Sunday, 17 November 2013

Twists of fate

12 November 2013

How come in almost all nations the independence day brings together people who rejoice and take pride in their country, while in Poland, for the third year in a row, celebrations end up with riots? The 11 November, national holiday commemorating regaining independence in 1918, after 123 years of partitions, was reinstated after overturning communism. I watched the presence of independence day in the public sphere evolving from overbearing official celebrations into more joyful and casual events, such as recently organised marches. Joy-rendering parades attract more people to take to the streets than sombre commemorations, especially if the routes cover places that unite people of different views – such as the independence match staged by president’s office, whose participants paid homage to monuments of heroes fighting for Poland’s independence, regardless of their political views and membership.

It is a pity state celebrations have not brought all meaningful actors of Polish politics together. The main oppositional party has staged its own, peaceful march in Cracow, but credits for them for effectively dissociating from the nationalist hooligans, who organised their own demonstration in Warsaw.

Maybe the riots were not as violent as two years ago, but Monday’s goings-on give a reason for shame to most Poles… If I can share a few considerations:
1) The word ‘provocation’ has been coming up in all shapes and sizes. For some commentators, whenever anti-government organisations botch something up, the government must have had its fingers in it, i.e. all those people who yanked sett out of pavements, threw stones, scorched the rainbow, set fire to guardsman’s hut, were put up by the government, to spoil the reputation of their opponents
2) Who allowed such huge manifestation to take place when it is dark, when everyone should know dim light is conducive to acts of violence and it’s easier to go unpunished?
3) Who allowed the people, notorious for their hatred for Russia, to pass by the Russian embassy and why were the premises of the Russian outpost left without proper protection?
4) Why did the town hall decision-makers succumb to the march’s organisers insistence on absence of police in the immediate vicinity of he march’s route?
5) How can a mentally healthy person celebrate independence day by attacking other people and damaging their property?
6) Why does a person with clear intensions wear a balaclava?
7) I also noticed, talking to several people (mostly at work), after such incidence many folks hanker after ZOMO. The tolerance for the misbehaviour witnessed on 11 November is very low and given helplessness of the police, percent of people in favour of radical treatment of hooligans is on the rise.
8) Most of those people have not taken heed of the make-up of rowdy crowd, which was the chief reason why the police brigades were reluctant to take tough action on the recalcitrant scoundrels – i.e. the crown was a blend of ordinary, peaceful people and rascals with wrapped faces. The police were facing the risk of beating innocent people while trying to crack down on hooligans. BTW – on TV I saw several pairs – ordinarily-looking girls holding hands with hatred-filled nationalist boys; upon seeing this I scaled down my odds of getting married ever

13 November 2013

Poland is slowly forgetting about the 11 November incidents, Polish diplomats weigh up what would be the most apposite way to deplore about the burnt hut. Soulmate and I pop out for a lunch to a bar on the other corner of the roundabout, then drop in on the nearby shopping centre. When we walk out of there, we sense the smell of natural gas, blown by the winding from the underground construction site. The tang is quite intense. Gas emergency service is on site, fire engines are coming over. Something is afoot. Some 20 minutes later in our office someone orders us to evacuate. We calmly leave the building, the whole procedure goes smoothly, as during exercise evacuation. Given the circumstances, I do not understand why are were told to stay on the car park (place of gathering according to health and safety procedures) which is the dangerous area. Gas leakage is not serious and relevant services are working on fixing the pipe, ripped by an excavator operator, but out of boredom we begin to wonder what would happen and what the scale of destruction would be, if the gas exploded. We bring back the pictures of gas explosion in Rotunda in 1979 in Warsaw. Our building is not connected to the gasworks, but if any pipes were laid beneath it, a little spark could… perish the thought…

14 November 2013

Gas actually explodes, causes death of two workers, leaves several locals injured and brings about a veritably apocalyptic blaze which turn a part of a village in Western Poland into a post-war landscape. I deeply hope this will be the national operator of gasworks in Poland (the company calls the whole incident a “breakdown”), not the Polish state, who will pay for all damages. Houses might be rebuilt, all materials goods can be restored (except for those having sentimental value), but no one will compensate the dwellers of houses destroyed by the fire (many of them were lucky to be at work or school in the middle of the day) for trauma they are going through, the trauma from which some of them will not recover until the end of their days…

15 November 2013

The company hatched the idea of promoting its services by giving out coffee. Those males who smiled frankly and kindly asked skilful barista girl for something special, could get such bonus. Made my day…


Alexander said...

According to my Warsaw in laws, teh people are still waiting for the results of an investigation into last years riots. Some people think the mask people were hired to get trouble in the Streets. But still no results.

Best regards,


student SGH said...

I heard such suppositions back on 11 November - see consideration no. 1