Rechte übernehmen ATTAC-Polen

übermittelt vom Nestscheißer 15.07.2002 15:10 Themen: Antifa Globalisierung
englischsprachiger Bericht aus der aktuellen Ausgabe des internationalen Antifamagazines Searchlight zur Übernahme von ATTAC-Polen durch Rechte
Searchlight July 2002. S. 30-31.

Far right hijacks anti-capitalist group
From Rafal Pankowski in Warsaw
THE CONCEPTS OF the fatherland, the state, the nation, and first of all patriotism, are under threat. ... We declare that defending the economic and political sovereignty of Poland is a necessary condition for membership in our Association. ... We stress that ATTAC is a Polish association, which seeks first of all to defend Polish interests, the sovereignty of decisions of the Polish society, Polish culture and tradition as well as Polish property.
This statement does not originate from a far-right nationalist propaganda outlet but is taken from a recent pronouncement by the Polish branch of ATTAC, the supposedly progressive anti-globalisation movement. Internationalism is supposed to be a cornerstone of ATTAC. What this statement shows is that the organisation's name in Poland has been hijacked by a group of far-right activists.
The Polish branch of ATTAC was established last spring and it was not long before right-wing infiltration forced some progressive campaigners, such as the intellectuals Stefan Zgliczynski and Zbigniew Kowalewski, to withdraw their participation.
The founding members of ATTAC-Poland included people with a long record of collaboration with publications and organisations of the extreme right. Members of ATTAC-Poland's leadership also became editors or regular contributors to Obywatel (Citizen), a magazine with a clearly extreme right-wing slant.
One of these is Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz. A few years ago, he was active in fascist organisations such as Przelom Narodowy (National Breakthrough) and among nazi skinheads. He has also published articles in the virulently antisemitic magazine Mysl Narodowa Polska (Polish National Idea), published by Boleslaw Tejkowski, Poland's most notorious Polish antisemite. Tejkowski is the leader of the fascist Polish National Community (PWN), which has been responsible for numerous acts of racist violence in the streets of Polish cities.
Tomasiewicz has written for other fascist publications such as the hardline Krzyzowiec (Crusader) but most recently his writings have appeared in a new magazine, Templum, linked to Poland's most active fascist group, National Rebirth of Poland (NOP). The NOP is a part of the International Third Position (ITP), run by the Italian terrorist Roberto Fiore.
Tomasiewicz has also collaborated with extreme-right publications abroad, for example, Perspectives, a magazine founded by former members of the National Front in Britain, and the German extremist bulletin DESG-Inform. A prolific author, he dedicates his writings to spreading ideas inspired by the so-called Third Position and by the West European New Right. Under the guise of building an "anti-system opposition" based on an "alliance of the extreme right and of the extreme left", he has undertaken ideological and political penetration of left-wing, especially anarchist and ecologist, circles. In an attempt to increase his credibility he has succeeded in getting his articles published across the wider political spectrum.
Currently, he is a co-editor of ZaKORZENIEnie (Rootedness), which poses as a forum for the promotion of minority cultures. In fact it promotes the concept of "ethnopluralism", a term coined by the French New Right around Alain de Benoist and his GRECE think-tank. Ethno pluralism assumes that each political territory must be "pure", that is ethnically homogenous. According to ZaKORZENIEnie's policy statement, an individual does not have the right to change his ethnic or cultural identity without the consent of the ethno-cultural community to which he belongs.
Tomasiewicz is a regular contributor to Obywatel, whose editorial board includes Maciej Muskat, the chairman of ATTAC-Poland, and Stefan J Adamski, deputy chairman of ATTAC's Programming Board. The strong ATTAC involvement in Obywatel suggests that the magazine is a semi-official mouthpiece of the association.
Many people who write for and read Obywatel appear genuinely interested in issues like globalisation and the environment. Nevertheless, side by side with material on these issues, Obywatel regularly publishes articles that have a clearly fascist, racist and antisemitic content.
The cover of the first issue of Obywatel, published in 2000, bore a motto by Jozef Mackiewicz, a Polish writer and wartime Nazi collaborator, who was sentenced to death by the Home Army, the mainstream resistance organisation in wartime Poland. Mackiewicz also crops up as a moral and political authority in later editions of Obywatel in articles by Olaf Swolkien, a co-editor of the magazine and chairman of the Jozef Mackiewicz Political Club.
