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Squatter collects in Poland

15 January 2006 - The most popular fundraiser in Poland draws inspiration from the time he spent in a squat in Amsterdam in the 1980s, NRC Handelsblad reports. He is being obstructed by the ultra-catholic government.

Every year, Jurek Owsiak organises a collection, mobilising 120,000 volunteers. The proceedings go to children’s hospitals and other good causes. The authorities find him ‘anti-educational’ and try to obstruct him by making a fuss about permits, Owsiak says.

The fundraiser draws inspiration from Woodstock and from squatters in Amsterdam in the 1980s. “There I saw that people with different backgrounds can very well live together, with self-invented forms of organisation and without state interference”.

Owsiak counters the criticism that he would not be a genuine Pole: “I think that the entire world is coming together and conspiring against us, which is very Polish, and I love yelling ‘Poland’ in a microphone. But I am not afraid either to say that we have never had such a stupid president”.

Source: NRC Handelsblad


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