“We are fighting for the greatest good – for our children” – says Renata Cytacka. The representative of Forum of Parents from the Polish schools in Lithuania, as Wilnoteka’s guest, says about the reasons for announcing a strike, the postulates of the striking, and how the authorities in Lithuania understand the word “democracy”.
Polish children in the Vilnius area will start the school year on 1st September, however, the next day they will not attend school. “The only solution is a general strike” – says Renata Cytacka, a representative of Forum of Parents from the Polish schools in Lithuania. On 2nd September, the parents of students attending Polish school will not let their children go there as a protest against the discrimination against schools for national minorities. What next? “We are determined, we will fight until we win – says Cytacka – we do it for our children’s sake, for respecting their rights”.
The issue of Polish schools in Lithuania is not only about the parents’ postulates. There has been a conflict going on for ages, in which the Poles living in the Vilnius area are clearly stating their opinion and needs, and it shows another problem. The public opinion, the voice of society does not mean anything for the people ruling Lithuania. The country and municipality authorities are both ingoring their requests, which are nothing but asking for what the international law guarantees them. “We are a national minority and no one can hear us” – says Cytacka.
The decision on starting a strike is not easy. It is one of the most radical ways. Renata Cytacka stresses that announcing a strike is caused by caring about the paramount good – the good of a child.
Renata Cytacka, the representative of Forum of Parents from the Polish schools in Lithuania, issued under the Strike Committees, informed about the beginning of the genereal strike during the XX Jubilee Educational Conference: “A Polish child in a Polish school”.
There will also be a holy mass celebrated for Polish schools, students, parents, and teachers at the Gate of Dawn on 2nd September at 11 a.m. The participants of the conferention unanimously adopted an act including particular postulates and demands of ceasing the discrimination against Polish schools.
Tłumaczenie by Anna Plebanek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Anna Plebanek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.