The first issue of Obywatel also included a favourable review of Szczerbiec (The Sword) by Tomasiewicz's close aide Remigiusz Okraska, a former anarchist. Szczerbiec is an official publication of the NOP, renowned for denying the Holocaust. Successive issues of Obywatel carried sympathetic reviews of other extreme-right and antisemitic magazines such as Odala (published by Polish supporters of the British nazi Satanist David Myatt). Rojalista and Templum.
In one of his articles, Okraska defends Jean Marie Le Pen, claiming that the French Front National leader has only been labelled a fascist because "he wants to remove the governing establishment from power".
In another issue of Obywatel, a new idol is introduced to the readers in the form of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. "Until the very end," says the magazine, "he conducted himself with dignity, unlike the families of the so-called innocent victims. In this so-called democracy, there are no innocent victims because the people govern or, at least, they bear responsibility for the government and its representatives."
Obywatel number 2/2001 contains advertisements for books published by the National Rock Scene (NSR), Poland's main producer of nazi skinhead records. One of NSR's publications touted there is Bunt (Revolt) with the subtitle "A book not only for fascists". The book, written by Tomasz Szczepanski, alias Barnim Regalica, a former leftist turned nationalist-pagan activist, is a compilation of political fiction short stories, often likened to William Pierces Turner Diaries.
In July 2000, Szczepanski was captured on the cover of the weekly Wprost with a group of his supporters giving the Hitler salute. A few months later, a Warsaw court declared that the anti-fascist journalist Marcin Kornak was right to describe Szczepanski's politics as "chauvinist and antisemitic".
Obywatel 2/2001 also includes an interview with Andrzej Gwiazda. Gwiazda. a former deputy leader of the Solidarnosc trade union, is the president of ATTAC-Poland's Programme Board. In the interview, he makes a typically antisemitic statement suggesting that Jews rule Poland: "When people ask me if there is antisemitism in Poland, I ask them: 'Just imagine that I go to Israel and I want to be a Minister'. The burst of laughter that follows this question is the best answer." The same issue publishes a "Declaration" by Obywatel's editors demanding a repressive penal policy in Poland, including the reintroduction of death penalty,
This article is followed with a piece by Tomasz Gabis, editor of the extreme-right publication Stanczyk. In his own magazine Gabis regularly rants against "the rotten mechanism of parliamentary democracy", "unmasks" what he calls "the Holocaust religion" and promotes Holocaust denial by quoting the likes of David Irving, Robert Faurisson, and Fred Leuchter. Stanczyk is well known for eulogising fascists such as Franco, Pinochet and Le Pen.
On the pages of Obywatel, Gabis promotes the political philosophy of the German "conservative-revolutionary" thinker Carl Schmitt. The same issue includes an article by Marek Glogoczowski, a member of the board of the magazine Wspolnota (Community), another magazine published by Tejkowski.
It is difficult to grasp how this kind of material can be condoned or accepted by a respected international democratic movement for social justice. In December 2001 a letter was written to the Polish and French leadership of ATTAC asking for clarification of their position regarding extreme-right infiltration. It was co-signed by representatives of the anti-fascist Never Again Association as well as by editors of the national trade union weekly Nowy Tygodnik Popularny and the leading left-wing intellectual review Lewa Noga. The letter has never received a reply, apart from personal attacks on its authors on the Polish ATTAC website. Curiously, the authors of the letter were accused of being "Stalinists" and "Trotskyists" at the same time.
In the aftermath of the letter, Okraska resigned his membership of ATTAC, but the overall policy of the association and its link with Obywatel have remained virtually unchanged, while Okraska has been promoted to Obywatel's editor-in-chief. If anything the nationalist stance of ATTAC-Poland seems to have hardened, as illustrated by the unequivocal declaration at the beginning of this article.
ATTAC-Poland still has some members from the left, for example, activists of Workers' Democracy, the Polish sister organisation of the British Socialist Workers Party, but any remaining opposition to far-right influence within the movement seems to have been sidelined.
The French leadership of ATTAC not only has never responded to criticisms for allowing right-wing extremists to hijack the ATTAC label in Poland but has continued to pump money into its Polish sister organisation, including paying for a trip to the World Social Forum in Brazil in February 2002.
It remains to be seen how long this unholy alliance will last.
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das war bei einer...

