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LibCom, 20 January 2010

Tenants are occupying the housing authority in downtown Warsaw.

A group of tenants stormed the local housing authority in Warsaw this morning and have been occupying it ever since. The tenants, many of which are members of the Tenants Defence Committee, are demanding that the city resign from plans to turn off their gas.

107 families have been being harrassed by the city for some time now. The city is using slumlord tactics to try and get rid of the tenants who happen to live in public housing in an attractive and expensive area of Warsaw. They claim that the gas is not safe and already tried to turn it off twice. During the first intervention of the Committee, the gas inspectors said that there were only minor problems which could be easily fixed and a housing official promised to do so. The city authorities in charge of gas also claim everything is OK.

The borough president claims otherwise and came down on the housing authorities and gas inspector. The Committee has been keeping watch and trying to block turning off gas.

Throughout Warsaw this winter, hundreds and hundreds of families have been suffering without gas, electricity and sometimes without running water or toilets due to slumlords or the city who are trying to harrass people out of their homes. The Committee is trying to take action to stop this and to get the gas back on in some apartment buildings. More and more tenants are trying to take action, but are being frustrated by city authorities.

Desperate tenants have begun to take action. The housing authority is occupied and people have vowed to keep up the occupation for as long as it takes. Many people took part in the action today and some people are barricaded in overnight. There are also about 20 people on hunger strike. More tenants are expected to come and support the protests tomorrow. The Committee will make direct actions at other offices during the week.

More on this case: http://cia.bzzz.net/tenants_occupy_housing_adminstration
Photos and TV report (in Polish): http://lokatorzy.info.pl/kategoria/nasze-dzialania

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