Poland, 1982, October, Committee in Support of Solidarity Report No. 8
Committee in Support of Solidarity Reports
Issue No. 8
October 22, 1982
IN THIS ISSUE
Solidarity Activist Deaths page 1
October Demonstrations page 2
Solidarity is officially dissolved; Workers strike in Gdansk and demonstrate in Nowa Huta.
"It Was a Premeditated Murder, Coldly Calculated..." page 3
Eyewitnesses recount what happened in Lubin August 31, where at least three were killed.
The August 31 Demonstrations: Solidarity's Account page 4
Mazowsze Weekly reports on the August 31 demonstrations from twenty seven cities, including Warsaw (50,000), Gdansk (20,000), and Nowa Huta (50,000).
Interview with Wladyslaw Frasyniuk page 17
In the last interview of him before his arrest, Frasyniuk, one of five members of the TKK, gives his views on the strength of Solidarity underground and its chances for success against the martial law regime.
These items are the most recent that the Committee in Support of Solidarity has published through the date of this report.
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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.
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SOLIDARITY ACTIVIST DEATHS
ANDRZEJ TRAJKOWSKI, 32 years old, three children, pregnant wife; technician at the Wroclaw Enterprise for Industrial Installations--killed August 31, 1982 in Lubin. Shot in the head.
MIECZYSLAW POZNIAK, 26 years old, married, worker at the Elektromontaz Enterprise--died August 31, 1982 in Lubin from a gunshot wound in the stomach.
MICHAL ADAMOWICZ, 28 years old, electrician at the Copper Mine--died September 5, 1982 in Lubin from a gunshot wound in the head.
KAZIMIERZ MICHALCZYK, 27 years old, married, two children, lathe operator at the Elwro factory, died September 2, 1982 in Wroclaw as a result of wounds suffered on August 31.
PIOTR SADOWSKI, 22 years old, employee of the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk -killed August 31, 1982 by a concussion grenade.
BOGDAN WLOSIK, 20 years old, worker, died October 14, 1982 in Krakow-Nowa Huta, shot during demonstrations on October 13.
THE DISSOLUTION OF SOLIDARITY AND THE RESPONSE
OCTOBER 8--The Polish Parliament (Sejm), passes a new draft trade union law, and dissolves the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity, the first free trade union in a Soviet bloc country. The new law strictly limits the right to strike and the rights of the new trade union to represent workers. The draft law does not include any provisions for electing union representatives but does empower the courts to overturn any union election.
OCTOBER 10--The Temporary Coordinating Commission of Solidarity during martial law (TKK) announces that there will be a four-hour general strike nationwide on November 10 to protest the dissolution of Solidarity. November 10 is the second anniversary of Solidarity's registration by the Supreme Court in Warsaw, which took place after a protracted fight in the courts over the wording of the union's statutes. (The court registered Solidarity without the stipulation, inserted by a lower court into the union's statutes, that Solidarity recognize the leading role of the communist party in the state.)
OCTOBER 11--Nearly ten thousand steelworkers at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, the birthplace of Solidarity, struck for eight hours. The peaceful sit-in strike of the first shift of the shipyards was not disrupted by the ZOMO. Workers chanted slogans and hung Solidarity banners from the walls. One banner covered the word "Lenin" in the name of the shipyard. People outside the shipyards gathered to show their support. At least two other shipyards in Gdansk also go on strike.
Communications are cut with Gdansk as well as with Sopot, Gdynia, and Szczecin.
OCTOBER 12--Workers at the Lenin Shipyards continue their strike, demanding the reinstatement of Solidarity, the release of all internees and prisoners, and the annulment of martial law.
As they are leaving the shipyards after their shift is over, workers are attacked by ZOMO police with water cannons, tear gas, and other weapons. Demonstrators outside the shipyards are also attacked. Battles last until the night. An unknown number are wounded. Authorities report over 150 arrests but the number is likely higher.
OCTOBER 13--Demonstrations protesting for the dissolution of martial law and marking the ten month anniversary of the imposition of martial law take place in Wroclaw, Nowa Huta, and other cities.
The marchers are attacked by ZOMO police.
Bogdan Wlosik is shot and killed in Nowa Huta, where demonstrations continue for two days.
OCTOBER 20--10 to 20,000 attend the funeral of Bogdan Wlosik, 20 years old, in Nowa Huta. One banner displayed read "Bogdan died for us."
"IT WAS A PREMEDITATED MURDER, COLDLY CALCULATED..."
[Below are several eyewitness accounts of what occurred on August 31 in Lubin, a copper mining town in southwest Poland, where the ZOMO killed at least three people. The accounts appeared in Solidarnosc Zaglebia Miedziowego (Solidarity of the Copper Mine Region), issue no. 39, September 14, 1982.]
I walked by the post office, passing a patrol which marched calmly by; nobody attacked it. When shots sounded I was convinced they were blanks, even when I heard the scream, when I saw a man falling down, I still thought he just stumbled. With horror I saw his shirt turn red. I saw one man in the patrol reloading the magazine--was it him? It was a premeditated murder, coldly calculated by "the forces of order which decisively intervened in order to prevent provocations"--according to the official communique.