15.07.2002 - 15:55
derart verkürtzten kapitalismus kritik nur eine frage der zeit

attac abschalten!


Mhhh-Macher 15.07.2002 - 16:00
Was mich dabei mal interessieren würde: Was sagen die anderen attacs dazu? Soweit ich weiss, gibts da ja auch einen Grundsatz.
Vielleicht kanns ja mal jemand übersetzen. Ausserdem könnte attac-Dtl. mal mit dem Text konfrontiert werden.

PS an den 1. Kommentar: Lass mich raten: Du bist einer von denen, die gar keine Kritik am Kapitaliusmus haben und gerne in der Bahamas lesen, daß die Linke weg muss. Hab ich recht?


Tom 15.07.2002 - 17:39
Der Artikel hört sich plausibel und gut recherchiert an. Offensichtlich kommt die Kritik nicht aus der Bahamas Spam Ecke, sondern von jemand der zwischen Antisemitismus und Kritik an ISrael unterscheiden kann. Die Situation in Polen ist tatsächlich gefährlich, weil die gesamte liberale weltoffene "Linke" gerne in die EU will, was gerade auf dem Land (40% der Polen sind Bauern) ganz brutale Konsequenzen haben wird. Kleine Bauern mit 20-30 Schweinen haben jetzt schon Probleme mit dem EU Dreck zu konkurrieren, obwohl solchen Produtktion eigentlich die Zukunft gehören sollte.
Dazu kommt das Verlangen, die Landwirtschaft "Investionen" aus dem Westen (Deutschland) zu öffnen und schon ist das Disaster absehbar. Verkürzt gesagt: Der liberale weltoffene nicht judenfeindliche (sehr verbreitet in Polen) Teil der Bevölkerung diskreditiert mit seinem Eintreten für "liberale" Reformen auch seine weltoffene Geisteshaltung. Ich hoffe auf ein offzielles Statement von Attac


Toni 15.07.2002 - 19:18
uns du bist vermutlich einer der bei attac miläuft ohne zu raffen was das für ein sozialdemokratischer mist ist, der da in den öffentlichen Statements rüberkommt, oder ?

wenn du meinst das der hinweis auf verkürzte kapitalismuskritk nur von anti-deutschen kommt, solltest du bei einem der naechsten teach-ins, sommerschulen oder was weis ich welch happenings der neuen deutschen "Volkshochschule" (O-ton Peter Wahl), mal nachfragen was Kapitalismus ist.

aber besser ist du bildest dich selbst, anstatt dich belehren zu lassen. dann besteht auch die chance auf eine differnizerte betrachtungsweise einer linken szene.

Lang lebe das Vorurteil

Mhhh-Macher 15.07.2002 - 19:28
Ihr Kommies bezeichnet ja gerne alle, die nicht von der Diktatur des Proletariats träumen als Sozis, Hippies, Bürgersöhnchen und so weiter. (so, das war jetzt etwas Polemik)
Natürlich ist es eine Illusion, daß der Kapitalismus durch Reform menschlich und gut wird. Aber deshalb in bester Stalin-Manier die Reformisten als "Abweichler" zu bekämpfen, zeigt mir doch, daß einige derjenigen, die sich als "links" bezeichnen doch mehr Ähnlichkeit mit dem Staat haben, als sie denken. Find ich ganz schön widerlich. Ich bin aber immer noch der Ansicht, daß auch trotz der sehr dominanten autoritären Strömungen auch in Deutschland was verändert werden. Und hier denke ich tatsächlich, daß attac dabei nützlicher sein kann, als all die vielen ideologisch festen Organisationen (ob Autokomm, AntiD, SAV, MLPD, AAB und wie sie alle heissen). Voraussetzung ist, daß die attac-Funktionäre wieder etwas entmachtet werden.
Ansonsten mag ich attac auch nicht besonders (sehr naiv alle, aber jede/r fängt halt mal an) und zähle mich eher zum libertären Spektrum.

funktionäre abschaffen ! ;-)

15.07.2002 - 20:31
widerstand von unten aufbauen

VVJ- judäische Volksfront?!?!

