Poland, 1982, October, Committee in Support of Solidarity Report No. 7
Committee in Support of Solidarity Reports
Issue No. 7
October 1, 1982
IN THIS ISSUE
The Aftermath of August page 1
Interior Minister Kiszczak reveals the extent of the August demonstrations and the means used to repress them.
September Demonstrations page 1
Why Are We Fighting? page 3
Wroclaw Solidarity's underground paper explains.
Organization of Solidarity Under Martial Law page 4
The General Strike Strategy page 6
--Does a General Strike Provide the Answer? page 6
--First a Political Program! page 12
Whether or not to call a general strike against the state of war regime is debated in WIADOMOSCI (News), a Warsaw underground publication.
Primate Glemp's Homily in Jasna Gora page 17
Archbishop Glemp, the Primate of Glemp, issues his strongest statement since December 13 in support of the demands of Solidarity underground.
What Next? page 20
Jacek Kuron, right before being charged with crimes against the state, continues the debate he sparked in February over the strategy and tactics to be pursued by the Solidarity movement.
These items are the most recent that the Committee in Support of Solidarity has published through the date of this report.
For back reports, contact the Committee, specifying dates, titles, or subjects if possible.
To regularly receive Committee in Support of Solidarity REPORTS, please write to the address below. Donations to cover the cost of preparing and mailing these reports are appreciated.
275 Seventh Avenue, 25th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001
The Committee in Support of Solidarity, based in New York, organizes efforts on behalf of the Solidarity movement in Poland and for general human rights for the Polish people.
One of the Committee's most important activities is to report information about the situation in Poland, which is gathered from underground Solidarity publications in Poland; the official Polish press; interviews with Polish citizens and foreign travelers who have been allowed to leave Poland; and Solidarity sources in Poland and in Europe.
The Committee in Support of Solidarity makes this information available in regular reports appearing weekly or biweekly, including press advisories and Polish-language bulletins; in editions of a quarterly journal, the Solidarnosc Bulletin; and in special reports describing and analyzing different aspects of the situation in Poland.
The Committee also:
* provides spokesmen to the press, television, and radio, and to meetings and seminars of colleges, unions, and community groups;
* maintains lists of the interned and arrested in Poland;
* advises humanitarian organizations on aiding the Polish people;
* advises private and official human rights organizations about the situation in Poland;
* prepares and delivers briefs and other testimony on the situation in Poland to the government and the Congress of the United States and to international bodies and private institutions;
* maintains public attention on the Polish situation through the sales of "Solidarnosc" T-shirts, stickers; and posters.
To get in touch with the Committee in Support of Solidarity about helping in its work, or with questions, information, or donations, please write: The Committee in Support of Solidarity
275 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10001
or telephone (212) 989-0909. The press can call (212) 929-6966.
THE AFTERMATH OF AUGUST
Committee in Support of Solidarity REPORTS Issue no. 6 reported the information available at the time about the August 31 demonstrations. Since that time, additional information has become available from official Polish sources, most notably from Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak. Solidarity sources in Poland consider Kiszczak's figures to be understated and have proven in the past to be less than the actual figures after confirmation. Even so, the figures cited below indicate that the August demonstrations were the most wide-spread since December 13, 1981 and the repression used to crush them among the severest. (As of yet, the underground Solidarity press is not available and will be published in subsequent issues.)
General Kiszczak, who has jurisdiction over all of Poland's internal security forces numbering around 300,000 trained officers, on September 16 spoke to Parliament and announced the following figures and information about the extent of the August 31 demonstrations:
Demonstrations took place in sixty six "urban centers" (not counting the smaller or rural towns). Twenty five of them were termed "serious," that is, involving violence.
"During these street incidents" 5,131 people were detained or arrested. (Government spokesman Jerzy Urban had announced in early September that only 4,000 had been detained.)
Summary penal proceedings were initiated against 407 people; 117 have been tried; 67 sentenced, 9 acquitted, and the remainder transferred for examination under "ordinary court procedure," that is outside the military tribunals.
3,338 cases went before the petty offences tribunal, under summary procedures; 268 have then been arrested, and 3,084 fined.
220 people were interned and 1,051 released.
295 policemen and five soldiers were injured.
No figures were given as to the number of injured on August 31, but it is clear that many would go unreported by those wounded who would seek treatment outside hospitals.
It was also announced by the Interior Ministry that many of those interned in December and released after July 22 have been re-interned.
On the ninth anniversary of the imposition of martial law, demonstrations took place in Wroclaw, Nowa Huta, Szczecin, and Lodz. The initial figure of arrests given by Jerzy Urban was fifty nine, but this figure was given in the afternoon and the demonstrations lasted until the night. They were dispersed violently by riot police.
On September 15, a soccer match between a local team in Wroclaw and Dynamo Moscow was played, and the crowd was chanting throughout the game "Solidarity" and "Frasyniuk" [Chairman of Wroclaw Solidarity in hiding]. The match ended in a draw. Polish television broadcast only the second half of the match with the sound turned off.
WHY ARE WE FIGHTING?
[From the 76th issue of From Day to Day, the underground Solidarity Bulletin of the Wroclaw Region, republished in the 24th issue of Mazowsze Weekly dated August 18, 1982.]
The Solidarity factory Commission at the ELWRO plant in Wroclaw issued the following:
WHY ARE WE FIGHTING?
