Poland, Committee In Support Of Solidarity, 1982, January 1

Press Advisory
January 1, 1982,
Agnieszka Kolakowska

Committee In Support Of Solidarity

SPECIAL EDITION

The following items are the most recent reported through the date above. For past reports, contact the New York office.

To reach Solidarity representatives and advisers now in the United States, contact the New York office.

ON DECEMBER 16, THE ARMY AND POLICE SURROUNDED AND ASSAULTED THE "WUJEK" MINE IN THE SILESIA REGION, WHERE THE WORKERS WERE STRIKING AGAINST THE STATE OF WAR.

THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT MEDIA REPORTED THE INCIDENT AS ONE OF TWO IN WHICH DEATHS OCCURRED DURING THE STATE OF WAR. THE OFFICIAL MEDIA EXPRESSED REGRET AT THE NECESSITY OF USING FORCE. IT IS OBVIOUS FROM OTHER ACCOUNTS, RELATED BY EYEWITNESSES, THAT THE "WUJEK" MINE MASSACRE IS JUST ONE OF MANY EXAMPLES OF THE BRUTALITY USED BY THE "FORCES OF ORDER."

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT RECEIVED THROUGH THE COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF SOLIDARITY IN ITALY FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE AND TRANSLATED BY THE NEW YORK OFFICE.

[NOTE: LAST PARAGRAPH REPORTS OFFICERS OF ZOMO WERE UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AT TIME OF ATTACK.]

The strike action began on December 13th with a sit-in strike at 2:00 o'clock.

The arrest of Solidarity leader Kudliczak was carried out in the following way. At first, only two ZOMO (uniformed police) officers arrived.

Kudliczak refused to open the door. He managed to put through a call to the mine. Ten people came to help him. After an hour, four were left and the rest had gone home. Then fifty ZOMO (motorized riot police) officers arrived. They were drunk and under the influence of drugs.

Following another refusal to open the door, they broke through it with axes. Those who had come to help Kudliczak were beaten unconscious.

An ambulance took them away. Kudliczak's daughter Anna, who is sixteen, was also beaten.

By December 16th, two thousand people were in the mine: 1,500 miners from "Wujek," about 500 from other mines, as well as a number of Solidarity leaders and activists. They were armed with gasoline bottles, cable truncheons, dynamite and spears. The strikers announced that they would blow themselves up if force was used against them. The force of such a blast threatened to destroy a neighboring settlement.

The day before; a concentration of troops had gathered around the "Wujek" mine. There was a total of about forty tanks, armored assault vehicles and armored personnel transport trucks. At 10:00 A.M. the entrance to the mine was blocked off. Four minutes later, the first attack took place. One tank broke through a wall and then withdrew.

Under the cover of tear-gas, ZOMO launched a direct attack, which was repulsed.

In the second attack, the ZOMO fired rubber bullets from machine guns. During this attack, a crowd of "civilians"--men, women, children, and some miners who were not on the mine's grounds--threw bottles and stones, forcing the ZOMO to split their formation. During the second attack, helicopters dropped bombs with paralyzing gas, dispersing the crowd. Information from hospitals indicates that live amnunition was also used throughout.

Only ZOMO took part in the attack; the army was a passive observer. The roar of the engines drowned out the screams of the murdered, wounded and beaten. At this point the miners took three ZOMO hostage. One young policeman became hysterical after being handed over to the crowd.

The crowd remained silent. It defended itself against ZOMO's charge with red-hot metal rods which were used to pierce the police helmets. The metal went through them as if through wax, killing two of the attackers. Another was killed when heavy objects were thrown down from the roof of the building. Many helmets were broken by falling chains and pick-axes.

The miners and the crowd were in a state of extreme despair.

A doctor and nurse were beaten during the attack while attempting to administer first aid to the miners. The nurse was taken to a hospital in Ochojec with a completely crashed skull. The medical staff was horrified at the amount of blood and the number of bullet wounds. A man beaten on the head with a truncheon and covered with blood was savagely kicked.

In the course of the second attack ZOMO conducted a search of the surrounding buildings: after breaking the windows they threw in tear-gas. In the negotiations that followed, the striking miners demanded that the facts about what had happened be revealed if they were to leave the mine.

Some of the arrested miners were reportedly taken to ZOMO's barracks. The-casualties on ZOMO's side were 4 killed and 41 wounded; on the miners' side, 7 killed and 38 wounded. They were taken to hospitals in Ligocice and its vicinity. The attack ended in the late evening. Firehoses were also used. There were some cases of firing at doctors who refused to take away wounded ZOMO officers if a miner happened to be in the ambulance.

The ZOMO officers were under the influence of drugs and died immediately after general anaesthesia was administered to them. This was confirmed by doctors from several hospitals.

* * *

The New York information center of the Committee in Support of Solidarity is in regular contact with Solidarity sources in Europe, including those in Stockholm, London, and Paris. Reports from those sources come to the New York office by telephone, and are translated immediately.

Solidarity sources in Europe gather information by monitoring communications in Poland; by interviewing Polish emigres and foreign travelers allowed to leave; and from other sources.

The following items are the most recent reported through the date above. For past reports, contact the New York office.

275 Seventh Avenue, Twenty-Fifth Floor / New York, New York 10001
(212) 989-0909 / Press: Contact ( 212) 929-6966
CONTACT: Chris Wilcock, Agnieszka Kolakowska, 929-6966

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