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Remembering Solidarnosc

30 years ago it defied the Communist power

On 10 November 1980 Solidarity was registered. The people's unhappiness with the imposition of Communism resulted in the creation of the free union opposing the regime.

The election of Karol Woytjla in 1978 had brought Poland centerstage. The intellectuals struggled with workers. Europe got to know Lech Wałȩsa, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and a new Polish leading class born within the anticommunist opposition.

Outside and against the ruling party the fight for freedom of conscience, speech and religion and the access to mass media developed. The activity of Solidarność was essential for the birth of the Polish democracy.

Check the link in the box below for further references on Solidarność

11 November 2010

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Eastern Europe dissent

the truth against the lies of totalitarianism

The so called dissent in Eastern European communist regimes cannot be downplayed to a simple connotation of "opposition" as its definition would suggest, but must be viewed above all as the attempt to build a parallel polis based on every citizen's responsibility and aimed at occupying the spaces of cultural, social and human freedom wrought from the totalitarian regime into the social fabric.  The members of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakya and Solidarnosc in Poland, like Vaclav Havel, Radim Palous, Jacek Kuron, Adam Michnik, have always underlined that "the power of the powerless" consists in defeating fear through the strength created by coilectively assuming one's responsibilities, as proven by the exhortation to "live the truth" in a society based on lie. Their "dissent" has very often consisted in calling for the enforcement of the laws, such as the one about freedom of conscience, and the international accords subscribed by their countries, such as the Helsinki Accords
These stances have given rise to a broad movement which was able to condition the behaviour and mentality of the public opinion, up to the point in which - except in Romania - the totalitarian system was overturned in a peaceful way, without shedding blood, by a new leading class recognized by the majority of the population which is ready to take up the responsibility for public affairs.


The power of the powerless

Not only dissent - the "parallel polis" in Eastern Europe

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Václav Havel

leader of the "Velvet Revolution"