Monday, February 19, 2007

Poland: We need 100 hardcore direct action people

The bulldozers will start destroying the Rospuda Valley wetlands – unless they meet resistance. We intend to put up a fight to save this natural space and to show the government that people can fight back against their idiocy and corruption.


The Rospuda Valley is a natural treasure, protected by Nature 2000. It is found within a larger premieval forest complex and is the home to rare and even unique species of fauna and flora. It is home to some rare birds – black storks, lesser spotted eagles, buzzards, harriers and warblers. There are lynx, wolves, elks and beavers in the area.

But the state wants to build a bypass through it as part of the Via Baltica Highway.

There are other options for routes but they don’t want to hear about it. Why? Cause road building is big business. Politicians and their friends buy up land and sell it and a big profit. If you know where the road is going to go, you can make a fortune.

They also don’t want to hear about it because they have big complexes. They don’t like the European Union to tell them what to do because they want to pretend to be a regional superpower. They don’t like ecologists to tell them what to do because they know better what’s good for everybody. Despite the fact that the building of this road is clearly in contradiction which EU regulations, despite the fact that the government of Poland will probably face huge fines (which of course the citizens will have to pay for), and despite the fact that the government was supposed to consult with the EU before doing anything, all the paperwork has been signed and a green light has been given to start the construction.


Budimex firm is going to build this part of the bypass and either it or a subcontractor will start bulldozing soon. It is thought that this will occur within the next two weeks to a month. In March some birds come to the area which would make this work harder.

Currently it is –20 degrees in the area. The region where the road will be built is the coldest in Poland and because of the frozen lands, the bulldozers haven’t moved in yet. But it is expected to get warmer next week.

On Monday Feb. 12, activists arrived in the area to set up a protest camp. For the first few days, only a dozen or more people were there but the number is growing and a large group of people are heading there this weekend. The protestors are ecologists and anarchists for the most part. A larger group of people will probably head out next week because it is anticipated that the weather will warm up a bit and we can expect the bulldozers to come.

WE NEED PEOPLE WHO CAN SUPPORT THIS ACTION! If you can come, it would be of tremendous help. (If you can’t, there will be ideas on how to support the protest later in this appeal.) In particular, we need people who can take part in the radical direct actions of blocking the bulldozers. Although there is huge public support for this cause, there are simply not enough people for the direct action. It may take a few hundred people to effectively block the road works. And due to the cold and the fact that this action may have to be sustained for a long-term period, we’re going to need lots of help!


So far the only pictures from the camp are those from Greenpeace. The camp is in a rather rural place and communication with it is not so steady.

The camp is in the town of Szczebra – that’s 11 kilometers from the town of Augustow. Augustow is about an hour north of Bialystok – if you still can’t image where that is, get a map. (You can find it on or see where Augustow is Look in the northeast, towards the Lithuanian border.)

If you want to come, you can either go to Augustow and take a taxi (it’s not that expensive) or you can try to contact people from the camp to pick you up.

You should bring a very warm sleeping bag or tent or be prepared to stay in some agrotourist place for a little money. (Of course the point is to be in the camp though! If you don’t have a tent but want to come, you can call and find out if there is room in somebody’s tent.) If you have rubber or waterproof boots, it would be helpful. Bring warm clothes. Things like a thermos and flashlight are helpful. Direct action equipment is of course the most important if you have it.

The camp is drug and alcohol free.

If you want to go with a group of anarchists, contact and we will try to hook you up. If you prefer to contact with Greenpeace or other NGOs, write to: Please be aware that the approaches of different groups might vary, at least for the media.


In Poland this is a well-known problem with big media attention. Many people have protested by signing petitions, wearing green ribbons and the like. You too can sign an online petition or send a nasty letter to the president, the Minister of the Environment or Budimex. Form letters are boring and may be ignored, but we’ll send some links to samples in English.