1. To let Poland be Poland.
2. To win.
3. To defend the weakest among us and those who are suffering poverty, hunger, and imprisonment.
4. To restore the civil and national rights that have been trampled upon.
5. Not to allow ourselves to become enslaved.
6. To remain faithful to the tradition of our forefathers: "For your freedom and ours.
7. To show the world that one can and must fight evil.
8. Not to lose ourselves in passive resistance.
9. To reach a just social accord.
10. To preserve our dignity.
11. To live like free people.
12. To be able to say to the young generation that they are working for their country and for themselves.
13. So that Poles may be brothers to each other, and not their executioners.
14. For an independent and democratic Poland.
15. To let the truth be told of Polish history.
16. So that all citizens of our country may be equal before the law that is the law for all.
17. For independent, free, and self-governing trade unions and scientific, artistic, cultural, and youth organizations.
ORGANIZATION OF SOLIDARITY UNDER MARTIAL LAW
[From the 23rd issue of Mazowsze Weekly, dated August 1, 1982, based on information compiled and published by the Solidarity Information Bulletin in Warsaw, issues 1-69.]
1. National Organization
The Temporary Coordination Commission of Solidarity (TKK) is regarded as the highest authority of the union under martial law by all levels, chapters, and bodies of Solidarity. Communication has been established between all major union centers, and TKK's documents and appeals reach the majority of Solidarity members. The July 28 declaration of the TKK, "The Underground Society," which puts forward the main theses for the union under martial law, leads us to expect the publication of the union's wartime programme soon.
2. Regional Organization
So far as we were able to establish, regional centers of the union exist and function in Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Czestochowa, Lower Silesia, Elblag, Gdansk, Malopolska, Podbeskidzie, Warsaw, Western Pommerania, in the Middle Eastern, North Eastern (Warmia and Mazury), and Wielkopolska regions. In Upper Silesia and Lodz several groups try to coordinate the functioning of the union for their regions.
Information about the functioning of underground centers and structures is scarce. Their primary activity is the publication and distribution of underground bulletins and leaflets. They are helped by experts. They take polls and study the opinions of union members. As a rule they are in touch with the largest enterprises as well as with important artistic and intellectual circles. However at this stage the underground organization is too weak to establish contacts with smaller workplaces and other towns in the region. The wartime equivalent of the regional bodies of the union are now starting to emerge.
The organization of union work on regional levels so far has been largely decentralized. Demonstrations and other actions were initiated by the regional commissions as well as between factories (especially in Warsaw) or by other resistance groups, among them the Committees of Social Resistance (KOS). There is an increasing tendency toward centralization of regions and the emergence of regional leadership.
3. Solidarity at the Workplace
Union organizations on the factory level constitute the foundation of the mass resistance movement. Although full-fledged commissions have not as yet been formed at all workplaces, some structures of Solidarity exist in practically every big factory, at universities and scientific institutes, as well as at many other institutions, schools and hospitals.
They help the victims of repression. They organize strikes, protest actions, issue petitions and appeals, and distribute leaflets and posters. Moreover, they ostracize collaborators and boycott martial law organizations and events. Some publish their own papers and organize discussion clubs and libraries. Often the organization is much better in small workplaces than in large industrial plants. The best workplace commissions (for example, in Wroclaw) have established regular communication with all levels of the union. They poll the opinions of most of the employees and collect dues regularly.
4. Other Structures
Refusing to collaborate with the Military Council for National Salvation (WRON) is the basic form of resistance among artists, scholars and journalists. Professional Solidarity groups establish codes of behavior and draw up lists of collaborators. Independent cultural activities have only just begun to be organized. Branch and professional structures have emerged (teachers, health service, construction workers in Szczecin). Academic centers underground work together with student organizations.
The network of Committees of Social Resistance is organized nationwide, and is especially active in larger cities.
5. The Press, Radio, and Publications
Independent distribution of information has been established. Its extent is clearly visible in the statistics published by the Solidarity Information office. The office has received 250 titles, the largest number received from the Mazowsze region. From other regions: Lower Silesia, 31; Malopolska, 25; Silesia-Dabrowa Region, 14; Wielkopolska, 14; Western Pommerania, 12; Lodz, 12; Gdansk, 10; Torun, 7. The average amount of copies ranges from several hundred to a thousand, and the largest circulation is thirty thousand.
Radio Solidarity has broadcast ten times in Warsaw, three in Poznan, and once each in Gdansk, Krakow, and Wroclaw.
(Based on information from the Solidarity Information Bulletin in Warsaw, issues 1 through 69.)
THE GENERAL STRIKE STRATEGY
[The 34th issue of WIaDOMOSCI (News), an underground publication in Warsaw that also published regularly during Solidarity's legal existence, is devoted in its entirety to the discussion of whether or not to call a general strike and of the best strategy for Solidarity underground to pursue. The discussion focuses on the impracticalities of a general strike and on the need to prepare through organizational means and through the adoption of a political program the necessary means for a successful general strike. The first text was prepared by the Center for Documentation and Analysis of the Warsaw Region of Solidarity, which was formed in October 1980 to provide information, polling and survey data, and advice on union tactics and strategy for Solidarity. Following is an anonymous reply. Subsequent issues of WIaDOMOSCI published additional commentaries on the article, which comes out against the strategy of a general strike. We provide the full text of the first issue, dated June 16, 1982, and will publish the replies in a later issue of the REPORTS.]
What is to be done? The Mazowse (Warsaw] Regional Executive Commission (RKW) has already answered this question. Is it, however, the only possible answer? Shouldn't the program of action be forged "in the fire of a debate" and supplemented with ideas that were not considered by the RKW in its statement?
