The 10th anniversary of the revolt of the suburbs is a good opportunity to introduce similar event occurred in Poland in 2002. It was the revolt of the proletarian youth in Ożarów Mazowiecki, in the Warsaw suburbs. The counterrevolution was a catastrophe for the working class in Poland. In the 90s, many factories were closed and the unemployment rate reached 22% in 2002. It should be noted that before 1989 there were no unemployed in Poland. Unemployment was a something as a myth, typical of a capitalist society, and two Polish generations had not experienced unemployment. When a factory closes in a capitalist country, most of times workers settle with that, almost without struggle. They are used. Of course, we find examples of struggles against factory closure, but these struggles in Poland after the counterrevolution were much more combative.
Why? Because the factory is your life. You work there, and before you there your parents did. It was the case of the Fabryka Kablow Ożarów, that was created before the war. In the 80s this factory was modernized, and it was able to compete with a western factory. This factory had been bought by Telefonika. The owner, Bogusław Cupiał, was one of the richest Poles. He was also the owner of Wisła Kraków football club, which in those years, regularly won the Poland League. When Telefonika bought FK Ożarów, it became a monopoly in Poland, grouping the four largest plants producing cables and fiber. They decided that the plant with 900 workers Ożarów was to be closed. The workers started a strike. The strike blocked the main door of plant to prevent the machinery displacement. At least 50 workers were always in front of this door. It was the longest working class struggle in Poland, it lasted 306 days.
On November 26, 2002, more than 300 agents of Impel Security, came during in night to break the strike. They attacked the workers (many women among them) and destroyed the tents of the strikers to open the pass to their trucks. It was brutal attack. The police were there and quietly watched when security agents, supported by the Wisła hooligans, beating women and workers. You can find lots of pictures of this event in Internet. The day after, the whole Poland was informed. It was something incredible that private policemen could quietly beating workers without any punishment. There was a spirit of vengeance. The Block at the door of FKO lasted almost 200 days without any solidarity.
But after the November 26 all the workers took side with the workers of Ozarow. But there were also youth. Men and women who have been attacked on November 26 was relatives and neighbors of the youth of Ozarow Mazowiecki. Youth from Ozarow, but also from the whole Warsaw region and even other cities came to Ozarow for revenge. This lasted almost a week. They threw stones, Molotov cocktails, burned cars, attacked Impel and the police. The headquarters of Telefonika was set on fire burned and all the windows were broken. The union leaders condemned the “irresponsible act of aggression”. This revolt Ozarow lasted almost a week. It finished when the Ministry of the Interiors sent a huge police force, and also imposed a curfew. Policemen were everywhere and many young people were arrested.
The most impressive thing in that is was a fight of unorganized people, who decided to take great risks because they were in solidarity with the workers of Ozarow. The government, it was the Social Democratic Party and many other “left” politicians condemned the youth “you must not attack Telefonika, you have to be responsible …” It was exactly the same as the condemnation of the revolt of 2005 suburbs. This struggle shows that the revolutionary potential is enormous. Unfortunately, it lacks the revolutionary party which can lead the struggle until victory.