Jolanta Brzeska Honorary Citizen of Warsaw

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Jolanta Brzeska

Honorary Citizen of Warsaw since 10th June 2021

Born on 25 January 1947 in Warsaw. Social activist and co-founder of the Warsaw Tenants’ Association. 

In 2006 by a restitution of property decision, the townhouse at 9 Nabielaka St., which was home to Jolanta Brzeska, became property of new owners, and the attorney representing the former owners’ heirs terminated her tenancy agreement. From then on stalking, rent charge increases and property seizure attempts began. In 2007 Mr and Mrs Brzeski, along with others, established the Warsaw Tenants’ Association, which gathered the victims of the Reprivatisation Act, who were faced with the threat of being thrown out onto the street. Jolanta Brzeska provided moral support and shared her legal knowledge acquired in the process. She kept a register of eviction cases, their progress and course. She took part in protests against the execution of eviction orders. She also demanded the adoption and implementation of the postulates to defend tenants at City Council sessions.

On 1 March 2011 Jolanta Brzeska’s body was found in the Kabaty Woods. The investigation revealed that the cause of death was murder by burning. 

Jolanta Brzeska was the first voice of opposition against the criminals and criminal groups who deprived people of their homes, made their lives miserable and took away their dignity. She is the icon and symbol of the fight for tenants’ rights. The Warsaw Tenants’ Association took up her name and continues to advocate the rights of tenants against excessive costs and rent charges, which lead to their growing debt and sometimes eviction. The Association organises demonstrations, eviction blocks, information campaigns and discussion panels, and provides free legal advice.
In 2017, on the 6th anniversary of the unsolved murder of the tenants’ activist, the square between the Iwicka, Zakrzewska, and Sielecka Streets was named after Jolanta Brzeska.