19.9.11

Arab Spring unlike Solidarity Summer

Solidarity leader Lech Walesa leads shipyard workers in prayer
Big Peace published my article on the Christian origins of transformation in Poland. I tried to point at the difference between the Solidarity movement and the Arab revolutions. Here is an excerpt. 


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).


Anna Walentynowicz acknowledged the key role of John Paul II in the formation of Solidarity. She said: “I cannot imagine it without our pope”. Likewise Polish historian, Marek Lasota, who specializes in the history of 1980’s, concurred with the Solidarity leader: “The movement was born in the hearts of Poles during the first pilgrimage of John Paul II to his Fatherland in June 1978”. This pilgrimage had critical significance for the formation of Solidarity. Polish workers were inspired seeing themselves in mass public prayer meetings for the first time on a such a grand scale. Other Solidarity leader Krzysztof Wyszkowski explains: “we understood that there is more of us than them.” Polish workers rejected fear from their hearts. In this moment the Communist regime lost its power of influence because fear is a fundamental element of a totalitarian system.


Solidarity workers emphasized in their speeches and documents that they acted for the common good of man. The movement was not a political organization but a moral force for the renewal of society. Its ethics may be difficult to understand today.

Ronald Reagan Quotes