Albert Hupa on Wed, 28 Apr 2004 06:27:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> alter globalism and anti summit in Poland

Hi everyone,
it is late in the evening of the local time, I'm deadly tired and my eyes keep
constantly closing, just like the rest's of the citizens of Warsaw.
All of them? No, 'cause lots of police keeps guarding streets, but I
don't mean bobbies, unless bobbies drive military vehicles, have guns
on their backs and their number is rather ample.
Anyway, I'm really tired today and I'm not able to give intelectual
speeches like most nettimers do. Instead I'll just sketch a picture of
what I've seen so far.
The summit hasn't started yet, it's high time starts tommorrow. But
alterblobalists are on the spot, and so is the police. But the
alterglobalists made a press conference on which they said they don't
want to cause any trouble, they just want to be heard by politicians.
And that they aren't going to start any fights with the police.
I'm sure they weren't lying at all. As a matter of fact, as I
previously wrote, the biggest problem is with the other groups which
have said they are going to join the action, like football hooligans
(plentitude of them is expected and they said they aim at riots) but I
don't know if the police believes alterglobalists. But they certainly
believe hooligans. And the fights will take place, I'm positive.
One of the favourite jokes of my parents generation is that long time
ago, when they woke up in December 1981, they saw some generals on tv
announcing a war instead of a program for children. Indeed, when they
looked out of their windows (those living in the cities) they saw
tanks crossing their streets (literally). When the martial law was
introduced all the civil cervants acted like it was a war (with Soviet
Union). As for the moment I don't care if the martial law was really
neccessary to be introduced, but the fact is that cities in Poland in
those times looked like they were expecting a foreign army. And the
streets nowadays look exactly the same. But the regular inhabitants of
Warsaw behave in the same way. On every builiding in the centre there
are wooden or iron shutters in case somebody throw bricks in them. You
should see McDonald's! It looks like a damn fortress!
Today, before I went to job I made a stroll through the centre. Of
course I choose a way close to the ground zero (you remember? the area
closed to the civilians, quite big as for a summit) and saw a great
deal of police - cars, bobbies and special units made to handle with
riots. There are many military cars cruising through the streets and
blocking traffic which is jammed anyway by ground zero. The patrols,
however, consist of not one or two cars, but of at least 10 (I do not
exaggerate). On the other hand many people are stopped to be checked
by bobbies, they check IDs and look for the signs of being
alterglobalists. One of these folks, actually, was already arrested
for handing posters calling for presence at the main march. They told
him not to do it again and set free, but still...
One can fell much tension in the air, all the blockades, police and
military; I wonder how much of the tension is due only to the
propaganda of the government - lots of police in Poland gathered in
one place is itself a feedback for riots; most of Poles (me among
them, but without any reasonable explanation) feel stressed when they
see police and the governemnt is aware of it. Of course it is due to
the previous communist rules in Poland and police is associated with
enemies - I for instance sucked this attitude with my mother's milk
and I am not an exception. So you see...
Anyway, I promise to keep you up to date and I'll try to write in a
little bit better manner!


By the way, if any of you have witnessed really big riots due to
alterglobalism, do let me know - let's share experience!

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