The editors of WIaDOMOSCI, by presenting a debate on the strategy of a general strike, wish to help the legal officials of Solidarity, and all active members of the Solidarity resistance movement in making their program for action more precise.
Essays printed in this issue are not meant to present the views of the editors although, it must be emphasized, they were written by people who represent the views of several circles connected with Solidarity.--The Editors
--DOES A GENERAL STRIKE PROVIDE THE ANSWER?
Actions undertaken by wide segments of the society and the clandestine structures of the resistance movement--passive resistance, refusal to collaborate, street demonstrations, brief symbolic strikes, etc.--have had no direct and visible political effects during the six months of the state of war. Neither have various attempts to mediate or to start negotiations with the authorities (such as the Theses of the Primate's Council, the conciliatory stand of the Episcopate, and declarations issued by Lech Walesa and by the underground Temporary Coordinating Commission of Solidarity (TKK), which called for a national social accord) led to any political solution out of the present impasse.
In this situation some of Solidarity's leaders and some groups are becoming convinced that the only effective solution is to announce, and later to undertake, an open-ended general strike.
Such an announcement would serve three basic purposes:
a) to mobilize the underground resistance movement by setting a concrete task for it familiar from past experience and planned for the near future, which would be achieved through mass action, engaging the bulk of the' union membership;
b) to create a constant pressure on the authorities by setting a strict deadline for them to switch from the methods of confrontation -that is, prolonging the state of war--to political methods--that is, negotiating with the Church and Solidarity over a national accord;
c) If the compromise solution is not reached, the announcement of a general strike would manifest the society's ultimate response to the state of war.
These three premises for a "general strike strategy" ought to undergo a thorough analysis, together with the circumstances, conditions, and actions that could enhance the effects of announcing a general strike action. The experiences of six months' of social resistance to the state of war also demands such analysis. The desire for calling a general strike can be explained by the frustration of activists and members of a mass movement who were suddenly deprived of the possibility of influencing the social course of events, and whose efforts so far to regain that -possibility have been in vain. However, the decision to call a general strike is too serious to be made on the basis of emotions and recent experiences.
The State of War and the Mass Resistance, issued by the Center of Documentation and Analyses (CDA), already pointed out that the experiences of the period between August 1980 to December 1981 are not applicable to the present situation. We now need an analysis of the "strategy of a general strike during the state of war."
I. Types of authority and the effectiveness of a strike's pressure.
The goal of the communist party and its organized structures determine the maintenance or expansion of their power. Methods of exercising power--with the basic and continuous preservation of that goal--may vary depending on the conditions. It may happen that the ruling elite and its apparatus, striving to attain their basic goal, realize some broader social and economic aims, often in a distorted form and ultimately harmful to society. This was the strategy of the communists during the '70s when, on the one hand, divisive tactics were used against society through the distribution of economic privilege to corporative industry groups, and, on the other hand, the power apparatus competed among themselves for investment capital and decentralizing construction projects, thereby enhancing their political standing.
August 1980 demonstrated the political, economic, and social inefficiency of this strategy in the Polish situation. The agreements of August 1980 changed the relationship between the authorities and society, and it changed the strategy of the ruling elite.
The authorities picked up the slogan of "social accord" in the official propaganda. This meant that they recognized in the official sphere of public life the existence of an independently organized representative of society, in particular Solidarity, as a partner in the "game" they played. This recognition did not change the fundamental fact that the agreements were regarded with evident ill will and bad faith by the ruling elite, and the methods used in their "game" with society contradicted the norms established in the agreements. Both the periods before and after August 1980, although fundamentally different, had a common trait in the matter concerning us now. In both periods the authorities attempted to organize social life and were therefore susceptible to various social pressures. In the '70s these were mostly economic pressures brought about by groups of workers within the industry-branch structures, as well as the pressure exerted by the Church and opinion-making circles.
In the period following August 1980, the Solidarity union became the main legal institution to pressure the regime. In both cases strike actions impinging on the authorities' monopoly for organizing public and social life were assured of great effectiveness because they threatened the interests of the authorities in the social life of Poland. At that time, the authorities were placed within the range of society's influence; the imposition of the state of war radically changed this situation. The ruling group undoubtedly aims to rebuild its monopoly over public and social life--this is its long range goal. At the present time, however, the authorities essentially gave up their activities in the social life of Poland.
Their social activities are negative in character. The authorities operate primarily with prohibitions--suspending the union and preventing free association--and with repressions. But they do not issue instructions and do not construct channels of influencing social life. It must also be noted that, apart from repression, almost the entire post-December activity of the authorities is "inner-directed," with the aim of establishing and assuring permanent, unquestioned control within the power structure--the apparatus of coercion, the state and economic administration, the Polish United Workers' Party, and the so-called "ideological front" institutions.
A monopoly has been established. Party, state, police, and military structures remain beyond the reach of society's influence. It is this apparatus of coercion that constitutes the instruments to influence social life. This means, of course, that the authorities cannot solve any of Poland's social or economic problems. But, in spite of the official declarations, they do not, for the moment, entertain such a proposal. The unwitting admission by the state of war's ideologist, Minister Jerzy Urban, that "the government will have enough food anyway" is a perfect summation of their philosophy of politics: which is that being in power is unconnected with the realization of virtually any social or economic goals. By exercising power in this way, the ruling elite and the instruments it uses remain to a large extent, or even entirely, beyond the reach of social pressure. The effectiveness of strike actions, including an open-ended general strike, is therefore significantly diminished. A general strike--even if successfully proclaimed--does not paralyze the authorities because it does not strike at its primary _tool: the apparatus of coercion.