After the crowd in the Market Square was dispersed I found myself in a small group of people in the square behind the Small Church. With horror I saw a police van driving full speed straight at us. We scattered looking for shelter. When I turned around I saw the van chasing in circles after a young man who was trying to get away. Suddenly a hand appeared in the van's window and a shot was heard. The boy threw his hands up and fell, he was still trying to escape on hands and knees but the car was faster. It ran him over, stopped and ran over him once again in reverse. A moment passed before I realized I was screaming 'murderers!' ...
I stood with a friend by the window in an apartment facing Market Square. At one point I looked and saw a policeman aiming his gun at us. I shouted to my friend to get down and dove to the floor myself. The bullet shattered the window and ricocheted from the ceiling hitting the back wall. ...
On September 1 our children went to school. They saw, they heard, they know. This knowledge is forever. The town is full of people, most of them at the scene of the carnage. ...
THE AUGUST 31 DEMONSTRATIONS: SOLIDARITY'S ACCOUNT
[Mazowsze Weekly, issue #25, dated September 3, printed reports gathered from eyewitnesses in twenty seven cities on demonstrations August 31. The demonstrations were called by the Temporary Coordinating Commission of Solidarity. We print a full translation.
The accounts indicate that the demonstrations were larger than reported by the Interior Minister, Stanislaw Ciosek, or by government spokesman Jerzy Urban, who estimated that 200,000 took part in the demonstrations in 67 cities. A conservative estimate from the accounts in the 27 cities cited below would itself be over 200,000. Estimates of the total number who took part throughout Poland would be from 300,000 to 500,000 people.
The level of participation is significant especially considering the efforts made by the ZOMO and detachments of the army to intimidate the population and to prevent them from taking part, efforts that are well described in the accounts below.
It is also clear that in many cities, the ZOMO were especially brutal and attacked without pretense. The shootings in Lubin, where at least three were killed, took place as people were fleeing.]
On August 31, 1982, the government again used force. People were killed. Honor to their Memory!
AUGUST 31, 1982
We managed to gather reports from 27 centers. We also know that there were demonstrations in other places, such as Bielsko-Biala, Czestochowa, Przemysl, Zgorzelec, Legnica, Jelenia Gora, Walbrzych, Bielawa, Dzierzoniow. It is difficult to determine their number, particularly because we have only tentative evaluations by observers. We thank everyone who helped us reconstruct the true course of events.
LUBIN [A copper mining town in southwest Poland where at least three people were killed.]
About 3000 people gathered after 3 p.m. on the City Square. They put flowers beneath the tablet memorializing Lubin's liberation [from the Nazi occupation] and sang songs. Flowers were arranged in shapes of resistance symbols.
The police began to disperse the crowd with tear gas; one grenade was tossed inside the church. People threw gas canisters and stones back at the police. Several series of shots from automatic guns were fired above the heads of the demonstrators, some leaving bullet holes on the wall of the church. The tragedy occurred near the post office. Two men fell, one shot in the back, the other in the head. Several people suffered leg wounds--they were taken away by private cars. When the demonstrations spread out from the center of the town people were being dispersed by police vans chasing them.
A 16 or 17 year-old boy who was running away was shot from one of the vans. As he fell the van ran over him; he was then carried inside. People screamed: "murderers. "
There is also talk of an 11 or 12 year old child severely wounded near a church. The ZOMO worked until 11 p.m. Courtyards and houses were subjected to a barrage of gas and flares from a column of police cars.
This very day candles were placed where people had been killed.
On September 1, beginning early in the morning, people gathered near the symbolic graves. They were marked by stains of blood, a bloody scarf, a picture of the Holy Virgin, a Solidarity badge, small crosses assembled using spent shells, flowers, and chalk marks saying: "They perished at the hands of the people's government." Around 5 p.m. a demonstration even larger than the previous day began near the post office. The ZOMO police shot tear gas and flares at the marchers. The demonstrations continued on Sept. 2 as well.
Just before August 31 the secret police distributed fake leaflets with messages from Zbigniew Bujak and Zbigniew Janas calling off the demonstrations. The ZOMO staged several shows of force, especially near large factories. In the enterprises, activists of Solidarity were switched to the second shift. Suburban trains skipped all stops in central Warsaw, between Warsaw-West and Warsaw-East.
The ZOMO gathered at the Defilade Square at 2 p.m. (one of the four points designated by the Regional Executive Commission for the demonstrations) with sharpshooters on the roofs of police vans. The Palace of Culture in front of the square was closed at noon. Police stationed at Castle Square broadcast appeals to disperse every ten minutes. The Iron Gate Square was patrolled by the police. People began to gather in Castle Square at 3 p.m., assembling a marching column on the North-East highway below. A barrage of tear gas was thrown from 3 to 5 p.m. One column of demonstrators (300-400 people) went beneath the square, through the Mariensztat borough towards Tamka Street. Battles with police took place there until late evening, around a barricade built from trash cans, containers and furniture.
The other column (about 2000 people) started from Castle Square towards Nowy Swiat Street [a main Warsaw thoroughfare] Barricades were constructed there as well, one with a banner of the Warsaw Steelworks. The ZOMO attacked from the building of the party's Central Committee, which was surrounded by several cordons of police.
On the Defilade Square people gathered by the department store buildings. Around 4 p.m. a large group of demonstrators (about two to three thousand people) crossed the street and broke through onto the square, shouting: "We Want Lech." The ZOMO dispersed them with a series of tear gas barrages. Later, the crowd stood their ground on the street and built barricades. They were being dispersed by a column of police vehicles, driving among the clouds of gas. Finally the concentration of tear gas became so dense that the crowd left the area and joined marches in other parts of the city.
