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					    Solidarity pronounced full name: Independent Self-
governing Trade Union "Solidarity" — Niezależny
Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność" is a
Polish trade union federation founded in September
1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard, and originally led by Lech
Wałęsa.
     Solidarity was the first non-communist party-
controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country.In the
1980s it constituted a broad anti-bureaucratic social
movement. The government attempted to destroy the
union during the period of martial law in the early 1980s
and several years of political repression, but in the end it
was forced to start negotiating with the union.
The Polish Round Table Talks
    The Polish Round Table Talks took place in
 Warsaw, Poland from February 6 to April 4, 1989. The
 government initiated the discussion with the banned
 trade union Solidarność and other opposition
 groups in an attempt to defuse growing social
 unrest.

The Round Table Talks between the government and
the Solidarity-led opposition led to semi-free
elections in 1989. By the end of August a Solidarity-
led coalition government was formed and in
December 1990 Wałęsa was elected President of
Poland. Since then it has become a more traditional,
liberal trade union
    Solidarity was founded in Gdańsk in September
1980 at the Lenin Shipyards, where Lech Wałęsa and
others formed a broad anti-Soviet social movement
ranging from people associated with the Catholic
Church to members of the anti-Soviet Left. Solidarity
advocated non-violence in its members' activities. In
September 1981 Solidarity's first national congress
elected Lech Wałęsa as a president and adopted a
republican program, the "Self-governing Republic.
The government attempted to destroy the union with
the martial law of 1981and several years of
repression, but in the end it had to start negotiating
with the union
    In Poland, the Roundtable Talks between the
government and Solidarity-led opposition led to
semi-free elections in 1989. By the end of August a
Solidarity-led coalition government was formed and
in December Tadeusz Mazowiecki was elected Prime
Minister. Since 1989 Solidarity has become a more
traditional trade union, and had relatively little
impact on the political scene of Poland in the early
1990s. A political arm founded in 1996 as Solidarity
Electoral Action won the parliamentary election in
1997, but lost the following 2001 election. Currently,
as a political party Solidarity has little influence on
modern Polish politics
     The survival of Solidarity was an unprecedented event not
only in Poland, a satellite state of the USSR ruled (in practice)
by a one-party Communist regime, but the whole of the Eastern
bloc. It meant a break in the hard-line stance of the communist
Polish United Workers' Party which had bloodily ended a 1970
protest with machine gun fire (killing dozens and injuring over
1,000), and the broader Soviet communist regime in the Eastern
Bloc, which had quelled both the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and
the 1968 Prague Spring with Soviet-led invasions.
     Solidarity's influence led to the intensification and spread
of anti-communist ideals and movements throughout the
countries of the Eastern Bloc, weakening their communist
governments. The 4 June 1989 elections in Poland where anti-
communist candidates won a striking victory sparked off a
succession of peaceful anti-communist revolutions in Central
and Eastern Europe known as the Revolutions of 1989 (Jesień
Ludów). Solidarity's example was repeated in various ways by
opposition groups throughout the Eastern Bloc, eventually
leading to the Eastern Bloc's effective dismantling, and
contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the early
1990s.
    Formed on 31 August 1980, the union's supreme
powers were vested in a legislative body, the
Convention of Delegates (Zjazd Delegatów). The
executive branch was the National Coordinating
Commission (Krajowa Komisja Porozumiewawcza),
later renamed the National Commission (Komisja
Krajowa). The Union had a regional structure,
comprising 38 regions (region) and two districts
(okręg). At its highest, the Union had over 10 million
members, which became the largest union
membership in the world. During the communist era
the 38 regional delegates were arrested and jailed
when martial law came into effect on December 13,
1981 under General Wojciech Jaruzelski. After a one
year prison term the high-ranking members of the
union were offered one way trips to any country
accepting them (including Canada, the United States,
and nations in the Middle East).
     Solidarity was organized as an industrial union, or more
specifically according to the One Big Union principle, along the
lines of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Spanish
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (workers in every trade
were organized by region, rather than by craft).
     Currently, Solidarity has more than 1.1 million members.
National Commission of Independent Self-Governing Trade
Union is located in Gdańsk and is composed of Delegates from
Regional General Congresses.
    Two days later, the yard came a delegation of
other striking plants with Bob Fox and Andrew Star.
Cited the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee (MKS)
with Lech Walesa at the helm. August 17 yards
before the gate Father Henryk Jankowski celebrated
mass. At the same gate array containing suspended
the 21 demands of the Strike Committee. The next
day in the hall appeared Experts from the Catholic
