Registration for the Social School of Anti-capitalism
Semester II

Registration closes on 8 March

Semester II

We are inviting you to participate in the second semester of the Social School of Anti-capitalism, five workshop/lecture meetings with activists around the ideas of work on progressive social changes. The school is addressed to people involved in the field of activism who look for alternatives in the area of social organisation.

After 30 years of party-determined political disputes, exuberant anniversary celebrations and futile criticism referring to an increasingly distant past, we need to emphasise: we are living in post-transformation society. Capitalist society. This reality requires not only a different description than the dominant paradigm, but it also determines a radically different political horizon. What could life after capitalism look like?

Problems of rapidly growing economic inequalities, toxic individualism and reactionary nationalisms will not be addressed by either contemporary, technocratic parliamentarism, or a return to various models of a 20th-century welfare state. In the face of the neo-liberal “fusion” of the state and the market, a solution can be provided only by active society taking matters into their own hands.

We are considering grass-roots production of knowledge a key catalyst of the process of change. Our experts on the issues of particular social struggles are activists from various groups/organisations. People who form collectives, trade unions, associations and social movements build bridges between the theory and practice. Anti-capitalism is not science-fiction!

The Social School of Anti-capitalism was created as a result of the discussion during the Polish Social Forum which was held in May 2019 and constitutes the preparation of issues for next deliberations of the Forum in autumn 2020.

Programme of the School – Semester II


14:00 | workshop
“Anti-repressive savoir-vivre, or why do I ‘refuse to give a statement’?”
Moderators: Ola Ziemiańska, Zbyszek Hajzer

Ola Ziemiańska – anarchist, utopist and activist involved in anti-penitentiary, anti-repression, anti-war, pro-refugee activities, activist burnout and emotional first aid. She does not believe in “free courts” and the “justice” system, and at the very word “rehabilitation” her teeth start to grind. She believes in the safety culture, mutual help and the power of solidarity. She draws inspiration from the social revolution in Rojava, and when her strength begins to wane, she seeks respite and hope in nature.

Zbyszek Hajzer – believes that if the government offers you one of three curtains with a car hidden behind it, it must have taken it away from another contestant before. He is interested in the safety culture in order not to catch a “zonk” in the gameshow of life. He also suggests that in the context of direct action and self-organisation society finally went for it.

18:00 | open discussion
“How to live in the society of control?”
Moderator: Tadek Zinowski
Guest: Wojciech Klicki

Do you know how many CCTV cameras you passed on your way to this meeting? How many services have already scanned the content you are currently reading? Even though we don’t think about it daily, for years we have been living in the society of control where the notions of privacy, anonymity or safety suddenly change their meaning. Various agendas of state authorities made universal, mass invigilation a norm. The panopticon – the prison where every incarcerated could be constantly under observation – became nowadays a model for organising entire societies. Current authorities of Poland, despite their archaic ideological stylisation, do not lag behind at all when it comes to cutting-edge invigilation. With the emergency state on the horizon they have been expanding powers of yet more services in the recent years – from the Internal Security Agency, to the police, to the Forest Guard, slicing away subsequent areas of basic freedom. These changes are accompanied by constantly mongered antiterrorist panic in which the oppressed themselves should demand more means of control and trust the authorities that, on principle, do not trust them. Not only radical or criminal circles, but every one of us becomes a potential suspect – and is being treated accordingly.

We will discuss certain legal and social aspects of this situation with Wojtek Klicki from the Panoptykon Foundation, whose daily work involves monitoring those who are monitoring us.

Wojciech Klicki – lawyer and activist, affiliated with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. From January 2012 he has been working with the Panoptykon Foundation. Wojtek is responsible for the monitoring of legislative works in Poland, preparing legal analysis and court proceedings. He gets involved in advocacy work, speaks to decision-makers and the media. He is the most interested in supervision conducted by the police and the secret service, as well as visual monitoring.

Tadek Zinowski – Squatter, anarchist, communist. Activist of the Syrena collective, Students’ Anti-fascist Committee and several other initiatives. Self-taught electrician, almost sociologist, something of a historian.


14:00 | workshop
“Group process of increasing class awareness”
Instructor: Paweł Nowożycki

Paweł Nowożycki – Works in culture, anti-capitalist, member of the Workers’ Initiative trade union.