The crowd at the Iron Gate Square was told by one Solidarity activist to take a streetcar ride towards Constitution Square. On the way they saw ZOMO cordons in the Saxon Gardens and the tear gas attacks near the department stores in front of Defilade Square. Suddenly a marching column formed, joined by groups of people from side streets. They took up the entire width of Marszalkowska Street (about 200 yards). The crowd numbered about 20,000, and was watched by scores of passersby. Several banners and flags were unfurled by the demonstrators. The crowd sang the Polish national anthem in an exalted mood. It shouted slogans printed in a TKK [Temporary Coordinating Commission] leaflet: "Free Lech"; "Restore Solidarity"; "Down with the Junta." A moment before the ZOMO attacked, the organizers signaled the people to disperse. The demonstrators ran towards side streets, escaping a column of police vehicles shooting fire crackers and water cannons. Then the marchers reassembled again. This scene was repeated several times, until the crowd dispersed around 5:30 p.m. A mass took place in the St. Alexander's Church, with Walesa's portrait and a Solidarity banner hung by the altar.
Small marches formed throughout the city center in the afternoon. They were dispersed by the police and then reassembled again. After 6 p.m. the demonstrations moved to other districts of the city: Muranow, Praga and Wola; the downtown area--filled with gas and flooded with water--became empty. In Praga, the ZOMO brutally attacked commuters at the Vilna rail station and theater-goers leaving Praha Cinema after a movie. The clashes lasted until late evening. ZOMO vans cruised around the city shooting gas at the people waiting for buses, riding the streetcars, or standing at building entrances. ZOMO raids took place even after midnight. A helicopter flew over the city.
GARWOLIN [A small district town southeast of Warsaw.]
Several thousands of inhabitants gathered by the statue in memory of Pilsudski and brought flowers to the graves of his soldiers (from World War I] and those who fell in the 1939 campaign. Everybody took part in the special memorial mass.
BIALYSTOK [The capital of a province in northeast Poland; an agricultural center.]
After mass, people were supposed to march to the regional headquarters of Solidarity and leave flowers there. However, they first went to Lipowa Street, towards the police headquarters. The march, with relatively few youths, numbered about 10,000 people.
Two elderly ladies led the marchers, who all wore dark clothes. Many had Solidarity badges and red and white flowers. They marched solemnly, without any banners, between two lines formed by ZOMO police. From the police headquarters they turned back toward the church and the Solidarity building which was blocked off by police. They sang religious hymns and shouted: "Free Lech Walesa," marching around the building and tossing flowers towards it. At 8:30 p.m. the loud speakers called on them to disperse; police took photographs of the crowd. People then went towards the Municipal Building, singing songs. As they began to disperse, the police attacked them with tear gas and truncheons.
The ensuing battles lasted until 1 a.m.
The Nowotel and Heweliusz hotels, as well as the army barracks in Wrzeszcz were taken over by detachments of ZOMO and ROMO police. False appeals by the Regional Strike Commission calling off the demonstrations were circulated around the city. The army and the police were staked out around the shipyard and in the vicinity of the Monument [to the victims of the 1970 protests]. Several dozen police vans were parked nearby. Dozens of patrols checked I.D. documents and wrote down the names of people stopped near the monument and the railway station. At 2 p.m. the shipyard workers leaving work gathered around the square. A banner proclaiming "Solidarity will win" was put up. The crowd sang religious hymns. Flowers brought to the monument were arranged in the shape of the cross and the "V" sign. People shouted: "We Want Lech," "Free the Internees," "Lift the State of War," "CROW to the Red Square," "The Junta Will be Tried," "We Want the Pope," and "Democracy." A helicopter was flying above the square.
After 3 p.m. a column of armored personnel carriers, water cannons, and Black Marias arrived. Several thousand demonstrators were cut off by cordons of ZOMO, which used fire crackers, tear gas and water. The crowd shouted "Gestapo" in return. At the same time the ZOMO attacked groups of people going toward the square and they exploded tear gas near the rail station. Street fights spread throughout the downtown area and lasted well into the night. Firecrackers ignited the roof of the rectory at the St. Brigitte Church and several apartments.
Barricades made of street benches, trash cans and stones were put up in several places, including the vicinity of the Regional Party Headquarters building.
In their defense, people threw stones and gas grenades at the police. The ZOMO were shooting firecrackers and flares. The stream from the water cannons was dyed blue so as to mark the demonstrators' clothes.
Several hundreds of people reportedly seized three police buses, manhandling fifty ZOMO policemen, who were then set free. At 5 p.m. a barricade of building materials and steel pipes was erected at People's Congress Square. A police armored van destroyed it several times.
A column of marchers, trapped near Wrzeszcz, broke through several police cordons and reached the building of Solidarity's headquarters; they hung Polish national flags and Solidarity banners. ZOMO police attacked them at 6 p.m. from several directions. They shot tear gas and concussion grenades, aiming straight at people. There were wounded. The fighters near the Opera building seized two Black Marias--the ZOMO police surrendered. The police blocked off the center of Wrzeszcz. Explosions could be heard until 10 p.m.
GDYNIA [Port city near Gdansk on the Baltic Coast.]
