Monday, June 9, 2014

Poland’s Road from Oppression to Freedom

 Under the pressure of social revolt, the communist authorities signed agreements with the striking workers. They also had to agree to register the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity” which was led by Lech Wałęsa for the years that followed.

“Solidarity” was not a purely trade union or worker organisation, however, as it was impossible to establish a political party then, it remained an enormous (with 10 million members) power opposing the communist system. The Polish United Worker’s Party did not tolerate this role of “Solidarity” and perceived the organisation as a great threat, especially as they had no intention to give up or share their power.

The Polish United Worker’s Party and the Soviet Union were outraged by the “Message to the working people of Eastern Europe” adopted in autumn 1981 at the First “Solidarity” Congress. In line with the Polish tradition of fighting “for our freedom and yours”, the message supported and empathised with the struggle for free trade unions in Soviet bloc states.