The ruling group has a chance to win the confrontation with society by force, or by waiting it out. Such a diagnosis is confirmed by numerous historical experiences that must not be disregarded.
In the Soviet camp, examples are provided by the 1968 strikes in Czechoslovakia and by Hungary in 1956. Especially in the latter case the tactics of repression combined with delaying tactics gave victory to the authorities. It is also important to remember the experiences of failed general strikes in countries where the apparatus of coercion--the army and the police--is directly engaged in the process of exercising power. Nor should one ignore the fact, when opting for the general strike strategy, that the ruling elite enjoys the direct support of the USSR, with all its repressive capacity. That question, however, requires separate analysis.
Thus, the strategy of a general strike, now propounded in the underground, is self-contradictory: either the present regime is defined as an occupational power or, if it is not considered such, the strategy of a general strike should be pursued. The two are incompatible.
II. The Organization of Underground Resistance and the General Strike Strategy
At present the underground resistance movement is organizationally and conceptually unprepared for a general strike. The strategy of calling a general strike, as presented in the underground press and in interviews with the union leaders who are in hiding, shows fundamental defects. Essential questions have not been answered, and the main limitations imposed by the state of war have not been analyzed. The questions concern the scope of the strike; what kind of enterprises would go on strike and which enterprises would undertake support actions; what are the possibilities and methods of defending the enterprises against attempts to crush the strikes by force; ways of breaking the possible communications blockade, etc. Behind each question there are a number of extremely serious political, organizational, and technical choices to be made, which require months of work. Even the very manner in which the debate about a general strike is conducted, and the ways of transmitting instructions through the generally available underground press and leaflets, show that the underground is organizationally underdeveloped, even in the leading regions.
Furthermore, the Solidarity resistance movement has not resolved two key dilemmas posed by the general strike strategy. The first one lies in the difficulties created by the immensity of the resistance movement: to under take a mass action such as a general strike would require prior public announcement of its scope and timing, enabling the authorities to counteract it effectively by mobilizing the apparatus of coercion as they did, for example, in the May 13 strikes. This impedes, or even offsets entirely, the effectiveness of planned action. On the other hand, to depend on resistance cells that remain in strict conspiracy for planning such a massive action diminishes its mass character.
The second dilemma is of a more general nature. Underground organizations existing in a crisis situation may have two contrasting outlooks with respect to the crisis.
Either they consciously strive to bring it to a head, and their activity is itself a decisive factor--the assumption behind the general strike strategy--or they await developments which will decide the outcome of events, in order to influence them in line with their political program. (Such was the role of the Committees of Free Trade Unions in 1980.)
All previous experiences of mass movements and conspiratorial organizations indicate that the underground cannot, by itself, initiate a general strike. However, when mass protests start to come near such action, they can provide the movement with an organizational and technical foundation, develop leadership cadre, and formulate the fundamental demands of the movement. It is essential that the Polish underground solve these dilemmas. In the first case, this means building a mass organization with a limited, temporary action program: a mass underground organization either quickly attains the goals that were set for it (e.g., it wins a general strike), or it will be uncovered and destroyed. In the second case it means building an organization based on cadres, oriented towards long-term activity, able to survive police repression and capable of adapting to the changing political realities.
The Solidarity resistance movement has not, as yet, made these fundamental decisions. What's more, the strategy for a general strike revealed in the remarks of members of the TKK and the Regional Executive Commission (RKW) brings together contradictory elements: organization, conspiracy, spontaneity, and a mass character. At present the underground lacks the appropriate organizational structure or the will to develop a conceptual political program.
III. Prospects for a Compromise and the General Strike Strategy
The general strike strategy is closely connected with the premise that the very announcement of a strike will itself constitute an element of pressure on the authorities, and thereby will induce them to speed up the start of negotiations for a compromise with Solidarity and the Church.
This is a false premise.
One may suppose, at present, that the announcement of an impending general strike will incline the ruling group not to begin negotiating until the declared date for the beginning of the strike. This will happen not because the authorities will harden their stand in the expectation of a confrontation (although this would surely be the tone of the propaganda campaign), but because the promise of undertaking such action commits the underground politically. Since the strike will have limited success and the possibilities of executing it are minimal, the ruling group has grounds to expect that the announcement of a general strike will end with the defeat of society's resistance to the state of war and the destruction of underground structures. For the underground either will not carry out the announced action and will then lose credibility, or it will at-tempt to carry it out, and then, most likely, the general strike will not take place, or it will take place but the authorities will be victorious. The underground's failure to win a general strike, much less its outright defeat, will mark the beginning of the end of mass resistance in Poland.
Following such a course of events, the authorities will have no need for negotiations, and even if they do begin negotiating, they will do it on their own terms. One should also mention the special circumstances connected with the prospect of John Paul II's visit to the Fatherland, repeatedly mentioned by the Episcopate and the Pope himself. Besides the pastoral dimension of this visit, its prospect functions now as an extremely strong source of pressure on the authorities. They are faced with the following choices: to agree to the Pope's visit and consequently to gatherings of millions of people and the Pope's certain condemnation of force and the state of war; to declare that they will not let the Polish Pope visit his fatherland; or to agree to the Pope's visit and start negotiations on a social accord.