Shipyard workers leaving work gathered around the December 1970 monument [commemorating workers slain in revolts of that year], laying flowers and singing religious hymns. They shouted "Free Lech" and "Solidarity will win." Following the call to march towards the cross about 3000 people started walking down Czolgistow Street shouting: "Every Pole goes with us." Police patrols stopped people walking on the other side of the street. The procession crossed the center of Gdynia, skirting the ZOMO cordons near the station. In front of the Municipal Building at the cross commemorating December 1970 the crowd was attacked with water cannons and tear gas. Around 4:30 p.m. the demonstration was dispersed, but clashes took place until the evening. ZOMO squads numbering several dozen policemen attacked passersby and people getting off the suburban trains.
KRAKOW [Former capital of Poland in the southeast of Poland.]
Flowers were displayed in factories and placed on tablets with Solidarity memorials. Photographs of Walesa and leaflets were also put up. In the Blonie suburb, where the helicopter with John Paul II landed in 1979, a cross of flowers was laid out. Two balloons with Solidarity banners flew over the Grzegozki district; one was pulled down in the morning; the other at 3. Thousands of people took part in solemn masses in churches. Around 4:30 p.m. a flower cross was laid out in the Main Square. Several hundred people gathered around it, singing songs and shouting slogans. Around 5 p.m. a column of police vehicles entered the square. The crowd shouted "Gestapo." Within an hour the square was emptied of people--a line of ZOMO police marched down the square.
Observers emphasize that police behaved moderately and did not seem to be under the influence of drugs [as is common with ZOMO police.] Groups of people gathering near the square were being dispersed until midnight.
On September 1 the Square was patrolled frequently. Flowers were removed but those who laid them down were not stopped.
NOWA HUTA [The largest steel center in Poland, located outside of Krakow.]
At 2 p.m. the first shift leaving the Lenin Steelworks marched in a column towards Central Square. The streets were lined with an enormous number of ZOMO police, which blocked Bulwarowa street. On the other side a large group of people coming from the Central Square shouted to the steelworkers: "Join with us." They skirted the police cordon and joined together marching through a housing settlement to Central Square and then on to Bienczyce church. They were not attacked, except for a few instances of ZOMO shooting tear gas and water cannons. At 4 p.m. the Bienczyce church was full and surrounded by crowds of people--over 50,000. Many people showed up on the roofs of surrounding buildings. The head of the march near the church unfurled a Solidarity banner. The priest said: "This Holy Mass is performed on the second anniversary of the victory of reason over force." People prayed holding their hands together above their heads. As the singing of a religious hymn began, the ZOMO commenced an attack with gas.
People staunchly defended themselves by throwing stones and tossing tear gas canisters back towards police vans and forcing the policemen to get out of them. They also poured black paint on police cars, turned a few of them over, and threw bottles with gasoline at them. The ZOMO withdrew and came back for attacks several times. Street fights in Nowa Huta lasted through the night; many people found shelter in churches, where they stayed until morning.
NOWY TARG [A provincial town south of Krakow.]
There were attempts to intimidate workers at the shoe factory: a special message was broadcast through the P.A. system; and leaflets defaming Solidarity were distributed. On August 31 the secret police posted fake posters of the Malopolska [Krakow] Regional Executive Commission which--supposedly following Primate Glemp's appeal--called off the demonstration.
Nevertheless, a majority of the "Podhale" factory workers from the first shift took part in the peaceful protest march numbering one and a half thousand. The march was solemn and quiet, under the eyes of police.
ZAKOPANE [Vacation resort in the Tatra Mountains, south of Krakow.]
On the preceding day a slogan proclaiming "Solidarity fights" appeared [throughout the city and] even on the stairways of the police headquarters building (it proved impossible to obliterate except by pouring cement over it). Solidarity banners were hung on tall buildings, on the ski-jump, and at the Antalowka swimming pool. Some were left hanging for the entire day. After the Holy Mass in the Salvatarians Church at eight p.m., about one thousand people marched along Jagiellonska street toward the rail station. The police and the army did not intervene.
KATOWICE [A major coal mine and steel industry city in the Silesian Region of southern Poland.]
Since August 29, an enormous column of armored personnel vehicles, water cannons, trucks with soldiers, and ZOMO police continually drove through Silesian cities. Large enterprises, coal mines, and steelworks were surrounded by reinforced guard-posts. Entrance checks at the gates were very thorough; such as at the coal-mine, where workers had to pass through several checkpoints in order to get in. A crowd of secret policemen descended into the Staszic mine. Market Square in Katowice was closed to traffic on the 30th; on the 31st two military helicopters circled over the city.
In the afternoon a crowd began to gather in the square, despite a parked transporter and several reinforced patrols. All were tense, full of anticipation, the crowd sang the Polish national anthem and shouted: "When Will Walesa Be Set Free?" and "We Want Freedom."
Following the mass at the Mariacki church, a march formed behind a Solidarity banner. A crowd which gathered on Warszwaska street was brutally attacked by the ZOMO; water cannons shot red- and blue-dyed water at the apartment building windows where people stood watching [so as to mark the demonstrators]. The helicopter dropped tear gas. People were beaten. The demonstrators escaped one by one to the roofs, or jumped onto passing trains. The ZOMO blocked side streets leading to the Monument of the Silesian Uprisings. Some children were caught in street battles. Scattered groups of demonstrators fought the ZOMO, throwing gas grenades and stones. Battles lasted until late at night; police reinforcements from other cities had to be brought in; and telephone lines were cut.