circles and KORs, who had advised the workers in
the negotiations with the authorities. Chairman of
the Committee of Experts MKS was Tadeusz
Mazowiecki, in the work of Bronislaw Geremek took
part.
    In mid-August, which is controlled by the party
appeared in the press mention of the "in between
working in Gdansk." Censorship forbade the use of
the word "strike" in official communications, but the
society orientowało the situation. Even after
stopping phone calls from Côte Poles were informed
by a fit of Radio Free Europe in Munich, which
communicates to the legitimate mail from the
country. An interface also met the railwaymen,
postmen, and transporters. As a result, as early as
18 August in the SSN a strike, headed by Marian
Jurczyk. To August 21, strikes spread over the entire
country. She stood in the majority of workplaces in
Gdansk, Szczecin and other cities of the coast.
Mining ceased a number of mines in Upper Silesia.
Gdansk MKS represented in late August, more than
600 companies from around the country.
    December 16, 1980 was unveiled on Monument to the Fallen
Shipyard Workers. January 15, 1981 a delegation of Solidarity Lech
Walesa met in Rome with Pope John Paul II.
During the session of the Provincial Council in Bydgoszcz on March
19 three of the Solidarity trade union members (John Rulewski,
Mariusz Łabentowicz and Michael Bartoszcze) were severely
beaten by the riot police. Relevance stood in their defense and held
on March 27 warning general strike - stood for four hours almost the
whole of Poland. The authorities have ensured that the guilty
odszukają beatings and the protest has been suspended.
On 5-10 September and 26 September-7 October, after Congress of
Solidarity. On Lech Walesa was elected Chairman. Congress on
September 8 issued a message to working people in Eastern
Europe, which called upon the union of the socialist bloc countries to
the common struggle for freedom of association.
     In 1988 the economy was worse than 8 years
earlier. Economic sanctions and lack of reforms have led
to runaway inflation. State-owned enterprises
marnotrawiły human work and materials producing
defective goods and unattractive. The Polish economy
was uncompetitive and obsolete. In a limited network of
state stores were still missing goods. The reforms
carried out by Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski were
too superficial, increased interest on unpaid foreign
debts. The weakening of the Soviet Union under the
leadership of the liberal Gorbachev raised hopes that
this time the Communist regime will not be able to count
on the political and military support behind the Bug
River.
     Subsequent strikes began on 21 April 1988 in Huta
Stalowa Wola. May 2 they were joined by workers from the
Gdansk shipyard. It is true that, on May 5-10 strikes
spacyfikowały authorities or have been suspended, but
August 15 protests broke out anew. The strike began
miners in the mine "July Manifesto" in Jastrzebie Zdroj. By
August 20, the strike took a number of mines, and 22
came back to the Gdansk shipyard. To strike, joined by
other Gdansk shipyards: North, Repair, Wisla and
Radunia. The communist authorities were forced to re-
negotiate. The state television on August 26 there was the
head of power institutions Czeslaw Kiszczak and offered to
start talks, and five days later, met with Walesa. The
strikes ended the next day. The state television on
November 30 held a debate Lech Walesa Alfred
Miodowicz (Head OPZZ). Walesa came out before the
cameras much better than his opponent.
     "Solidarity" has sought democratic change while
renouncing violence. Round Table proved it is possible
peaceful agreement between the communist regime and the
opposition. In the footsteps of Solidarity representatives went
to the democratic movement in other countries
komunistyznych. At the end of the year its own round table
organized by the Hungarians. Sitting held on 15-20 October the
parliament passed a bill to hold free elections. They were held
in May 1990 and ended Communist rule. Germany opened their
borders, allowing thousands of East Germans from escaping to
the West. The communist regime in East Germany began
negotiations with Germany, and November 9, 1989 the Berlin
Wall fell demolished by the inhabitants. November 17, protests
began ushering in "velvet revolution" in Czechoslovakia. 29
December opposition leader Vaclav Havel was elected
president of Czechoslovakia. Developments in these countries
have made is based on the ideals of peaceful struggle for
freedom prevalent due to the success of Solidarity.
     The basic political and economic freedoms
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights Polish citizens have been guaranteed.
Unimpeded by a private initiative made it possible to
start building a society based on individual
entrepreneurship. The country has entered the path
of integration with Europe. 29 December 1989
parliament adopted amendments to the Constitution.
Deleted the clause stating that the Communist Party
is the "guiding force" of the nation. Polish People's
Republic became the Republic of Polish and Polish
eagle emblem in the crown was restored. Thus was
born the Third Republic.
Lech Walesa (born September 29,
1943 in Popowo) - Polish politician
and union activist, a professional
electrician. Co-founder and first
chairman of Solidarity, the dissident
during the communist era. Polish
president in 1990-1995.

Man of the Year 1981 by Time
magazine and winner of the Nobel
Peace Prize (1983)
Lech Wałęsa and the Monument to the Victims of December 1970

				
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