Brian 16.07.2002 - 19:02
Habe letztens das Leben des Brian mal wieder gesehen. Herrlich wie dieser Film den Zustand der Linken auch heute noch beschreibt.
Unser Feind sind die Römer (Kapitalisten/neoliberalen). Aber unser grösster Feind ist die Judäische Volksfront (attac bzw. andere linke Gruppen). Lieber untereinander bekämpfen, anstatt wenigstens eine Kleinigkeit zu erreichen. Spalter, egal ob aus der ultra-Ecke oder aus der gemässigten Ecke, verpisst euch! Und an mache der ach so Radikalen, ihr seid wie die VVJ auch nur am diskutieren, anstatt was zu erreichen.
Das leben des Brian, sollte sich jeder "Globalisierungsgegner" oder Linke mal angucken, weil er da seine (unsere) SItuation hervorragend wiedererkennt. (Am Ende des Films herrschen die Römer immer noch...)


Toni 16.07.2002 - 20:29
Das war klar das das kommt mit dem spalter. Ich begreif das nich. Warum wird Kritik als Spaltung aufgefasst, warum kann nicht GEMEINSAM sich darueber ausgetauscht werden wenn von "der einen Seite" Kritik an "die andere" kommt ? Wenn auch selbstreflexive Kritik durch solche Spalter Rufe innerhalb von politischen Bewegung schon im Keim erstickt werden, und wenn Kritik nur ueber den jeweiligen gemeinsamen politische Gegner möglich ist, dann sitzt das Problem weitaus tiefer als in dem Weltbild von linken (welchen reformismus oder radikalismus auch immer)? Stichwort Kaptial->arbeit etc.

Schaffen wir endlich eine andere Welt in der eine solidarische Streitkultur gelebt werden kann !


Wer weiss 16.07.2002 - 20:32
Also wenn ich z.B. den ersten Kommentar lese, würd ich das nicht als "Kritik" bezeichnen. Oder hat die VVJ auch nur die JVF kritisiert?


Brian 17.07.2002 - 17:39
Das meinte ich ja auch. Kritik, und auch unterschiedliche Meinungen und Wege sind nicht nur wünschenswert, sondern auch notwendig. Sobald es aber in Polemik und Angriffe gegen die anderen Gruppen ausartet bringt das nix mehr. Man muss gemeinsam versuchen was zu ändern. Und wenn nur ein bisschen erreicht wird.