In Gliwice demonstrators passed in small groups through Zwyciezcow Street to the Church in the square. After the mass the crowd was attacked with tear gas and truncheons. The planned march from the Katowice steelworks to the church in the city center did not take place when people saw that the ZOMO blocked the route.
WROCLAW [A large industrial city and the capital of the Lower Silesian Region of southwest Poland.]
The demonstrators were supposed to gather at Red Square at 3:30 p.m. (the site of the first headquarters of Wroclaw Solidarity), and then to march through the city to Mazowiecka Street, the last site of the Solidarity Regional Commission. The management in the enterprises released people from work early so that they would not be leaving in large groups. Since early morning police staked out the center of the city and industrial neighborhoods. Shops were closed around Red Square and I.D.'s were checked. At 2 p.m. the square was blocked off and the bridges closed. Policemen and soldiers rode in the streetcars and did not allow the drivers to stop in places where people were told to gather. Nevertheless, by 3 p.m. the crowd in Red Square numbered about 5000. People lined the planned route of the march. There were banners saying "Lech, We Are With You!" and "Wladek [Frasyniuk], Hold On!" "For Your Freedom and Ours," and "We Shall Win." At 3 p.m. the ZOMO attacked the demonstrators shooting tear gas and driving their vehicles into the crowd.
People defended themselves for over an hour. The concentration of gas was so strong that nothing could be seen for fifty yards. When the area was almost empty, those remaining were brutally chased away by a detachment of paratroopers.
Groups of demonstrators which were dispersed and then formed anew tried to get to Mazowiecka Street. Street fights took place along the entire route, with the ZOMO shooting tear gas and water cannons, aiming at the demonstrators and at apartment windows as well. A "mad transporter" ran over some people on the sidewalk. Someone set it on fire with a gasoline bottle. In one streetcar people pulled a policeman who was guarding the driver away and beat him up. The ZOMO who were chasing after the demonstrators broke into the hospital on Ruska Street and tossed tear gas inside. At 5 p.m. telephones were cut off throughout the city.
In the meantime thousands continued to break through to Mazowiecka Street. Columns on Nowotki and Mikolaja Streets were over 400 yards long. A cross of flowers was laid out on Grabiszynska Street by a crowd which joined the march after the one in the Old Town had been pacified. Demonstrators stopped by ZOMO shouted slogans and displayed the victory signs; they started around blocked streets, defending themselves with stones and petrol bottles; some barricades were built. On the PKWN Square at 7 p.m. ten army trucks were stopped; people shouted "The army is with us"; some soldiers replied "We are with you." At the barricade on Swierczewskiego street the demonstrators first repulsed a police attack, and then an attack by paratroopers which shot two machine-gun series into the air. A barricade near Grunwald Bridge was defended for a long time.
Successive marching columns and groups reached Solidarity headquarters around 4 p.m. The ZOMO used concussion grenades and paralyzing gases. Even though a curfew was imposed at 8 p.m. street fights in several places lasted until late at night.
POLKOWICE [Copper mining town near Lubin.]
Just before 3 p.m. three police vans, honking and with their headlights on, circled the city center several times. People gathered near the shopping center at half past three. Police checked their I.D.'s and called on them to disperse. They were met by whistles, songs, and shouted slogans. Several hundred people, mainly youths, marched to the church with a banner saying "Solidarity Will Live." The police disappeared; after the mass a marching column sang the anthem and dispersed at 6:30.
POZNAN [A large industrial city 200 miles west of Warsaw, capital of the Wielkopolska Region.]
The city was still decorated with flags hung for the holiday of the Holy Virgin of Czestochowa. Solidarity banners flew over Cegielski and ZNTK factories. In response to the union's appeal, people laid flowers at the base of the June 1956 monument [commemorating the over 75 people slain in workers' protests of that year]. Large detachments of police with water cannons were deployed around the square, reinforced by military patrols. As soon as large groups gathered, they were dispersed. However, there were no battles. the police did not interfere with the laying of flowers but ordered those who lingered too long near the monument to leave the square.
I.D.'s were being checked and people were photographed by the police. This lasted the whole afternoon; there were several thousand people on the square. After six only a few hundred remained and were dispersed by the police. Several thousand people attended masses in churches at 5 p.m., and in the Cathedral at 7.
GORZOW WIELKOPOLSKI [Provincial capital in western Poland.]
Industrial enterprises were staked out by police vans. Two to three thousand people gathered for the 3 p.m. rally near the Cathedral. A floral cross, which was laid a few weeks earlier, was much larger than usual and measured 10 yards in length. About 10,000 people gathered on Sikorski Street.
At 5 p.m. the ZOMO called on the crowd to disperse and started to shoot water from a fire truck. Its windows were smashed, and the demonstrators found themselves under an avalanche of tear gas grenades. The ZOMO broke a stained glass window of the Cathedral. The bridge across the river was blocked. An extended line of policemen pushed people from Sikorski street, shooting water cannons and beating everyone with truncheons; even bystanders in the building courtyards were not safe. The demonstrators withdrew about a hundred yards and built barricades on Dabrowski and Chrobry streets. The entire town went out on to the streets. When the ZOMO stormed again they were attacked from the rear. People standing in windows shouted "Gestapo" and "Fascists."
Around 7 p.m. a young man was seen breaking the pavement on one of the city squares with a pneumatic hammer, providing ammunition for the retreating demonstrators. Street battles lasted until 10 p.m. when a curfew was announced.
