Poland, Committee In Support Of Solidarity, 1982, January 9, "War For Information"
January 9, 1982
Committee In Support Of Solidarity
"WAR FOR INFORMATION"
THE DECREES OF THE STATE OF WAR IMPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY FOR STRIKING, AND HARSH PENALTIES FOR DISSEMINATING INFORMATION AND "INCITING" RESISTANCE. NEVERTHELESS, "SOLIDARITY" HAS CONTINUED TO PUBLISH ITS INFORMATION BULLETINS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS, ONE OF WHICH IS CALLED "KOMENTARZ BIEZACY" ["CURRENT, COMMENTARY"].
FOLLOWING IS ONE OF THE FIVE ARTICLES IN THE EDITION OF "KOMENTARZ BIEZACY," WHICH WAS DATED DECEMBER 29, 1981, AND PUBLISHED UNDERGROUND. THE OTHER ARTICLES ARE ENCLOSED, INDIVIDUALLY. THIS ARTICLE IS ENTITLED, "WAR FOR INFORMATION."
Today, Mr. Jerzy Urban [OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE POLISH GOVERNMENT] held a press conference for the foreign press. During the conference, he accused the journalists of painting a false picture of the situation in Poland. He suggested that official information alone can provide a basis for truthful dispatches. He did not, however, explain why anybody should trust him. Meanwhile, the Polish press, relying on the official information, keeps on lying, in nearly every [PRINTED] sentence -especially when the subject is Solidarity. All this is happening while the union is deprived of any ooprtun.ity to respond -when Solidarity has been gagged, and its activists arrested through subterfuge, for example, Walesa, who [AT THE MOMENT OF INTERNMENT] was told that he was going to hold negotiations with the government.
It is difficult to assess Mr. Urban's moral stand, because our language has no printable expression to describe it. But it is possible to assess the intentions of the authorities. For forty years, Polish society has been deprived of reliable information about its own situation. When, thanks to Solidarity, such information had slowly started to become available, the union was neutralized.
Poles are forbidden to know too much about Poland. They know less about their own country than does the foreign intelligence service of Honduras or Guatemala, even less than the readers of even the smallest newspaper in San Marino. Paralyzing and destroying the system of an independent press, which is the union's lifeblood [IN THE POLISH, LITERALLY, "NERVOUS SYSTEM"], is the basic goal of the junta: When the [INDEPDENT] press disappears, Solidarity will disappear as well. The existence of an independent press guaranteed the independence of the union. The limitation of censorship [ENACTED BY THE LAW ON CENSORSHIP, PASSED BY THE POLISH PARLIAMENT IN JUNE, AND IN FORCE SINCE NOVEMBER 1, 1981] in the official press posed no problems for the authorities. In place of editors-in-chief, one can set up the [FORMER] censors. Such tactics were impossible in the union press. That is why they [THE AUTHORITIES] want to obliterate it.
We must win this war. The society, deprived of information about itself, and condemned [TO LISTEN] exclusively to official information, is susceptible to arbitrary manipulation. This is the main goal of Messrs. Jaruzelski, Rakowski [DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, AND EDITOR-INCHIEF OF THE WEEKLY, "POLITYKA"], Gornicki [FORMER FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT FOR THE POLISH PRESS AGENCY, AND CURRENTLY CHIEF SPOKESMAN AND "ADVISER" TO JARUZELSKI] and Urban -this "cabinet composed of mediocre columnists." Their "squads of order" committed acts of unique barbarity by turning modern printing equipment, which Solidarity obtained from abroad, into a pile of scrap iron. In Wroclaw, brand new, unused color printing machines were demolished with all the ferocity of the Holy Inquisitors burning Copernicus' books.
And at the same time, Messrs. Jaruzelski, Rokowski and Kubiak [HIERONIM KUBIAK, MEMBER OF THE POLITBURO, AND A FORMER UNIVERSITY RECTOR (PRESIDENT)] were assuring Polish intellectuals they had convened of their concern for science and their love of culture.
COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF SOLIDARITY
275 SEVENTH AVENUE, TWENTY-FIFTH FLOOR / NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10001
(212) 989-0909 / Press: Contact ( 212 ) 929-6966
January 9, 1982
CONTACT: Chris Wilcock, Agnieszka Kolakowska: 929-6966
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