A second day of protest will take place, Wednesday, after traders from the Warsaw KDT shopping centre staged violent protest against the closure of their workplace, yesterday.
Thirty-five people were wounded, Tuesday, as a result of vicious fighting between market traders, security guards and local police. Some of the injured, including a city guard hit with a glass bottle, were taken to hospital.
Retailers were supposed to leave the market-style shopping centre by 21 July but over a thousand stall holders decided to stay and fight for their workplace.
Police and security guards managed to break though a barricade built by protesters and take the building by storm, using tear gas and water cannons.
A court executive officer, who entered the premises to take over the stalls, was pelted with stones, planks and bottles filled with water. In order to pave the way for him and throw the sellers out security guards sprayed tear gas in the building.
The building is cordoned off by city guards and police. The retailers inside the building called for help through megaphones and an angry crowd gathered outside KDT screaming and trying to burst in. The protesters also blocked Marszalkowska, the main street in Warsaw city centre and some of them climbed onto the KDT roof and tied themselves to it.
Both sides are accusing the other of violent conduct. A spokesman for the city guards said: “[The traders] brought their own children to confront security guards. It is appalling.”
The KDT was to have been disbanded on 31 December 2008, when the lease contract expired, but sellers refuse to budge until an alternative location in the city’s western district of Wola, is fully built in 2011. A city court ruled against the traders and on 21 July the city authorities decided to remove the traders from the building by force.
Warsaw City Hall is closing down the KDT market in order to build a new Centre for Modern Art, on Plac Defilad under the Palace of Culture and Science and increase green space in the city centSecond day of protest at KDT