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Solidarity Picket in Wroclaw

On Friday the Wroclaw section of ZSP held a solidarity picket for a fired activist of Workers' Initiative in front of an Auchan supermarket. The activist was fired from Auchan in Zielona Gora shortly after there was an action demanding better wages and work conditions there.

ZSP members and supporters gave out a few hundred leaflets and had a banner which read "Enough Repression for Workers' Activism". After some 40 minutes, a security guard tried to verbally intimidate the protestors and asked them to follow him inside the building. The protestors ignored him. About 15 minutes later, all the leaflets were already gone and the activists were ready to go home when the guard came back with 8 of his colleagues and the director of security. They tried to threaten the activists which made them resolve to stay.

The activists turned the main entrance of the supermarket into an arena for discussion on exploitation in the market. They also discussed the meaning of freedom of speech and assembly and public spaces. The head of security for some strange reason tried to convince the activists to take their protest to the Voivoidship Office, where she claimed those types of protests belong and, when that failed, claimed that they had the "wrong Auchan" and that supermarket was owned by "a different Auchan". The security guards' boss claimed that "repression of workers was something that existed under Stalinism" and that "these days if somebody is repressed, it's his own fault and it means that he's a loser". The ZSP activists tried to ask the security guards how much they earn and how much their bosses earn. The head of security intervened and tried to claim that she earns less than supermarket cashiers. She also said she was a member of Solidarity union and claimed that "workers don't need crusaders like you". When she ran out of arguments, she decided to offer ZSP activists immediate employment in Auchan... as security guards. (!)

The security people claimed they really need workers as there are too many vacancies. ZSP activists pointed out that this must be a testament to the working conditions in the firm if nobody wants to work there. The activists responded that it is more likely that one day the security guards will join them than that they will join the security guards.