Antiglobalists blocked by the police ahead of Bush’s arrival in Hel

8 06 2007

Source: gazeta.pl portal
Authors: Sławomir Sowula, met, Polish Press Agency
Translation: MoPoPressReview

* * *

The blockade awaited demonstrators since early morning today. It has been situated, by the police, at the place of previous checkpoint, that used to guard access to what in the old days used to be restricted area between Hel and Jurata on the narrow Hel peninsula.

Antiglobalists were first blocking the road to Hel – and they had been removed by the police. Currently there are circa 200 security officers in the area making sure that the road through the peninsula is passable. Demonstrators had been separated into two groups and now occupy the pavements on sides of the road. Demonstrators have hooted a column of American cars passing earlier today, that was heading to the president’s residence. Currently the situation is calm and peaceful, and there are no incidents.

Demonstrations in Hel‘We have sent a notice to the Jastarnia and Hel local councils, where the president’s residence is located. Our demonstration is therefore legal and peaceful’ – says Filip Ilkowski of Inicjatywy Stop Wojnie (No Wars Initiative). – ‘We want to voice or protest against situating anti-missile base in our country, and Poland’s participation in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Mayor of Jastarnia Tyberiusz Narkowicz, who appeared at the antiglobalists’ demonstration on Friday, confirms its legality.

Narkowicz said, that antiglobalists were also granted permission to march in the direction of president’s residence. He added however, that he didn’t know whether at that moment there were any occurences, that could prevent manifestation from moving in the planned direction. (…)

However the blockade is situated not in Jastarnia commune, but in the area of Hel commune, the same where presidents’ meeting is planned to take place. Only two kilometeres away are the gates, guarded by the army. Blockade consists of several hundred policemen, an armoured car, water-pumping car, dogs and an armoured police squad.

Each car approaching the checkpoint is stopped and thoroughly checked. A queue of cars has already formed at 9 in the morning.

In the nearby resort of Jurata, there weren’t many signs of Bush-Kaczynski summit at midday. For some tourists it is an additional attraction to hot weather, for local residents a nuisance.

‘They’re making more fuss then there was during the martial law – complained the locals. – ‘It scares tourists off. Many have cancelled their reservations, when they found out what could be happening here’.

Train services suspended

Train service Reda-Hel was unexpectedly suspended today at 10 am by BOR (Government Security Office). President Bush will be visiting Hel in the afternoon.

‘We received such an order from BOR, it wasn’t our decition’ – said Danuta Kaminska, PKP Polish Railroads spokeswoman. – ‘I don’t know why the train service has been suspended 6 hours ahead of US president’s arrival’.

Two days ago The Pomeranian Police and Pomeranian Voivod’s services assured journalists, that during Mr Bush’s visit, train services will operate like everyday, with the difference that it would be patrolled by the security. Sudden decision to withheld the service is probably due to concerns regarding antiglobalist demonstration. They were supposed to arrive in Jurata by train, and than march from the train station up to president’s residence in Hel. As we were informed, train services wil be suspended until 8 pm.

Commuters are advised to use the substitute bus services, matching the train timetable, which will operate on the Reda-Hel route. Buses will depart from Reda Train Station.

Sławomir Sorula interviews one of the protesters

Sławomir Sowula: Why did you come to Jurata?

Filip Ilkowski: We came to protest againt George Bush’s visit in Poland, against the policy he represents. Moreover against the construction of American installations perversely called “shield”, and also against Polish government’s participation in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both disgraceful, cruel and bloody. Bush himself is a politician, who is the head of the biggest military organisation in the world, and has more blood on his hands than any other politician. So when he comes too a country, there always are protests against him. Poland is no different.

How do you want to protest?

In the place, where Bush will meet his Polish fan Kaczynski, we want to protest loudly and visibly. Our demonstration is legal, it will march from Jurata Train Station to Polish President’s residence.

Do you think you will have some guest-demonstrators from the G8 summit?

We don;t check people’s passports, but this is an international protest and maybe someone will show up.

* * *

See also:
‘Bush in Poland’ by the Beatroot
President Bush to visit Hel


If you enjoyed this post why not visit Polandian, a collaborative blog on Poland.

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4 responses

9 06 2007
Adam Pieniazek

I just watched the itvn newscast for today and most Poles are opposed to this missile defense system because they fear it will be a terrorist target. I happen to agree with my fellow Poles, and no amount of aid or tourist money is worth putting Poland at risk.

9 06 2007
blazej

I think this opposition isn’t that strong. I think people in Poland oppose it, not because the don’t agree with the missile shield, but because they think Poland will not get enough in return.
Like Poland didn’t get anything in return for her presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in addition USA is not fulfilling its obligations connected with off-set contract, when Poland decided to buy American F16 (instead of European aircrafts which caused us to get bad press in Europe).
America should offer something really attractive in return. I mean MONEY MONEY MONEY!

I watched TVN24 the other day btw, and I was shocked with what a Russian Kremlin-friend journalist said there. With a straight face he said that Poland should really think this through, as Russia WILL direct their missiles on Polish cities, and that it happens sometimes that some things that appear on radar are misinterpreted as missiles… and so if Russia misinterpreted such indication of missile heading to Russia, Russia would launch their missile to hit Poland.
He really doesn’t understand Polish mentality, as I am sure everyone who watched that, instantly felt we should agree for that shield to have better relations with USA, which would be in only country to protect us and stand for us, if such a case occurred. And if Russia continues her threats against Poland, she can be sure Poles will support the shield.

11 06 2007
Tina

You have no idea how long I’ve waited to see a sentence with these words: Bush’s arrival in Hel… except I would prefer that it was spelled this way: Hell.
Oh well… beggars can’t be choosers.

4 07 2007
Anderson

A lovely piece of info!

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