The announcement that a general strike will be proclaimed provides the authorities with a painless way out of a terribly complicated situation. For they will be able to argue that it is the underground proclaiming confrontation, which may erupt during the papal visit, and therefore it precludes John Paul II's visit. The announcement of a possible general strike and the preparations for it--even if it is set for a later date--and the authorities allowing the Papal visit to proceed as scheduled are incompatible. Besides benefiting the authorities, it may result in a conflict between the underground and the Episcopate and a large part of the faithful, a conflict from which only the ruling elite profit.
The above analysis leads, in the present political situation, to the following conclusions:
1) The "strategy of a general strike" with a predetermined date cannot be the sole strategy for the Solidarity underground, but it should become one of several possible strategic options;
2) Carrying out the "strategy of a general strike," like any other strategy of resistance, requires organizational structures that the underground at present does not possess; and their creation is not a matter of weeks, but of many months. Those structures should comprise the building of:
a) a credible political leadership for the movement;
b) a communications network within the regions and throughout the entire country, capable of breaking through any communications blockade;
c) a network of strictly conspiratorial cadre cells, able to perform specialized enterprise and regional services, including communications, self-defense, medical care, providing food supplies, etc., at the moment the strike breaks out.
The existence of such political, technical and organizational infrastructures for a general strike would enhance the strike's effectiveness and chances for success; they would choose the politically most auspicious time; and--in case of defeat--would ensure that the continuity of resistance not be broken. At present none of these structures exist; their creation requires time and hard political and organizational work. To prejudge the worth of the "general strike strategy" before such work is completed creates a situation in which (both) the nation and the underground are in a losing position.
Center for Documentation and Analysis of Solidarity, Warsaw Region
We treat the above text as a basis for discussion. It was sent out to several opinion-making circles. Below we print the first remarks concerning the issues discussed by the CDA. -- The Editors
--FIRST A POLITICAL PROGRAM!
I. General Remarks.
I agree in principle with the first three points of the CDA text, in particular with the three central theses:
1) The movement towards a general strike strategy may be explained by the frustration of activists and members of a mass movement which was suddenly deprived of its possibility to influence social life, and their efforts' futility until now to regain that possibility;
2) The strategy of a general strike is connected with the purely political--and false--assumption that the very announcement of such an action will constitute a source of pressure on the authorities and will induce them to begin quickly to negotiate with Solidarity and the Church.
3) To prejudge the strategy of a general strike before the preparatory work is completed creates a situation which puts the nation and the underground in a losing position.
I emphatically disagree, however, with the conclusions, because--in my opinion--even the full completion of the tasks enumerated in the CDA's conclusions necessarily ends in defeat. Because a political program is as important as the technical organizational tools it employs--strikes, preparations, communications, network, etc. Solidarity has no such program.
The declarations concerning an accord made by the TKK and by Walesa cannot be taken seriously by anybody in power because they are accompanied by numerous statements by members of the Mazowsze Regional Executive Commission (RKW) about "changing Yalta," "Finlandization," "Solving the Polish problem in the international context," etc. In this context, an "accord" must be seen by the authorities as a purely tactical maneuver by Solidarity's TKK, a maneuver which would serve the purpose of reentering legal activity in order to later fight for its old goal, i.e., for Solidarity's pre-December 13 program.
CDA's own "conclusions" contain a point which diminishes the chances for the underground's strategy, namely "the naming of an authorized representative of Solidarity abroad that would remain in continuous contact with the country, inform it about the developments of the international situation, and keep the Polish cause in the international arena." This is a ridiculous proposal and reflects a total misunderstanding of policy in the West. It is anachronistic. Playing Polish politics abroad may have made some sense in the nineteenth century, when Poland existed under the partitions of foreign powers often in conflict with each other.
Today, when Poland is under the boot of one of those powers--possessing nuclear arsenals at that--it is absurd to depend on the West. One ought to use the West's policies, but not depend on them. The Polish problem is an international matter in the Soviet camp; it is only marginally an international concern. The sooner we understand this the better.
I justify my views above with the following:
1) Zbigniew Romaszewski (in his essay "August 1980-December 1981 --What Now?") states that the prolonged destabilization and tensions in Poland may incline the USSR to choose political stability in Poland instead of perpetuating the existence of a permanent powder-keg in Central Europe. I recognize the validity of this argument. It is a fundamental thesis for Polish politics, and besides it is a classical one in certain currents of nineteenth and early twentieth century political thought. (e.g. the "white" faction in the January 1863 uprising in Dmowski.)
However, there are limits to such a preference. Free elections are decidedly beyond those limits because they threaten to disrupt the Warsaw Pact and Eastern Europe. Poland is the key to Europe for the USSR, the pearl of the Empire.
2) The central problem is the fact that Solidarity (from August 1980 to December,1981) never formulated a political platform that laid out an "acceptable" stabilization for the Soviet Union. Strictly speaking there were two such proposals: Jacek Kuron's Committee of National Salvation and the project to establish a second chamber in the Diet (Parliament). Only the first proposal was suitable for immediate implementation; the second could have come about only after the conclusion of an accord. Both, unfortunately, were rejected by the Congress of Solidarity.
One should add to this the Appeal to Workers in Eastern Europe, and the Radom incident, demands for free elections, and the support for the creation of political parties that were included in the agenda of the Congress. This must have been perceived by Russia as Well as by those groups in power that wanted an accord--there were such; Stanislaw Kania (then first secretary of the PUWP) spoke to the Politburo in February 1981 about the necessity of creating a Government of National Unity, and he was supported by Politburo Member Barcikowski's desire to seize power. Knowing what the consequences would have been this must have been regarded as pure madness!