Reply to Pankowski's opinion about ATTAC

Remigiusz Okraska 11.11.2002 - 14:34
At the service of neo-liberals

Poland is not a well-known country; people from Western Europe or North America do not know much about Poland. One can really profit from this lack of knowledge by making people who have little background information believe anything. Moreover, when we have to deal with language barriers, the persuaded do not have a chance to check on the information that they are served. Often sly dogs and ordinary liars seize this fact. This is what happened in the case of Rafal Pankowski, who described the activities of ATTAC Poland and people and initiatives linked to this association in a recent issue of "Searchlight" magazine, presenting them as "fascist" and "infiltrated by far-right".
Those reading Pankowski’s article in foreign countries are not able to verify the opinions presented by him. English-language readers do not know the people described and cannot read any of the magazines or documents that were mentioned by Pankowski. The only option left is to trust the author of the text. In Poland, it would be far more difficult to diffuse the obvious lies that Pankowski included in the text published by "Searchlight", as every reader has a chance to research appropriate materials and decide how Pankowski’s vision relates to reality. That is the reason why Pankowski prefers to publish his denunciations abroad. Only there he can find those who will believe him. When Pankowski, together with his comrades, wrote a similar letter in Polish almost one year ago and sent it to the editors of many alternative magazines, none of them published it and almost all made a mockery of the opinions included in it. However, this was not the first time that the texts of Pankowski about far-right infiltration of different environments (anarchist, environmentalist, etc) were criticised and mocked by the editors of the alternative press in Poland. Among the critics were the leading anarchist magazines in Poland, such "Mac Pariadka", "Inny Swiat", and "A-tak". After Pankowski with his fellows diffused the letter alerting about “infiltration of ATTAC Poland by fascists” they were criticised by the leader of the Polish anarchist movement Janusz Waluszko in the magazine “NIErzad”. Waluszko accused them of an attempt to smash ATTAC Poland using untrue arguments and false objections.
We do not want to make accusations with offering any proof, so let us check how the things described by Pankowski really appear. Pankowski begins his text with a quotation from the declaration of the founders of ATTAC Poland. The problem is that this fragment is taken out of the context of the entire document; Pankowski does not mention any other ATTAC Poland document. He suggests, however, that this quotation is reminiscent of nationalistic declarations and adds that ATTAC Poland is infiltrated by the far-right. Pankowski does not mention that from the very beginning, many people with left-wing views in ATTAC Poland signed numerous documents clearly confirming the international and anti-xenophobic character of this organisation. It should be just enough to add that ATTAC Poland has active members whom are foreigners living in Poland, and that foreigners are even on the board of the Association. Further, other members have never made unfriendly comments about their origins.
Pankowski’s suggested nationalist character of ATTAC Poland’s declaration has nothing to do with nationalism defined as placing one nation over others and aggression to other nations. In reality, it is normal to call Polish patriotism an alternative to globalisation. Vandana Shiva, one of the leaders of the anti-globalisation movement, describes in her book Indian farmers as anti-globalists who, at the beginning of their campaign against Monsanto, sang their national anthem; are these Indian villagers also fascists? Is support for the independent aspirations of Basques or Tibetans inconsistent with subsequent accusations of "fascist" Poles who are occupied by international financial institutions and global capital?
Later Pankowski presents "proof" indicating that ATTAC Poland is infiltrated by far-right. As proof of this infiltration, he shows that on the board of ATTAC Poland are many people collaborating with "The Citizen" magazine ("Obywatel"), which is, according to Pankowski, clearly a far-right deviation. This is a lie. "The Citizen" was established as a tribune for all groups who are critical of neo-liberal status quo. It should serve as a free discussion about important social problems and publish articles that the mainstream media refuses to publish. "The Citizen" is neither left-wing nor right-wing, it is just a magazine which allows for a real debate on the problems of globalisation and domination of the neo-liberal economic model. Indeed, "The Citizen" has published articles written by people linked to the radical right, however, these articles never conveyed a far-right message and these articles were always accompanied by texts by leading left-wing, environmental, and anarchist journalists. To date, "The Citizen" has published articles written by the likes of Jozef Pinior (a legendary workers activist of "Solidarnosc" in the times of communism, who in 1987 reactivated Polish Socialist Party), Wojciech Gielzynski (one of the leading promoters of "Solidarnosc" heritage, a former activist of the left-wing Workers Union party, and author of numerous books criticising capitalism who in 1987 reactivated Polish Socialist Party), Janusz Waluszko (a leading activist in the Polish anarchist movement, the founder of the Movement of Alternative Society and Anarchist Federation), and many authors of this sort. "The Citizen" published reviews of radical right-wing magazines, nevertheless, these reviews were always critical and accompanied by reviews of left-wing wing (“Dziś”, “Robotnik Śląski”, mentioned by Pankowski “Lewą Nogą”), anarchist (“A-tak”, “Inny Świat”, “Kurier Anarchistyczny”) and environmental magazines. In general, the magazine review section of "The Citizen" contains reviews of magazines about which neo-liberal establishment remains silent.
