26th Feb 21: Panel w/ Abusters From Poland and Germany About Their Struggle Against Authority


In June 2020, activists have hung posters criticizing then Polish Minister of Health, Łukasz Szumowski, into advertising display cases. Their adbustings were part of a feminist week of action. They display Łukasz as a hypocritical saint and call him out for his corruption: He had previously ordered the buying of uncertified masks for millions of zloty so that he and his friend could cash in on the pandemic. He has also been an active participant in the realization of the Polish abortion ban.

Shortly after, the homes of two allegedly involved activists have been searched by the police, accompanied by a television crew. They were put in jail for two days without being allowed to contact a lawyer. A lot of their personal belongings have been seized by the police. Now they are facing charges for an „especially serious“ case of theft, punished with at least 6 months of prison if found guilty.

German police has already tried this move back in 2019 (German and Polish law are surprisingly similar here, except that „especially serious“ cases of theft have only three months as the minimum penalty). This attempt of criminalization has been unsuccessful: The case has been close by the public prosecution.

It remains to be seen whether Polish officials will act in the same way. There is currently a government crackdown on LGBTQI* and women’s rights in Poland, culminating in regions of Poland declaring themselves to be „LGBT-free zones“ and a near total ban of abortions.

The Catholic Church is very strong in Poland and the root cause for this discriminatory spirit. As such, Catholicism is an important subject to attack for activists in Poland. In 2019, an activist created stickers of the „Rainbow Madonna“, a motive in which the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus are depicted with halos in the colors of the rainbow flag. For this, the activist is facing blasphemy charges and still has to defend themselves in court to this day.

On the event, the invited activists will talk about means of fighting repression in Poland and Germany and try to find a perspective on transnational solidarity. The event will be held in English. We will hand out a list of difficult legal words and the like to all attendees. After the panel, there will be time for questions from you.

For more background information, check this blog post by the „Soligruppe plakativ“: https://plakativ.blackblogs.org/2021/02/01/anti-state-guerilla-communication-how-unauthorized-poster-art-reveals-authoritarian-tendencies/

When? Friday, 26th of February 2021 at 7 p.m.

Where? Online: https://lecture.senfcall.de/ber-mg4-xq5-uga

Technical details:
- ‚Senfcall‘ is an association providing video conferencing for free on the base of the BigBlueButton open source software. They are always happy about donations. https://senfcall.de/donate
- We will shut down all cameras and mics of spectators by default due to privacy concerns and to avoid spam.
- We will kick trolls (people spamming around and/or distribute fascist, homophobic, rascist, antisemitic etc. ideology).
- Don’t record the event. Maybe we will provide an audio afterwards.