3) In this situation, assuming of course that we cannot afford free elections or full independence, the basic problem is not so much the perfection of organizing a strike, as it is formulating a political program that clearly states what we want, and that would depart from the program which existed in effect before December 13.
If such a program is not outlined, even the best organized strike will be crushed, because there won't be anybody in the establishment willing to Come to an agreement. Or the entire game will end with Soviet intervention. True, there are actually some who desire intervention because they think that will cause the disintegration of the Empire, but such disintegration is a remote possibility.
4) It is wrong to depend on Western pressure as a significant factor in the Polish situation because the West acts not for Poland but for its own interests. Poland is in essence a "point of pressure" on Russia, but not a direct interest of the West. Our politics should of course take into account all possible Western pressures, but it should be completely independent from them. The internationalization of the Polish problem is not in our interest because it puts us in a position of being an "agent" of the West, which is completely unacceptable to Russia.
5) I therefore claim that the following is more important than the actions mentioned in CDA's conclusions:
a) the formulation by the Temporary Coordinating Commission of a serious political program--and written in more than just a few sentences the way the Declaration on National Accord was [see Committee in Support of Solidarity REPORTS, issue #5]--based in its fundamental principles on e.g. the text of August after December: "The Program Struggle for the State of National Accord." A propaganda and leaflet action ought to be organized around this program, the text should be sent to the Parliament, to the directors and commissioners, to the army, the police, etc. so that the demand for the State of National Accord becomes--like in August 1980--an obvious, commonly known thing, even a myth. With dissatisfaction in the army and the progressing corrosion of the power apparatus, it should assume the character of a national program.
b) a package of proposals with regard to the USSR should be thought out in order to demonstrate to it certain advantages of Solidarity's existence in the dimension of East-West politics (e.g. credits, disarmament, etc.).
c) preparation of means to use other than strikes that would heat up the situation. A general strike is not the way that would permit destabilization for a longer period of time; rather, it is a one time blow which is not appropriate for maintaining tension in Poland that would induce the USSR to accept a policy of stabilization.
Leaflet actions, mass propaganda, radio "Solidarity" broadcasts, celebrations of anniversaries--that's enough for the current year in order to demonstrate the potential for explosion.
6) Absence of such political initiative (point 5 a and b), threatens us with the start-up of a spiral: repression-pressure-repression. Such absence is aptly described by the Pope: "It is sometimes necessary to choose a direction in which nobody has yet gone." This spiral is not in Solidarity's interest as the increasing polarization in social life may only lead to the growth of the use of force in society, both by the lower level apparatus of coercion, and by the society itself (terrorist groups, etc.), and further to an uncontrollable explosion. Or to total apathy, to the consolidation of the power apparatus and its instruments in case of street demonstrations and strike actions, and to the disintegration of the movement as a result of a lack of vision and political perspective.
7) It should be said, in the context of the above analysis and proposals, that the opening statement of the CDA text concerning the lack of direct and visible results of social efforts, of the resistance movement, and of various mediation and negotiation efforts is completely false, because it registers an absence of facts that could not yet emerge. One cannot expect that the process of society exerting pressure on the authorities will be a quick one. Awaiting spectacular results in this matter is a misunderstanding, due to the domestic situation and to pressure by our neighbors. One should notice and acknowledge facts such as Deputies Zablocki's and Osmanczyk's speeches, or the creation of the parliamentary group for national accord. Ignoring them is suicidal because--regardless of what they do--we always do and say the same things,, which cannot, of course, stimulate any political process.
These facts could not have emerged because there was no programmatic political declaration by Solidarity.
1) A serious programmatic declaration, formulating Solidarity's position with regard to national accord is necessary.
2) We need political training of activists--the only means of action mentioned by them now is a general strike.
3) A package of initiatives towards Moscow is needed.
4) A package of propaganda moves "What does Solidarity Want?" is needed.
5) The general strike strategy, undoubtedly "insurrectionary," is not a real possibility and it is a total misunderstanding to think that it is, at least for this year. Even if it is well prepared organizationally, it is not possible because it is doubtful that it would have mass participation. Even if there were massive participation in a general strike, it is, in effect, a strategy to consolidate the authorities; as a strategy of a "single shot," it does not give Russia time for changing its attitude towards Poland, because it does not create a point of trouble, but a one time explosion. It should therefore be rejected.
PRIMATE GLEMP'S HOMILY IN JASNA GORA
[Extensive excerpts from Archbishop Glemp's Homily in Jasna Gora on August 26, as broadcast by Radio Vatican in Polish (Source: BBC's Summary of World Broadcasts). The day marked the 600th Anniversary of the arrival of the Black Madonna in the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, attended by over 300,000 people who had made the annual pilgrimage to Poland's most important religious shrine. Glemp's homily is the most clear statement of the Church's support for Solidarity underground's demands to the martial law regime.]
...Today's feast of our Mother of Jasna Gora and our Queen sees us coming to her with our hearts brimming over with feelings. What sort of feelings are they? They include the feeling of trust and petition which is expressed in our prayers. There is also the feeling of pain caused by the injustices experienced; and there is the instinctive feeling which tells us that the faith that keeps us alive is a victorious one and leads us towards peace. Thus the period of our jubilee is a time of prayer, a time of pain and anger, and should be also a time of victorious peace to man...
Our prayer does not amount to an escape from reality. On the contrary it provides a correct view of reality. People who pray properly threaten no-one and do not jeopardize public order. Moreover, they wish to find in public order an opportunity to rally their own resources, to concentrate their personality which is necessary if one is to tell God about oneself and if one is to hear what God says to man...