On September 1st there were battles on Mieszko Street, as the ZOMO used tear gas on combatants. At 6 p.m. the flower cross in front of the Cathedral was removed.
SZCZECIN [Port city on the Baltic Coast west of Gdansk, a center of strikes in 1970.]
From the morning of August 31st, the whole city was packed with security forces. Fifteen Black Marias and three water cannons were parked outside the Warski Shipyard. The entrance was patrolled by several groups of ZOMO and the army which searched everyone going in who carried a parcel. In many changing rooms and restrooms there were fake leaflets made by the security police, some, signed by Bujak, calling off the demonstration; others, signed by the underground leadership, calling on people to gather at the Pogon Sports stadium and to demonstrate against the "red cattle." Access to Mickiewicz monument in the park, where the demonstrators planned to lay flowers, was completely blocked off. Surrounding streets were full of police vans, water cannons, armored transporters, police patrols, and secret agents. Passersby were stopped and their names written down. People in small groups went to the Cathedral where a few thousand gathered between 5 and 6 p.m. As the mass was starting the ZOMO attacked with tear gas and truncheons. People dispersed in the streets but gathered back in groups. Some of the ZOMO were pulled inside buildings. Stones were thrown from the roofs. On the Polish Army street a police car filming the demonstrators was turned over. The battles lasted until 10 p.m. Someone said that one police van was burned.
ELBLAG [Industrial city near Gdansk.]
Since early morning a crowd of people stood on May Day Street, lighting candles and laying flowers at the base of the Monument of Victims of December 1970.
Before 1 p.m. hundreds of ZOMO police entered the city center patrolling in groups of 5 to 7. They carried yard-long truncheons, wore riot helmets with [bulletproof] visors, and brandished pistols. Several dozen vans were seen. The route to the Monument was blocked off; everybody who tried to get through was stopped and his name written down. After 2 p.m. the crowd grew thicker. A column of vans charged the crowd. Workers from ZAMECH and other factories arrived at the Monument. Around 3 p.m. there were over ten thousand people. However, the planned march did not materialize.
The ZOMO checked I.D.'s and detained some people. The crowd was quiet, standing around the Monument until late evening before they dispersed. They appeared angry with themselves that the march did not take place as planned. The next day a great concentration of ZOMO again occupied the center of the city.
BYDGOSZCZ [Provincial capital in northern Poland) site of beatings in March 1981 during a meeting of Rural Solidarity, which resulted in a four hour general strike.]
It was decided that the August 31 anniversary would be celebrated with a Holy Mass and a demonstration in Old Town Square. In the afternoon the square was surrounded by detachments of police. At 4 p.m. crowds began to fill the square, shouting "Solidarity," "Freedom for Lech," "Freedom for Janek (Rulewski) [Chairman of Bydgoszcz Solidarity]." The mass started at 7 p.m. A delegation of underground Solidarity laid a cross made from red and white flowers at the altar. A portrait of Walesa was put on the cross. Near the end of the service the ZOMO surrounded the square with vans and water cannons. Several thousand people formed a marching column, jeering at the ZOMO, singing hymns, and shouting slogans. They turned toward the Basilica, skirting the police, but near Philharmonic Hall, the ZOMO stopped and dispersed the marchers. Several people were caught and detained.
TORUN [University town near Bydgoszcz.]
The demonstration was called for 7:30 p.m. near the University Hall: flowers were to be laid, and a minute of silence and a lighting of candles were planned. From 2 p.m. access to the square in front of the hall was blocked, at 5 p.m. forty ZOMO policemen were posted there, and, at ten minutes to seven, vehicle traffic was closed; bus routes were changed. Around two thousand people gathered in the nearby streets burning candles and laying flowers on the sidewalks. At 7:30 the police called on them to disperse; officers were told "to prepare to carry out orders." A lone old man entered the empty square and laid down a bunch of flowers. He was immediately pulled inside a patrol car. The police started to photograph the crowd. People turned their backs toward them and dispersed in silence.
OLSZTYN [Industrial and agricultural center in northern Poland.]
The show of force started at 3 p.m.: military patrols of sixteen men each, ZOMO in full battle gear, border guards and firefighters with water cannons in side streets. Streets were blocked without any particular logic; pedestrians were stopped and checked. Access to Solidarity headquarters was blocked. There were, however, many more people in the streets than usual. The police issued an order to disperse, saying: "Remember that your wives and children are waiting for you at home."
LODZ [A large textile industry center eighty miles southwest of Warsaw, Poland's second largest city.]
ZOMO reinforcements brought to the city before the 31st took over the newest hotel in Lodz--Swiatowid--and the building which formerly housed the regional police headquarters.
ZOMO vehicles and other gear were concentrated near the Holy Cross Church and the Solidarity building, where people were supposed to gather. At 4:30 p.m. the entire area of the planned demonstration was closed to traffic; streets were blocked off by cordons of ZOMO and fences were put up at the entrance gates of Piotrkowska Street buildings, which led to parallel streets, so that people would not be able to cross through. Nevertheless by 5 p.m. about two thousand people succeeded in getting through. Crowds several times larger gathered on the other side of the police cordons. There were three thousand people near the Holy Cross Church. They started toward the Freedom Square, joining the column that marched from Solidarity headquarters. The police did not intervene. Demonstrators applauded them. The crowd filled Freedom Square and nearby streets. Kosciuszko Monument was decked out in flags and Solidarity banners. After 7 p.m. the demonstrators began to disperse. Only then did the ZOMO start their action. they attacked on side streets, shooting tear gas and blue-dyed water; they jumped out of buses and beat people with truncheons; they threw fire crackers inside apartment buildings. People defended themselves with stones. Battles and hunts for demonstrators lasted until 11 p.m., four hours after the demonstration ended.