According to Pankowski, the fact that among the organization’s activists are people “known for a long time by anti-fascist organisations” is evidence that ATTAC Poland is infiltrated by far-right. The first of these persons is Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz, who, according to Pankowski, several years ago established a fascist organisation called Przelom Narodowy (National Breakthrough). Actually, this happened 11 years ago and since then Tomasiewicz has many times cut himself off from these activities. He has changed his opinions and now has a democratic view. Further, when Tomasiewicz was founding National Breakthrough, Pankowski himself was known as a symphatizer of a party called Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej (Conference of Independent Poland), in these times accused of authoritarian and militaristic tendencies. Then, Pankowski writes that Tomasiewicz had published articles in the magazines of far-right. Indeed, these publications come from the times when Tomasiewicz was a far-right activist. Althought Tomasiewicz hasn’t published in the radical right press for several years and his only publication of this sort are two articles in the magazine “Templum”, which Pankowski mentioned. These articles are fragments of the scientifical work of Tomasiewicz devoted the occurrence of political terrorism and politological analysis of Lyndon LaRouche’s movement (this text had been published before in the book published by an anarchist publishing-house “Zima” and its' shortened version was published by the leading magazine of “democratic and progressive Christians” titled “Tygodnik Powszechny”). Both texts in no way present a right-wing view. Pankowski lies that a magazine “Templum” is linked to the organisation Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski (National Rebirth of Poland). In reality it has a character of an independent right-wing magazine.
To give you proper insight, it is necessary to mention two facts. Firstly, Tomasiewicz published articles in numerous and various magazines that have almost all of the possible political positions: left-wing, right-wing, anarchist, liberal, peasant, environmentalist, and regionalist. For example, Tomasiewicz published several articles in different issues of “Lewa Noga” (Left Leg) and “Dalej!” (Further!). Stefan Zgliczynski and Zbigniew Kowalewski, who are described by Pankowski as “progressive intellectuals” who condemned the far-right infiltration of ATTAC Poland, edited both of these magazines. Furthermore, few years ago Pankowski corresponded with Tomasiewicz, proposing a co-operation with him. It is interesting that Pankowski, Zgliczynski, and Kowalewski accepted Tomasiewicz a few years ago and now they pretend to feel indignant towards him.
Later, Pankowski writes that the next proof for the fascist deviation of Tomasiewicz is the fact that he publishes a magazine called ZaKORZENIEnie (Rootedness), which has ethnopluralist character. He claims that the term “ethnopluralism” was coined “by the French New Right around Alain de Benoist and his GRECE think tank” and it means that “each political territory must be pure, that is ethnically homogenous”. Meanwhile “ethnopluralism” (ethnic diversity) has an exactly opposite character; it is an aspiration to keep the ethnic diversity (and not purity or homogeneity!) of each territory. “Zakorzenienie” has often published articles and statements defending ethnic and national minorities in Poland and around the whole world. Articles published in this magazine demanded punishing the perpetrators of the devastation of the Ukrainian minority’s objects in Poland and showed the need for restoring a destroyed Jewish cemetery in a Polish city. The editors criticised the Polish regulation of ethnic minorities, which discriminates against members of ethnic minorities by taking away their rights in Poland. The editors have also appealed for the help for the endangered peoples around the world (i.e. East Timor, Native Americans). The magazine promoted rap music as a sign of original culture and an ethnic rebirth of African Americans. “Zakorzenienie” often condemned ideas and activities aspiring to create ethnic or cultural “purity” in any territory and published texts of the members of national minorities in Poland and statements of minority organisations. In fact, they often published the texts of activists fighting for the rights of ethnic minorities.
Pankowski also writes that many members of the board of ATTAC Poland are linked to the magazine “The Citizen” (Obywatel), which, according to Pankowski, “regularly provides space for articles that have a clearly fascist, racist and anti-Semitic content”. In Poland, readers of “The Citizen” would mock such opinions because the imaginary examples of texts that Pankowski presents are lies. For example:

1. Pankowski states that “the first issue of Obywatel, published in 2000, began with the cover bearing a motto by Jozef Mackiewicz, a Polish writer and wartime Nazi collaborator, sentenced to death by the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK), the mainstream resistance organisation in wartime Poland.” The suspicions of his collaborations are untrue, which was reported by the largest Polish newspaper (“Rzeczpospolita”) and confirmed by scientists and historians. But beyond history, Pankowski “forgot” to mention which motto of Mackiewicz appeared in “The Citizen”. It read: “It doesn’t matter who governs. It is only important whether he will let live or not.” Could anyone call this motto fascist?
2. Pankowski states that the first issue of “The Citizen” included an extremely enthusiastic review of the far-right magazine “Szczerbiec”. In reality, the review was not clearly enthusiastic; it included a normal summary of a critique of the banking-financial system and it included critical remarks. Further, the issue of reviewing other far-right papers was discussed earlier in this response.
3. Pankowski writes that in one of articles, editor-in-charge “The Citizen” magazine defended Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of French National Front, stating that he received a fascist label only because he threatens the French political establishment. In reality, he only presented the opinion of one of the authors. It is useful to add that, although Pankowski accuses “fascist” symphaties, Okraska personally published an article a few years ago in “Never Again!”, a magazine edited by Pankowski (sic!). It was an article dedicated to defending the rights of Gypsies in Poland.
4. Pankowski claims that published fragments of the Unabomber Manifesto and articles devoted to him are proof of the fascist sympathies of authors publishing in “The Citizen”. Actually, the Unabomber had nothing to do with the far-right, and in his Manifesto he criticised the ideology and activities of the right-wing. In “The Citizen”, we wrote only in reference to his critique of our technological-industrial civilisation. The quoted fragment of his Manifesto was intended to give insight into the problem of the monopolisation of mass media in the hands of several large, international corporations. On the same page, we published a fragment of an article by the liberal philosopher Karl Popper that is dedicated to the problem of the media. We have recently published an article by the Unabomber on the strategy of the environmental movement. That was a reprint from the anarchist paper “Green Anarchy”. Does this have anything to do with fascism?
5. As a proof of the imaginary “fascism” of “The Citizen”, Pankowski quotes a sentence from Andrzej Gwiazda, legendary leader of “Solidarnosc” which comes from his interview for “The Citizen”. Pankowski presents a fragment taken out of the context as a proof of the anti-Semitism of Gwiazda. Actually, Gwiazda criticises the anti-Semitic stance of the far-right. Further, Gwiazda warns with insight of the situation that might threaten us if the economic decline resulting from the neo-liberal policies of the Polish government turns into a social rebellion not against capitalists, but against Jews accused by different demagogues of many faults.
6. Pankowski states that the “same issue [of The Citizen] publishes a Declaration by Obywatel's editors that demands a repressive penal policy from the state, including the re-introduction of death penalty”. This is an extremely rank and dishonourable lie. In reality, the statement included in the magazine did not deal with the penal policy and did not even mention the death penalty with a single word. The statement was dedicated to the court service and demanded the undertaking of activities intended to remove judges from the court service who are corrupted and suspected of co-operation with criminals.
7. Pankowski states that Tomasz Gabis promotes in “The Citizen” ideas of Carl Schmitt, well-known thinker from the period of the Conservative Revolution in Germany. In reality, Gabis wrote in “The Citizen” about mechanisms of performing policy and mentioned dozens of political thinkers. The article had 5 pages and only one sentence was devoted to Schmitt! The Polish edition of Schmitt’s book was published in series “Democracy – theory and practice” thanks to subsidies from the Batory Foundation (owned by George Soros). The same foundation subsided Pankowski’s magazine “Never again!” – why did Pankowski accept money from sponsors of “fascist” publications?
8. Pankowski states that “The Citizen” published an article of Marek Glogoczewski, who is in the editing board of the radical right magazine “Wspolnota” (“Commune”). Indeed, that’s true and the published material is a fragment of the PhD piece of Glogoczewski devoted to the political thoughts of Noam Chomsky. The published article comments the view of Chomsky on the manipulation of public opinion performed by the neoliberal media. Is Chomsky also fascist?