A time of anger: not everyone, however, is capable of praying in this way--their minds have been incensed too much, their hearts are too angry. The exceptional quality of our jubilee is to be found in the fact that side by side with time of prayer there runs a time of anger. Anger, passionate and blind, cannot be reconciled with true prayer. A man in anger should, however, seek help in prayer because it calms down anger, it opens one's eyes to greater truth and helps one to recover the ability to reason...
The Church is aware of the angry reaction caused by wrongs experienced, because the Church is close to its faithful. The Church was with those who locked themselves in their factories to fight for the rights of the workers' labour which had been infringed; it followed those who were placed in the internment centers; it goes into the prisons and brings what it can bring: pastoral consolation and often material assistance.
This charitable activity is the duty of the Church, and bishops and priests have been joined by selfless lay people. Committees have been created to assist people afflicted by the martial law. In this way one can help to some extent with the aid of food and medicines. Also significant is legal advice given free by lawyers. The Episcopate constantly intervenes in cases of people suffering most. Almost every day bishops and priests knock at the doors of the authorities asking for the freeing of internees, for life to be made easier for others who have been deprived of freedom.
In this sphere Archbishop Dabrowski and Bishop Miziolek in particular have distinguished themselves. Many letters of gratitude are coming in, because these interventions, although not complete, nevertheless bring significant results.
We asked for the release of all women detained. We are still asking for the liquidation of internment centers and for an amnesty. Also the charity campaign undertaken by the Church, thanks to the selflessness of the faithful and foreign charitable organizations, brought about the easing of the fate of many families during the last year.
The Church in Poland is close to the people who suffer, it knows the bitter taste of defeat and anger. The Church in this activity must be faithful to its tasks, it must not be an instrument in the hands of certain groups in society or in the hands of the state. We frequently come across wrongs and human suffering. We protest against the abuses by the commandants against prisoners. The measure of this pain can be illustrated by an excerpt from a letter I have received from a mother whose interned son was recently beaten up in Kwidzyn prison:
Beloved Reverend Primate, I no longer have the strength to bear this pain. I pray to our Mother of mercy and take communion every day, and perhaps these are the only things which prevent me from going mad. I am a widow, a pensioner. At Lublin Castle my husband Aleksander was shot by an execution squad; he was an officer in the AK [Home Army]. I remained with my one-year-old son Andrzej. I brought up my child in hardship while working honestly for People's Poland. We were not enemies of socialism.
This is one of the proofs of a mother's pain. This pain cannot be
defined in legal categories or political categories. The merciful mother to whom this pain-stricken woman is praying knows this pain best. Such pain causes anger and in many it creates the desire for revenge and hatred. In the letter of this praying mother there is no hatred. She simply stands at the cross of her son.
In a few days we shall celebrate the second anniversary of the signing of the social agreements on the Baltic Coast and in Jastrzebie. One must look through the prism of faith, in the face of the Most Holy mother here, upon this anniversary. Two years ago at the coast a great thing happened: a victory of reason, maturity and wise resistance. An exceptional victory--not on the street barricades but at the negotiating table and in the concentration in prayer of whole workforces.
Two years have passed and we are still unable to use' this victory wisely. I gave a chance to both sides. Despite tensions we are hoping for accord and agreement. Some are surprised, particularly when looking from abroad at our arena, that the Poles are not fighting yet. Until now such tensions would have already caused bloody demonstrations and fighting. One can find some analogies in the January Uprising...In our history, vindication of armed actions has become permanent instead of political wisdom. The uprisings which failed brought depression, desolation of the country or towns, and more acute slavery.
We are thinking about calm events from our history and we recall the statement that history is a teacher of life. Let us learn something from our history, at last. We recall in the context of anger, which can take people out of factories into the streets, the anger which can be incited. Anger is a poor adviser. Anger deprives one of the powers of reasoning...The street is not the place for dialogue. Enough blood has been shed in our streets. A table is the place for dialogue.
One must remind oneself and everyone else of this, on this anniversary of the victory at the table. We are recalling this at the time of the anniversary, before the Most Holy Mother, at the time when the nation, in its healthy core, is praying: From anger, hatred, and all evil save us, O Lord. Let us therefore start thinking seriously about the dialogue table. The Church is constantly calling and asking for dialogue and is constantly receiving the answer that there are no conditions for it. Let us begin to create the conditions. Here are the proposals:
Free Lech Walesa, or assure him of at least temporary conditions in which he may speak as a free person;
Resume, even if by stages, trade union activity;
Free the rest of the internees and start work on preparing an amnesty;
Determine the date of the Holy Father's arrival in Poland.
We understand that this last point, this demand, just like the others, causes hesitation, seen in the perspective of unrest. One must however, meet the future with hope. The Church is expecting with confidence the arrival of the Holy Father in Poland in the coming year and his coming to Jasna Gora. It is only then that it will be possible to have the main ceremony of this anniversary. We must prepare for this. The Main Council of the Polish Episcopate will hold a session today. Although the date for the Holy Father's arrival is not as yet established, nevertheless it is necessary to begin preparations. That is why the Main Council will consider today the question of setting up the Church Pastoral Committee for the Preparation of the Holy Father's Pilgrimage to Poland.
We cannot come out worse than Britain, which, with only 10 percent of the population Catholic, prepared for the Pope a noble reception full of tact and culture and at the same time full of sincere and enthusiastic prayer....
