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Punk and Anarchist Squats in Poland.

Punk and Anarchist Squats in Poland by Juanita Morsque-Watts

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Introduction

Anarchism is a multifarious set of ideas which encompasses a myriad of

approaches and strategies – including strands which are (at least in theory)

mutually antagonistic. One such perceived antagonism is between ‘workerism’1

and ‘lifestylism’2 with their caricatured exclusive emphases on workplace

struggles and consumption practices, respectively. Squatting is very often

lumped-in with the ‘lifestylist’ pole of this supposed dichotomy, and usually in a

derogatory manner.

The zine begins by laying out the connections between anarchism and squatting

(and also legally rented ‘social centres’), before moving on to look at how these

relationships play out in the context of Poland. Tensions around diverging tactics

and approaches between squats are examined, as well as issues around

repression of squats through eviction and legalisation. The key argument here is

that anarchist and punk squats are a bricks-and-mortar example of anarchism in

action, and that while they do perform a cultural and ‘lifestyle’ function, their

impact is felt in a wide range of anarchist activisms, including typically

‘workerist’ forms, which complicates the ‘workerist’/‘lifestylist’ dichotomy to the

point of redundancy.

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