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Poland: #KDT Battle in Warsaw

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Poland, Digital Activism, Economics & Business, Governance, Media & Journalism, Protest, Technology, Youth

Polish blogosphere had an interesting day today due to the conflict [1] between shopkeepers of Kupiecki Dom Towarowy – a shopping complex in the center of Warsaw  – and the police. Shopkeepers locked themselves in the complex, throwing stones and other items at police officers. In response, the police used gas and entered the building, arresting those who were inside. Today's events were a result of long-term negotiations between the city council planning to demolish the area where the shopping stands are located and the shopkeepers themselves.

Both Twitter [2] and its Polish ‘relative’ Blip.pl [3] are still buzzing with opinions hashtagged with #KDT now. However, during the day conversations where happening mainly on Blip.pl, feeding information constantly and updating readers on how the conflict was evolving. Blip.pl users shared news updates [4], videos [5] and photos [6]. While delivering information from the site of the ‘battle’ (this is how bloggers and the Polish media call it), users expressed their opinions on the event.

blip2 [7]

pksiazek:#kdt Do the police have some special training on how to cope with verbal abuse? I really admire them for just standing there peacefully.

blip31

mystiquee:#kdt [CD] who cannot be chased away since x years from the center of our capital. it's insane! they had hundreds of alternative solutions – but they just sat there and waited

blip11 [8]

Shulmeister: When nurses demonstrated in URM in 2007 the whole Poland supported them, including leaders. Today those spit on shop owners protecting their workplace.

Bloggers responded even during the events, sharing links to their posts on Blip.pl, like for instance wesolyterrorista [9], who wrote [10]:

A skoro nie można wziąć ich głodem, to może sposobem? Odciąć prąd, wodę, otoczyć kordonem – i jedynie wypuszczać ludzi z KDT, nie wpuszczając nikogo do środka. Wreszcie się poddadzą…a za kilkudniową akcję policji i ochrony obarczyć kosztami kupców. Przecież takie sobiepaństwo i łamanie prawa “bo tak!” nie powinno być finansowane z naszych podatków…niestety, w sprawę zaangażowała się policja, a to oznacza, że każdy – od Szczecina po Rzeszów – płaci za tę szopkę.

And since we cannot take them with hunger, maybe we should trick them? Cut off electricity, water, surround them – and only let people out without letting anyone in. They will surrender in the end… and for the police involvement lasting few days let the shopkeepers pay. I mean, this anarchy and breaking the law ‘just because!’ should not be financed from out taxes… sadly, police has been involved, which means that each of us – from Szczecin to Rzeszów – is paying for this circus.

One of the main blog engines, blox.pl, aggregated posts on the events simply by proposing a contest for the best entry and sharing the results [11]. One of the winners, spekulacje [12], posted updates on the developments of the day, positioning it as a farce. Another blogger, KOZMO1 [13], using poetical, old-fashioned expressions wrote a short satirical entry on the typical Polish behaviour, finishing it with these words:

A tam puka? A to Polska właśnie.

And who's knocking! Poland herself!

Gladys_g was upset [14] that the shopkeepers behaved irresponsibly by having a child with them:

Ci ‘uczciwi kupcy’ wykorzystują własne dzieci jako małe żywe tarcze, wystarczy najdrobniejsze skaleczenie malucha, a cała Polska usłyszy, że podły komornik (wykonujący zresztą swoja pracę) i policja (również w pracy) brutalnie pobili dziecko.

Ale co to dziecko w ogóle tam robi?

Szczerze mówiąc – rodzice tych dzieci powinni mieć postawione zarzuty narażania ich na niebezpieczeństwo.

Those ‘honest’ shopkeepers use their own children as living shields, only one little scratch inflicted on the kid and the whole Poland will hear that the repositioning people (who are doing their job) and the police (also working) brutally injured a child.

But what is that child doing there at all?

Honestly – parents of those children should be taken to court for exposing them to danger.

City council published all the documents [15] related to the case online, so the citizens could make their own judgment. And they do express their opinions on blogs [16], the microblogging platforms mentioned above, forums [17] and Wykop [18] – a link-aggregating site – and by posting photos [19]. The discussion continues, slowly shifting to how the media presented the event, as well as on how the authorities, the president [20]and the police responded.