18:00 | open discussion
“Identity politics, intersectionalism, class struggle”
Moderator: Jula Strzemińska, guest: Agata Dziuban

The worst insult among the anticapitalist left is calling someone a liberal. Paradoxically, “liberal feminist” is a name used for persons involved in the circles striving for decriminalization of the sex work or abortion (e.g. Sex Work Polska or Abortion Dream Team) who provide real, tangible help, often venturing into the territory of culture. But it is feminists who are usually dragged through muck and mire as those who muddle the class struggle with cultural postulates.

What then should the postulates of the feminist movement be? Is the postulate of acknowledging sex work or reproductive work as work a cultural or a systemic one? How to combine cultural issues with social postulates? How to create a materialist, intersectional language which will express class interests of a mass movement, and will not be limited only to struggling for the recognition of an individual identity? Does it even make sense to talk about identity politics in Poland?

Agata Dziuban – sociologist and outreach worker. Assistant at the Jagiellonian University Institute of Sociology. Involved in research projects devoted to the mobilization of the sex workers’ movement in Europe, the situation of migrants in the sex services industry in Poland and shaping HIV policies. Together with Todd Sekuler she carried out the Europe-centred part of the project Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health.

Jula Strzemińska – Feminist, anti-fascist, involved in the “Syrena” collective. She works in the areas of right to housing, right to migration and right to contraception and abortion safe and available for all.


14:00 | workshop
“How to include migrants in social activities of grass-roots groups? A workshop on effective inclusivity”
Instructor: Tomasz Nowicki

Tomasz Nowicki – social worker involved with the Romani community in Tricity, doctoral candidate of the pedagogy programme at the University of Gdańsk, initiator and co-creator of the multicultural Club for Romani children and yout., until recently working with the Migrant Support Centre in Gdańsk.

18:00 | open discussion
“Migrations. Capitalism vs. workers’ solidarity”
Moderator: Igancy Jóźwiak
Guest: Myroslava Keryk

Migrations are not only the result of armed conflicts, but also an integral part of the global capitalist economy. According to the data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) approx. 270 million people live outside their country of origin, and of this number 70 million are refugees. Rich and developing countries use migration to fill in the gaps on their job markets, profiting from low-paid migrant labour. This makes the group of migrant workers the most vulnerable to exploitation and violation of workers’ rights. At the same time, as a result of fearmongering propaganda, they are subjected to social stigmatisation.

We can observe similar trends with regard to Ukrainians and immigrants from other post-Soviet countries working in Poland. The most common examples of exploitation and violation of workers’ rights include: employment without a contract, ambiguous role of middlemen in the recruitment process (fees for finding jobs, deducting commission from salaries), non-standardized working hours, unpaid trial periods, or a system of short-term work permits which leads to enhancing the precarity of living conditions.

How public institutions and NGOs deal with these problems? What is the role of trade unions and what does internationalism mean today?

Ignacy Jóźwiak – sociologist and social anthropologist, graduate of the University of Warsaw and the School of Social Sciences of the Institute of Philosophy, Polish Academy of Sciences. His academic research focuses on state borders and border regions, particularly Eastern borders of UE member states and economic migrations, in particular migration from Ukraine. Member of the Workers’ Initiative Trade Union.

Myroslava Keryk – historian, sociologist, expert on migration and Ukrainian community in Poland. She is the president of the “Nasz Wybór” [Our Choice] Foundation and the editor of the eponymous monthly magazine. In her work she combines actions oriented on integration of the Ukrainian community in Poland with the realisation of various academic and research projects in the area of migration. Myroslava is the author of a report on violation of the rights of workers from Ukraine employed in construction and service industries.


18:00 | lecture
“Neoliberal violence and approaching anarchy”
Guest: Simon Springer

It is becoming increasingly clear that neoliberalism is marked by a particular relationship with violence. The issue is not in repressing constantly increasing protests, but acknowledging the fact that these movements in reality constitute a reflection of brutal forces which resulted in degradation and demoralisation of everyday life in neoliberalism. There is currently a lot of room for scepticism towards the discourse promoted by the adherents of the neoliberal ideology, claiming that the economic growth was beneficial to all people, since the free market has definitely failed when it comes to creating a harmonious global village. This promise of utopia should be confronted with tough, dystopian reality which exists in a growing number of countries where neoliberalism led not to peace and prosperity, but to a violent and unrepeatable encounter with violence.

Simon Springer shows how neoliberalisation processes are saturated with exclusion processes (“otherings”) which lead to conflicts, and he argues that neoliberalism in itself can be understood as a particular form of violence. He also considers the world possible beyond neoliberalism.

