After years of fighting for preservation of Rozbrat, the most critical moment in almost thirty years of history of this place is coming. A court hearing will be held on September 15th, at which a final judgment is to be issued, giving a green light to the eviction of Rozbrat.
Practically, this means throwing out over twenty inhabitants, as well as a number of socio-political, cultural and environmental initiatives gathering hundreds of people. It is also a real threat to a part of the West Greenery Wedge, which is effectively protected against construction development by Rozbrat.
Although a threat has been hanging over us for many years, the culmination of which is expected in September, Rozbrat tirelessly continues its activities. We do not stop to oppose the neoliberal and anti-social policy of the Poznań authorities, which represent interests of business at the expense of needs of the majority of the city's residents.
OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers’ Initiative Union), which is currently operating in about eighty workplaces, originates from Rozbrat. Wielkopolskie Stowarzyszenie Lokatorów (The Wielkopolska Association of Tenants) was also born here. Thanks to these initiatives, many professional and tenant groups have been able to count on help for many years. Dozens of families were saved from being evicted onto the streets, thousands assisted in their debt relief, many others obtained legal support and overdue wages. During the protests, these organizations are loudly supported by rhythms of the oldest activist samba group in Poland, member of the Rhythms of Resistance network.
Rozbrat is also a place where hundreds of concerts and film screenings, festivals, exhibitions, theatre performances, discussions, book fairs, lectures as well as workshops have taken place. The city of Poznań has repeatedly boasted about these events in its official promotional materials, forgetting that if it were not for Rozbrat, many of these cultural events would not have had a chance to be performed.
Moreover, Rozbrat houses an archive and a library, which have unique copies in their collections. These places are eagerly visited by students and researchers. There is also a publishing house and a bookstore.
We also provide gig halls and a rehearsal room, a gallery, places for meetings and discussions, a screen-printing workshop, a carpentry shop, a bicycle workshop, a gym and a sports hall to all who are interested. Experienced trainers conduct free classes, including Muay Thai, Yoga or Brazilian Samba, as part of the Freedom Fighters sports club.
The community around Rozbrat has been protesting for years against construction on the ‘green wedges’ and destruction of the natural environment. We resist the ignorance of planners, for whom the interest of investors is more important than minimizing impact of climate change on the lives of Poznań residents. We were on St. Anna’s Mount, in Rospuda and in the Białowieża Primeval Forest. We grounded Green Wave – a group guided in its activities by the idea of degrowth.
In November 2020, we defended the area of allotment garden ROD Bogdanka against the attempts of developers and created Wolny Ogród Miejski Bogdanka (WOMB, Bogdanka Free Municipal Garden) in its place. It is a space that gives all interested parties the opportunity to cultivate crops, as well as organize and participate in events and workshops surrounded by greenery. WOMB has already been appreciated twice by the inhabitants of Poznań, receiving the prize in the competition for the Best Poznań Non-Governmental Initiative – Initiators 2020 and the first place in the newspapers’ Gazeta Wyborcza poll for the most popular green space in Poznań.
We operate on the principles of self-organization and direct democracy, without any subsidies or sponsors, regardless of the politicians and businesses we keep eye on and whose anti-social decisions we fight. Therefore, many of them would like to get rid of us.
The liquidation of Rozbrat means loss of a strong weapon in the fight for the city without eviction, exploitation and poverty, which puts welfare of its inhabitants above the interests of developers. It is an attempt to silence the society in its dispute with arrogant officials in the face of progressive commercialization and privatization of public space. It deprives all of us of a place which, through its actions, had a significant impact on the development of Poznań, on countless groups, organizations, initiatives and individuals who came into contact with and received support from Rozbrat. Many of them joined our activities, making further changes for the better.
THERE IS NO POZNAŃ WITHOUT ROZBRAT!
Therefore, we call for mobilization of all those who are not indifferent towards the progression of concreting of Poznań and the liquidation of part of the West Green Wedge, who appreciate the potential of self-organization and do not want residents to be deprived of their influence on their city. Everyone who wants to preserve a place that is unique on European scale, which is Rozbrat. Thus, we announce even a direct fight, if necessary, to keep Rozbrat in its current place and shape – any attempt to displace it will meet with our resolute resistance!
Today we also invite you to the 28th birthday party of Rozbrat, which will take place on September 9th and 10th, and our action to defend Rozbrat, which we plan to carry out on September 10th.
Poznań without eviction, exploitation and concreteosis!
Rozbrat is here to stay!