Alert!! Farmers defending Polish farmland against buyout have been arrested and detained in prison cells. Please urgently send letters of support!
NEWS: On 12 October some 150 farmers entered the prison grounds shouting: “PEASANTS TOGETHER!”. They broke into the prison cells of their arrested colleague farmers…
Since 12 October tractors and other farm vehicles have been parked in front of the Custody Prison and District Prosecutor Office in Szczecin, to demonstrate solidarity with 11 farmers from Western Pomerania Province arrested on 6 October. The arrested farmers are accused of participating ‘as an organized group’ with the aim is of preventing the actioning of tenders for the sale of Polish farmland by WRSP (land owned by the state).
“The farmers have been jailed for two months, to await their trial. They are being treated like the worst criminals and accused of damaging the public treasury. In truth these farmers bravely defended Polish farmland against a massive buyout by foreign capital. Nevertheless, they are in danger of 5 to 10 years prison sentence”, says Jadwiga Lopata co-director of International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside-ICPPC.
“In Poland, a moratorium on selling land to foreign speculators is a fiction. Regulations that opened the Country to corporate interests were accepted as early as 2004. Foreign business entities who lease farmland have priority to purchase it at the price officially calculated by Agricultural Realty Agency while individual farmers
must enter a bidding process. In this bidding process the price of farmland can soar sky-high. This is a bizarre situation, as Polish farmers can only buy a few hectares and foreign companies have been buying hundreds of hectares – on a mass scale”, says Jan Bialkowski, a farmer protesting the farmland buyout.(*)”
“The Polish government encourages Polish farmers to take-out large loans, indebting themselves. We know the mechanism from our own as well as other countries. Once you have a debt in a bank you can easily lose your farm. That is why I support the Polish farmers’ actions and their rightful call to be allowed to lease farmland from the state in order to be able to improve their financial returns.” – says Sir Julian Rose, President of International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside-ICPPC.
Please do SEND LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO THE FARMERS TO US:
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
And we will forward them to the Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopasz,
ministers, the prosecutor as well as to the farmers.
You can donate to ICPPC’s activities here
Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose