrades were in custody, the mother of the youngest one had decided to hire additional lawyer to the one chosen by her son (as he was only 17 at the time his mother was his legal guardian). The new lawyer choose a strategy to attack the movement in order to get a lesser sentence for her client – this strategy was not known to us until the three went out on bail. From the beginning the youngest one (and the same goes for the other two) did not want to collaborate with the police (withstanding tortures) nor prosecution. After a few weeks in complete isolation, when the three were supposed to testify in front of the prosecutor, the lawyer manipulated him into giving a quite detailed statement about the events. She lied to him, showing the situation as a long lost case, where police knows everything and the movement turned its back on him (she made sure that the only voice from the outside that reached him, was a voice condemning their action). She lied saying that the other two anarchists decided to collaborate with prosecution and talk about everything that happened, showing this as their common strategy. As a result in his testimony there are some informations that could endanger other people as well as some of our collective spaces. As he gave his testimony first, the other two had to deal with the information he already gave, but they did not confirm his statement.
During the first trial all three revoked their testimonies, since they treat them as an effect of manipulation under pressure.
As a support group we condemn the fact of giving testimony by one of the three, but we don’t see it as a clear case of collaboration with the police. Seeing the whole context (his age, the tortures, the forced isolation, the manipulation – he went through), we’ve decided to continue supporting him.
We find it important to bring this issue to be discussed in the public. It should be up for everyone to make up their mind about it and we will respect your decision, whichever way it will go.
Here you can read the statements of the warsaw3 concerning the article and the accusations it brought.
Our comment on that can be read here.
The next trial is planned for July 19th 2017, it will also take place in Warsaw. If you want to come or prepare your own solidarity action – let us know. We are also planning a small demo for that day in front of the court.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 12:13 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.