When our jubilee sees intertwined the time of prayer and the time of anger, we turn to the all powerful assistance of the Mother of Church of Jasna Gora, to the Mother of Peace. Peace in our country is requested by millions of worshippers of Mary, by those who have mastered their anger...May the Mother of Jasna Gora be the Queen of our peace and may the time of our jubilee be the time of prayer and of victorious faith. Mary of Jasna Gora, obtain peace for the whole world, bring about the removal of the terrifying concentration of nuclear weapons, extinguish wars, restrain us from outbursts of hatred, close our ears to the whispers of incitement and give us good inspiration towards seeking the common good of the whole nation. Help us in making ready the path for a peaceful pilgrimage in Poland by John Paul II; for all of us--bishops, priests, religious orders, parents, young people and children--obtain the grace of loving each other, the grace of patience and perseverance, the grace of trust in you. Strengthen our love for our country and make it worthy of your love.
[In the 21st issue of Mazowsze Weekly, dated July 14, 1982, Jacek Kuron, who with his article "Is There a Way Out of the Impasse" and a subsequent article "You Now Have the Golden Horn" (see CSS REPORTS Issues #1 and 5), had sparked a debate within the underground Solidarity on strategy to pursue during the state of war, wrote an additional article continuing his analysis of the situation. Since he wrote this, the authorities have charged Mr. Kuron, along with five other members of KOR, the Committee for Social Self-Defense, with charges of crimes against the state.]
1. After August the authorities were confronted with the choice: either reform the system, in cooperation with the whole nation, so that society would become the co-partner of the country, or to break Solidarity and the society. For over a year the rulers tried to combine fire with water: to undertake reform, but at the same time to recover the undivided control over organizations, information, and decision making. As a result, by attempting to rebuild their monopoly [of power], instead of political and economic change, they brought the country, through powerlessness, to a ruin unknown in peacetime.
2. Solidarity could not limit itself exclusively, or even primarily, to the [mere] functions of a trade union. It would then have, at minimum, to demand wage raises and cost of living supplements. But the kitty was really empty. On the other hand, [Solidarity] being a trade union after all, could not take power, because the expectations of its members and of the whole society did not encompass that; besides (Solidarity] was not programmatically or personnel-wise prepared for it. In this situation the Union adopted the only possible way of action--for society's [role in] co-managing the country, for the creation of a new system in which it could truly be [just] a trade union. These goals were formulated in the program adopted at the First National Congress [of Solidarity].
It is impossible, however, to become a co-manager if the manager [himself] does not wish to have any partners. The Congress program was [thus] treated as an attempt to overthrow the authorities.
3. The generals and the secretaries claim that they saved the country from a civil war on December 13th. However, they pass in silence over the fact that by invoking force they rendered the rescue of the economy impossible. So tight has been the imposed control over organization, information and decision-making, that no self-government, self-reliance or self-financing [of the enterprises] is possible. In such conditions reform must be a fiction, and without reform one cannot stop the further slide of the economy. Stabilization if at all possible, would require society's acceptance of a standard of living lower than in the years 1951-53, [and] agreement to rebuild the country with [great] effort and sacrifice. One cannot count, however, on society's cooperation with the authorities that rely on coercion. In a ruined country, coercion must lead to civil war.
The dramatic choice with which [this] strange war started, is still open: either we succeed in creating conditions in which the people will feel that they are co-managers of the country, or there will be a bloodbath.
4. Solidarity's existence puts a break on spontaneous explosions of anger. People, forced by fear to give up their rights, are especially aggressive in a crowd because it provides an illusion of anonymity and thus knows no fear. Hence a paradox: the stronger the organized resistance movement, the safer the generals and secretaries.
The country was saved from the civil war by society's trust in Solidarity. It functions like a parachute which slows the fall down, but it cannot cause the return to the situation before December 13th. Those who think that this is achievable by adding Solidarity trade union to the present order, apparently do not realize that it would have to be a union which agrees to wage reductions, price hikes and unemployment, [a union] that forbids to demand and orders to work.
5. Two roads may lead to the creation of conditions that will guarantee society's participation in managing the country.
VARIANT A: The authorities, or some part of them, will agree to strike a genuine accord with the society represented by organizations independent of the party-state apparatus, that is, above all, by Solidarity. A program of reconstruction of the country must be a fundamental element of such an accord. It must contain a plan for an economic and political reform, [it must] outline the directions of investment, credit and tax policy. It must clearly state what concrete goals, necessary sacrifices and chances for the improvement of living conditions are going to be at each successive stage.
The program should be such that its basic elements, particularly those which involve sacrifices, can be submitted to a nationwide referendum. Only after society's agreement is won can the realization of the program be started. [The course of its realization] must be supported and controlled by all the parties to the accord.
In the name of national accord the wars--this one as well as all the previous ones that took place in Poland since 1945--will be declared ended, including full amnesty from one side, and forgiveness, sworn in the churches, from the other side. In the name of the common program the trade unions will publicly declare that they will refrain from putting forth demands exceeding it. They will forego the means of carrying out the agreements that are contrary [to the program]. Finally, in the name of the reconstruction of the country, an appeal for help to all countries and [foreign] governments will be sent. In the framework of such an accord Solidarity would be society's guarantor of the fulfillment of the program and would guard the fairness of the distribution of whatever there is to distribute.
VARIANT B: The authorities will provoke social explosion that will overthrow them. Even then there will be a chance of avoiding Soviet intervention if only all the institutions that have society's trust can quickly take the responsibility for the situation. They must immediately have a national government that will be composed of people enjoying authority in the society, but who, at
(breaks off at this point)