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21 Point Agreement

mercredi, septembre 8, 2021

Friday marks the 38th anniversary of the signing in 1980 of the « Gdansk Accords » between the Polish communist government and striking workers at the Gdansk shipyard. He began the process of dismantling the communist empire created under the regime of the Soviet Union after World War II. On the second anniversary of the agreement, on August 31, 1982, a massive wave of anti-government protests took place throughout Poland. The regime responded by force of the police; According to Solidarnosc, at least seven people were killed throughout Poland. The first agreement was signed on 30 August in Szczecin. The communist authorities accepted the strikers` demands, including the creation of trade unions. On the same day, the Central Committee of the Communist Party authorized the signing of agreements with demonstrators in both Szczecin and Gdansk. The last demand that blocked the agreement was for the release of political prisoners, a point that the Communist Party approved at the last moment. The best-known agreement was signed on 31st August in Gdansk by Lech Wałęsa and Deputy Prime Minister Mieczysław Jagielski. The communist regime authorized the creation of new and independent trade unions, introduced the right to strike, accepted the construction of the monument to the victims of December 1970, the broadcasting of Sunday masses by Polish radio and the limitation of censorship. Trade unionists have recognised the leading role of the Communist Party in the state.

On 10 November 1980, the Supreme Court registered the independent self-management trade union « Solidarity ». Soon after, nearly 10 million people joined the union. The organization was created in all companies and enterprises, with the exception of the Polish army and the civilian militia. « Solidarity » was the first independent legal organization to be able to act behind the Iron Curtain after the Second World War. He survived 16 months before martial law was introduced in December 1981, when he was suspended and finally made illegal in 1982. The era when it was a Legal Union is often referred to as the « Carnival of Freedom » or « Carnival of Solidarity » and paved the way for the Round Table agreements and the first partially free elections in 1989 and, consequently, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. . . .

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