LUBLIN [An agricultural and university center, one hundred miles southeast of Warsaw.]
Solidarity's plan was to lay flowers and candles in the shape of a "V" sign at the May 3rd Constitution Memorial on Litewski Square "as a sign of faith in the victory of our ideas." Religious services were also planned. On August 31st many secret police leaflets appeared (some were even dropped from an airplane), calling on people "not to let themselves be provoked by Jews from KOR." People brought candles and flowers to the memorial beginning in the morning. At 3 p.m. a larger crowd began to gather. The police blocked access to the memorial and wrote down the names of people who brought flowers. At 5 p.m. the army and ZOMO blocked nearby streets. The crowd on the square numbered about two thousand. Following several appeals to disperse, a few cars with gas grenade throwers arrived at breakneck speed. People scattered, but they were bombarded by firecrackers. In several places beatings took place. The ZOMO threw a grenade inside the Kapucynow Church. There were no demonstrations in Swidnik and Krasnik.
PULAWY [A small town southeast of Warsaw.]
On the eve of August 31st a Solidarity flag flew over the chimney of the "Azoty" fertilizer factory here; another hung from the chimney of the power plant on the 31st and 1st. At night the Street of July 22nd [a communist national holiday] was renamed Lech Walesa Street--the new name was painted on the walls. At 5 p.m. about three thousand people came to the mass in the chapel, celebrated for the Fatherland and national accord. After the mass the crowd marched to the rail station, joined by other groups. The police did not intervene.
STALOWA WOLA [A city in southeast Poland.]
At a quarter past three o'clock, people leaving work after the first shift laid flowers at the base of the cross opposite the steelworks. About one and a half thousand people gathered; several hundred wore Solidarity badges. They sang religious hymns, everyone kneeled and raised his hand in the sign of victory. After fifteen minutes people dispersed.
RZESZOW [Provincial capital in southeast Poland.]
The church, which can hold as many people as Warsaw Cathedral, was filled by 4 p.m. Farny Square in front of the church was also crowded. Near the exit someone unfurled a small Solidarity banner. After the mass people started to walk to the Kosciuszko Monument to lay flowers. Streets leading to the square were blocked by ZOMO policemen with truncheons but no shields. They called on the crowd to disperse. Some people shouted "Out with the regime, out with the junta," and, louder, "Solidarity--Walesa." When they shouted "Gestapo," the police rushed at them with gas and water cannon. People scattered. Tear gas was being shot all over town until 7 p.m.
KIELCE [The provincial capital of the Malapolska Region in central Poland.]
During the Sunday mass for Solidarity and those interned and arrested, the ZOMO staged a show of force around the Cathedral with armored transporters, Black Marias, and vans, all of them flashing lights and honking. On the 31st at 2 p.m., the area around the bus station was all blue and grey with police and army patrols. People from nearby enterprises gathered at a memorial to Solidarity. Police took away two or three people who tried to lay flowers there. One was released because of pressure by the crowd. At 3:15 police lines brandishing truncheons dispersed the gathering. The ZOMO stayed inside two trucks. A few groups numbering four to five hundred people began to walk toward the city. After the evening mass people stood on the steps of the Cathedral and shouted "Solidarity," "We Want Lech," etc. When the ZOMO appeared backed by a water cannon they yelled: "Gestapo." The ZOMO used tear gas, emptying the area in front of the Cathedral within ten minutes.
RADOM [City sixty miles south of Warsaw, with leather and firearms industry, the site of workers' protests in 1976.]
Three or four police cordons in battle gear were stationed by the police headquarters and the regional party committee building. From two p.m. people gathered at the June '76 memorial tablet. It was a spontaneous demonstration without prior organization. By four p.m. five hundred people gathered while several patrols checked I.D.'s. Soon a ZOMO squad dispersed the crowd without using force.
INTERVIEW WITH WLADYSLAW FRASYNIUK
[On October 7, Wladyslaw Frasyniuk was arrested along with several other underground Solidarity activists in Wroclaw. Since the imposition of martial law, Frasyniuk, the elected chairman of Wroclaw Solidarity, has been a leader of the Solidarity movement forced underground. He is one of five members of the Temporary Coordinating Commission of Solidarity.
This interview was conducted in August and appeared in "Dzis i Pojutrze" (Today and After Tomorrow), no. 8, August 1982; a journal published in Wroclaw by the Regional Strike Committee of NSZZ Solidarity.]
Q: You are among those in the underground Solidarity leadership most frequently heard by us. What is the essential message you are trying to spread?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: The battle we are now fighting concerns the future political shape of Poland. We all know that we are struggling for much more than the proverbial "potatoes and regulation safety gloves at work." Poland in the future should be self-governing--that is, it should be a state that makes its own decisions. But in order that a state be able to decide wisely and prudently about its fate, a great amount of wisdom and prudence is needed on the part of its citizens. I am convinced that our country will one day be self-governing; but this self-government we long for will not appear out of the blue, nor will anyone give it to us. We must fight for it, and we must prepare for it.
