Inspired by the Bible’s call to love your neighbour
(This quote comes from my article about the Solidarnosc written from Christian perspective. It was originally published at BigPeace. However this is the approach I use in my book).
Exactly thirty years ago on September 5th, 1981 the first free Parliament gathering in Eastern Europe occupied by the Soviet Union took place in Gdansk, a metropolitan city in northern Poland. It was Congress of Solidarity Movement which gathered over eight hundred delegates representing ten million members in Poland. In Gdansk, a year earlier, historical strikes by shipyard workers led by Anna Walentynowicz and Lech Walesa, resulted in a signing of an unprecedented socio-political agreement with humbled Communist regime. After Gdansk shipyards ended, local chapters of the Solidarity movement were formed in every Polish company and their members elected representatives to the Congress.
This was the first democratic structure not controlled by the Communist government behind the Iron Curtain. The Solidarity movement was formally registered as a labor union. However, it did not resemble any Western worker’s union. Solidarity members had trust in God, respect for man and disbelief in the state. As late Solidarity leader Anna Walentynowicz put it: “a militant atheism was equally evil as communist bureaucracy”. (…)
Moreover, the Solidarity movement was not aimed against anybody. Its first goal was to unite and reconcile people fragmented and isolated by the operations of Communist secret police and Communist propaganda. During the strikes, workers publicly forgave their oppressors. Secondly, workers demanded rights to freely organize themselves (free unions), inform (free speech) and to express their faith (freedom of conscience).