The objections Pankowski included in his “Searchlight” article were already used in his attack on ATTAC Poland and “The Citizen” in December 2001. Then, as I mentioned, a letter signed by Pankowski, Zgliczynski and Kowalewski was sent to many alternative magazines and organisations in Poland. None published this letter, and comments that appeared after this case were explicitly negative towards the lies and slanders that were included in this text. In his article in “Searchlight”, Pankowski states that this letter has not been answered, but attacks on the signatories have appeared. This is just another lie; the people attacked by him as well as the board of ATTAC Poland published appropriate declarations, which were available for public opinion. ATTAC France was informed about the whole issue, and, moreover, all these documents are still available on the website of ATTAC Poland. Now Pankowski, using the same false arguments, tries to bring discredit upon ATTAC Poland among social activists abroad. This is why it is appropriate to write few words about Pankowski himself and his initiatives.
Pankowski has been an activist for the association “Never Again” for several years. This association publishes the magazine with the same title and presents itself as “anti-fascist”. However, it has been criticised many times by other anti-fascist groups as it promoted legal solutions with totalitarian character such as reducing the freedom of speech and basic civil rights. Articles criticising Pankowski and his association have appeared in every significant anarchist magazine in Poland. Pankowski himself is known for co-operating and sympathising with the neoliberal environment, first and foremost with the party Freedom Union (Unia Wolnosci). Freedom Union is responsible for implementing the neo-liberal economic model in Poland; the leader of this party was Leszek Balcerowicz, the former finance minister of Poland, who is a symbol of imposing on Poland the demands of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
It is proper to mention that the aides of Pankowski, who are mentioned in his articles, condemned ATTAC Poland for an imaginary far right infiltration. Pankowski mentions the “progressive intellectual” Zbigniew Kowalewski. Kowalewski is the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Rewolucja” (“Revolution”), which is full of texts written by Leo Trotsky and Fidel Castro. However, we will not find there a single word about the criminal and totalitarian activities of Trotsky or breaking human rights under the governance of Castro. Kowalewski used to be a member of the trotskist organisation Nurt Lewicy Rewolucyjnej (Revolutionary Left Current) which was linked with French trotskist organisation LCR (Kowalewski also co-operated with LCR). A few years ago, he was thrown out of NLR. In the environment of Polish radical leftists, Kowalewski was accused several times of embezzling the organisation’s funds. Moreover, he is suspected of being an agent of the state intelligence service during the period of communism in Poland. It is not clear whether these accusations are true, but they cast a shadow on him and sentence him for political marginalisation. Another “progressive intellectual” mentioned by Pankowski is Stefan Zgliczynski – recently known for co-operation with neoliberal and pro-capitalist Polish edition of the weekly magazine “Newsweek”.
It is a worth-wile effort to describe whom Pankowski and his colleagues attack with accusations of fascism. Pankowski attacks the leading activists of ATTAC Poland, i.e. Andrzej Gwiazda, Joanna Duda-Gwiazda, Stefan J. Adamski, and Maciej Muskat. The first three of them are long-time anti-neoliberal activists. In the eighties, they were involved in the anti-authoritarian movement of “Solidarnosc”, which overthrew the communist regime in 1989. After 1989, they consequently criticised the neo-liberal character of reforms implemented in Poland; they took part in many initiatives intended to support the social resistance to the economic globalisation processes. Maciej Muskat is the leading activist of the Polish anti-globalisation movement and an economist working at the University of Gdansk as well as a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics. Pankowski also criticises people involved in “The Citizen” (Obywatel) magazine. This magazine is currently the largest magazine in Poland devoted to the critique of globalisation and the destruction of the environment. Its editor-in-chief is also the editor of the most radical environmental magazine in Poland, the monthly “Dzikie Zycie” (“Wild Nature”) published by Workshop for All Beings, a well-known radical organisation defending the last wild terrains in Poland. He is also a member of the board of this organisation and takes part in many actions of civil disobedience in the defence of nature. Another editor of “The Citizen”, Rafal Gorski, is the leader of the anti-motorway campaign in Poland and has many times participated in radical environmental activities. Another editor of “The Citizen”, Olaf Swolkien, is one of the leaders of the environmental movement in Poland and has for years conducted the anti-motorway and anti-hipermarket campaign in Poland. Swolkien was the main organiser of the famous protest and direct action on the Saint-Ann Mountain (Gora sw. Anny) against the construction of a motorway through the middle of a nature reserve. Further, dozens, if not hundreds, of leading activists of the Polish radical environmental movement and social activists co-operate permanently with “The Citizen”.
It is hard to say why “Searchlight” published Pankowski’s article without verifying the information contained in it. However, it is certain that the behaviour of Pankowski is intentionally doing harm to the alternative movement and anti-globalisation movement in Poland, with an aim at smashing them through internal quarrels with the clear goal of weakening them. We should not be surprised by Pankowski’s actions if we realise what his political sympathies are and know of his long record of collaboration with the neoliberal establishment. Pankowski must be alarmed by the development of such initiatives like ATTAC Poland and “The Citizen”, which criticise the neoliberal establishment as well as globalisation, and which succeed in gaining new sympathisers. It is no surprise that he does not hesitate to use every method, including lies, in his effort to destroy their good image.

Remigiusz Okraska, editor-in-charge of “The Citizen” (“Obywatel”), co-founder of ATTAC Poland, editor-in-charge of radical environment magazine “Wild Nature”, one of leaders of Workshop for All Beings.
Maciej Muskat, editor of “The Citizen”, co-founder and leader of ATTAC Poland
Olaf Swolkień, editor of “The Citizen”, co-founder of ATTAC Poland, leader of Green Federation – Section Krakow
Rafał Górski, editor of “The Citizen”, leader of ATTAC Poland – Section Lodz, leader of Obywatelski Ruch Ekologiczny (Citizens Ecological Movement), leader of the anti-motorway campaign in Poland