My basic message is to convince people of the necessity of building clandestine organizational structures and to set in motion initiatives which will become the basis for a future self-governing society. I have in mind here enterprise, inter-factory and regional structures of Solidarity, professional and inter-professional councils and commissions; I have in mind the need to shape society's political, legal, and economic knowledge; and this is possible only when culture and education exist in an unenslaved form, when we have the use of our own independent printing equipment, an independent press, and our own network of libraries. In other words, I want to build an independent underground society; a society able to organize itself and prepared to make its own decisions on the democratic basis of the will of the majority. I repeat: the way we organize today will decide on the political shape of Poland tomorrow.
Q: Do you think that the current state of emotional tension leaves room for considering, today or in the near future, any kind of compromise?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: Despite the strong need for revenge that exists in a society trampled upon by the authorities, and despite a general lack of faith in the good intentions of the government, I think that a majority of the people would agree to negotiations with the authorities, especially if their interests were represented by independent institutions, such as the Church and Solidarity.
Q: How do you justify your conviction that success is possible, success meaning reactivating a genuine Solidarity?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: Whether Solidarity in its genuine, authentic form can be reactivated depends, in my mind, solely on the strength of our resistance and our endurance; in no way does it depend on the good faith of the CROW.
We are dealing with a government that reacts only to 'pressure; the stronger this pressure, the greater the possibility of victory.
Since December 13, a great national, genuine Front of Refusal to collaborate with the junta emerged. It encompassed all professional groups: journalists, actors, artists, scientists, teachers, workers, students, and office workers. Can any government, even a government that rules exclusively by force, function for long without so much as the silent acquiescence of the people? For how long can a government pretend that it has authority if its orders, commands, prohibitions, instructions, appeals and threats are met with constant resistance and boycotts, with active and passive refusal? It cannot. And thus the junta, disliked and unwanted by the nation, will have to yield, for it will be unable to function normally in the total void which surrounds it.
Q: Where do you think our strengths and our weaknesses lie? And how, given this, do you evaluate the current state of our region?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: Our strength lies precisely in this great national Front of Refusal. Our weakness, in the slowness with which we have been organizing ourselves in individual regions. I think I can truthfully say that our region is organized to quite a high degree. Solidarity has its factory and inter-factory structures, territorial structures such as the Temporary Inter factory Coordinating Committees, which comprise Dzierzoniow, Swidnica, Bielawa, Lubin, Legnica, and Glogow. Professional bodies are beginning to form, we have our own press and printing equipment. The region as a whole boasts as many as 31 independent publications.
Q: How do you explain the difficulties in constructing a comprehensive program for tomorrow? Can the differences of opinion be reduced to tactical disagreements, or do they go deeper?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: Solidarity's Temporary Coordinating Commission (TKK) has a program for today. It has been presented in the text, "The Underground Society: Initial Assumptions of a Program." The program of the TKK sets our short and long-term aims, outlines the scope and defines the overall form of our activities, which will in the future decide the shape of society. I think this is much more important than programs for tomorrow beautifully worked out on paper. No one has in any case formulated any other program so far. One can thus surmise that most people identify themselves with the TKK's proposals, and that if there are groups that disagree with them, their vision of Poland in the future is as yet too hazy for them to be able to articulate an alternate program of their own.
Q: How do you evaluate the politics of the authorities towards Solidarity? What, in your views, are their basic political assumptions? What advantages does the government have and what are its aims?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: Successive moves of the CROW demonstrate that its primary aim is to maintain its unlimited power. It thus wants to destroy all institutions which are not controlled by and therefore threatening to it. It uses two methods to destroy Solidarity: a frontal assault (the December attack) and guerrilla warfare. The latter consists, generally speaking, in trying to break the unity of the people around Solidarity--people for whom Solidarity is not merely an organizational structure but a moral authority and the embodiment of the concrete values which it would like to realize: freedom, social justice, autonomy of individuals, groups, of the state. The authorities are quite well aware of this. Thus they are trying to overpower society by depriving it of their leaders, whom they intern and imprison, and by attempts to undermine their authority by accusing them of embezzlement, collaboration with the CIA, and by inventing a "shady past" for them. One of the more cunning ways of attacking the underground is seen in attempts to create factions within it in order to make it destroy itself. This is done by exploiting or creating fictitious and wittingly or unwittingly manipulated representative bodies (for instance, the mysterious "Social Clubs"), naturally anonymous and completely clandestine, whose main activities can be reduced to attacking the TKK, the regional Solidarity committees, or one of the leaders of a region. One of the authorities' main advantages is of course their long experience in perfidious destruction of independent organizations. They also have other cards up their sleeve: "fraternal help" and the convolutions of the international situation.
Q: What in your opinion are Solidarity's prospects if the authorities decline a compromise?
Wladyslaw Frasyniuk: The government's current representatives clearly do not want a compromise. The state of war has not been lifted, nor have all those sentenced arrested, interned, and sentenced for union activity been released, nor have Solidarity and other independent social organizations been reactivated. The war with the nation continues: provocations are increasing--on August 13th, for instance, a crowd of people was attacked as they came out of the Wroclaw Cathedral after a mass; acts of repression do not cease. In these circumstances we must build an underground society, persevere in organizing ourselves and resist the authorities, who are usurping the name of a legal government.