Simon Springer – professor, radical geographer, anarchist. Professor of Human Geography and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Author of the essay “Fuck Neoliberalism.”


14:00 | workshop
“A quick course of the visual side of political propaganda – how to design and create a good poster, brochure, leaflet, social media graphics and many others”
Instructor: Amel Mana
(Please note: participants are required to bring their own computers)

Amel Mana – Social activist, feminist, anti-fascist, involved in the Syrena collective and the Student Anti-fascist Committee.

18:00 | open discussion
“Media oblivion to anticapitalism – how to create leftist media without sponsors and a huge budget?”
Moderator: Roman Kurkiewicz

Almost all discussions of problems which grassroot anticapitalist movement shave eventually reach a point where the media turn out to be an insurmountable obstacle. Almost total absence of left-wing media prevents many initiatives and and successes of bottom-up movements from reaching the public opinion. The only tools left are social media in which the reach of the content depends not on the importance and scale of the issues raised, but on their own profitability algorithms for this content. There were numerous attempts to create independent leftist media projects, and even if at a certain point they had been successful, they did not survive the test of time. On the other side – of liberal and conservative media – there is an unmovable blockade of subjects questioning the principles of the free market economy.

Is there a remedy for this media oblivion of the anticapitalist left? How to create effective projects and campaigns in traditional and social media, to reach and deliver your message without significant funds? Is the project of left-wing media only a pipe dream nowadays?

Roman Kurkiewicz – editor, journalist, feature writer, activist. Author of books Lewomyślnie, Klapsy polskie, and a children’s book about Wanda Krahelska. Twice he became chief editor of the weekly “Przekrój” (2002, 2012), deputy chief editor of the journal “Życie Warszawy” (2003-2004), head of journalism in the 2nd Programme of the Polish National Television (1995-1996), editor of “Gazeta Wyborcza” (1989-1995). Co-author of the TV programme “Dwie prawdy” [Two truths] on TVN 24 with Jan Wróbel (2014-2016), since 2007 professor of journalism at Collegium Civitas and feature writer in the weekly “Przegląd.” In 1979-1989 he was involved with the democratic opposition and underground publishing movement, he studied philosophy. Lately instructor at a rope course. Atheist, antifascist, billiard player, cyclist.
with the participation of: – member of the collective, organiser of the “Capitalism must go!” campaign in social media.


14:00 | workshop
“Preparing Polish Social Forum 2020”
Moderators: Paweł Nowożycki, Tadek Zinowski

Paweł Nowożycki – Works in culture, anti-capitalist, member of the Workers’ Initiative trade union.

Tadek Zinowski – Squatter, anarchist, communist. Activist of the Syrena collective, Students’ Anti-fascist Committee and several other initiatives. Self-taught electrician, almost sociologist, something of a historian.

18:00 | open discussion
“Activism vs. acting”
Moderators: Amel Mana, Jula Strzemińska

The subtle notional difference between activism and action hides the crucial rift between approaches to political activity. Is activism and organisation the same thing? We invite you to reflect together on how, in the capitalist order, figures of activists and those who act function. We will talk about self-identification, strategies and tools that constitute the categories we discuss. At a time when it is necessary in a way for political activity to use tools supplied by the largest global corporations (Facebook/YouTube/Instagram), the line between the activity within capitalism and the activity in line with and dictated by its logic is not clear. When social media tools cease to be only an instrument of propaganda and become a manifestation of self-expression and lifestyle?

The discussion will hopefully inform preparing the way in which the second edition of the Polish Social Forum will be organised in autumn 2020.

Amel Mana – Social activist, feminist, anti-fascist, involved in the Syrena collective and the Student Anti-fascist Committee.

Jula Strzemińska – Feminist, anti-fascist, involved in the “Syrena” collective. She works in the areas of right to housing, right to migration and right to contraception and abortion safe and available for all.

Registration rules

Until 8 March registration is open for people interested in participating in practice sessions of the Social School of Anti-capitalism that precede discussion open to the public.

We are inviting people working for progressive social changes to register via the application form, available on our website. Applications of activists from smaller cities or rural areas (under 100 thousand inhabitants) will be treated as priority.

The organisers will make every effort to provide, within their financial capacities, support for as many participants as possible (co-financing of transport and/or accommodation). Furthermore, participants of the practice sessions will be served a hot meal (vegan).

The number of places is limited. Registration includes 5 meetings in the first semester. The list of admitted participants for each activity will be announced on 9 March 2020.

All queries should be addressed to