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The Tenth Anniversary of ZSP

10 Years of ZSP

ZSP was founded on March 31, 2007. Since then it has evolved to become a unique force in this country and a new model of workers' organization and direct action.

The organization was founded in Gliwice by a small group of a dozen like-minded people who saw the need for an anarchosyndicalist organization in Poland. The social conditions for creating such an organization were against us: the ideas of the organization, in many ways, went against the grain of everything people thought and the patterns of behaviour in society. What's more, such issues were present in the movements we had been involved with. Over the past decade, the organization has proven not only to be a reference for ideas, but also an example of workers' action in practice. The union has accomplished a lot in this period, including the organization and support of successful strikes outside the collaborationist schemes of the state and capital, the resolution of dozens of work conflicts where normal unions could do nothing and most recently, inspiring the coordination of workers against the treachery of the mainstream unions.

The union also has gone into areas that others had not (although later, some others followed). It was the first to help coordinate some actions of immigrant workers and react to the exploitation of Polish workers abroad. It made actions and campaigns concerning agency workers and even workers who had no contracts. It also sought to provide a platform for categories of workers who are normally underpresented in union activity. The union has a large female membership and many of its members are persons with disabilities.

Besides its activities with workers, the union as been active in other areas, significantly, in organizing tenants and pointing out the role of politicians and those working for the government in privatization scandals. Members of ZSP also are active in work concerning anti-fascism and anti-nationalism and in general work against all forms of discrimination.

On the weekend of our anniversary, we will celebrate our Congress and a public meeting where we will look back at our history and speak about current struggles. We are hoping that sometime later in the year we can compile a review of some of the more important actions.

Finally, we would like to send our best wishes to comrades all over the world from the International Workers' Association, with whom we share mutual aspirations. In particular, those from Spain who are struggling to maintain and rebuild the anarchosyndicalist movement in that country after the wrong turns and verticalization taken by some. We point out that at one point, at the beginning of our history, some comrades in Spain represented a model for us while many people around us got lost in top-down, legalistic practices, infected by collaborationism, electoralism and populism. We hope that the power of our common ideas will stand up against the current tide and that we all find new strength to go forward with our struggles.