Solidarity Movement

Solidarity began in September 1980 at the Lenin Shipyards, and although it was a Polish trade union federation originally led by Lech Wałęsa, it in fact constituted a broad anticommunist social movement. It rapidly changed into an umbrella organization under which a broad range of political and social groups united in opposition to the communist regime.

At Solidarity's first national congress in 1981, a program calling for an active Solidarity role in reforming Poland's political and economic systems was adopted. The government attempted to destroy the organization with the martial law of 1981 and several years of repression. The organization was forced underground until the late 1980s. During its underground phase, Solidarity lost much of its original cohesion as tactical and philosophical disagreements split the movement ...

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