Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took part in the ceremonies commemorating the 41st anniversary of the strikes of 1980 and the establishment of the Solidarity Trade Union. The head of government emphasized in Gdańsk: – At that time, we did not know what tomorrow would be, what threatened us, what hope we can attach to the next days, the next months, but we knew that it is worth fighting, that it is worth believing, because one day that day of freedom would come.
On August 31, 2021, 41 years will have passed since the signing of the August Agreements, which initiated changes in Poland and Europe. On this occasion, a number of celebrations are held in Gdańsk. This is another year when the City of Gdańsk, together with some of the legendary Solidarity activists, and the current NSZZ “Solidarity” celebrate separately.
Before 3 p.m., Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki appeared in the Health and Safety Hall of the Gdańsk Shipyard as part of the celebrations organized by the current NSZZ “Solidarity”.
– “Solidarni, this day is ours, and tomorrow is unknown, but let us live as if ours were our age. Lay the foundation calmly under a free country.” As these words of the Solidarity hymn indicate, we did not know then what would be tomorrow, what was the threat to us, what hope we can associate with the next days, the next months, but we knew that it is worth fighting, that it is worth believing, because someday this day of freedom will come – said Morawiecki .
Prime Minister: 21 demands have been carved not in stone, but in our hearts
– Such was the deep faith of all members of Solidarity, and before its creation, all those who, in those difficult, gray days of communism, fought for freedom, independence, solidarity, and democracy, he added.
The head of government recalled that Poland’s path to Solidarity and freedom was long. – The milestones that led to the creation of Solidarity were a great effort of previous generations of workers, intellectuals, students and farmers who fought on various barricades – he said. He recalled the greatest protests of the People’s Republic of Poland, including those of 1956, 1970, 1976 and the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in June 1979, which events – as he stated – contributed to the creation of Solidarity. – These 21 demands were carved not in stone, but above all in our hearts – said the head of the government.
Celebrations on the 41st anniversary of the August Agreements
The prime minister is also to take part in the holy mass in the Basilica of St. Brigid at 5 p.m.
Celebrations of the 41st anniversary of signing the August Agreements are underway in Gdańsk. The celebrations began after 10 am with speeches by, among others, Lech Wałęsa, Bogdan Lis, the president of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, and the marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Mieczysław Struk. As every year, Lech Wałęsa officially opened Gate No. 2 of the Gdańsk Shipyard.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki previously referred to the anniversary also in social media.
“To say about Solidarity that it was only a trade union is definitely not enough to say,” the head of government wrote. And, in his entry, he added: “Solidarity is the largest social and national movement in the history of the world. It was a movement that aimed to win a dignified life in an independent and sovereign state, and whose ideals and heritage are realized in Poland today.”
The beginning of changes
Exactly 41 years ago, on August 31, 1980, at 5 p.m. in the BHP hall of the Gdańsk Shipyard, an agreement was signed between the Government Commission and the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee, representing over 700 plants from all over Poland.
The government delegation agreed, inter alia, for the creation of new, independent, self-governing trade unions, the right to strike, the construction of a monument to the victims of December 1970, broadcasts of Sunday masses. in Polish Radio and the restriction of censorship. A provision was also adopted that the new trade unions recognize the leading role of the PZPR in the state.
The agreement signed by Lech Wałęsa, chairman of the MKS and Deputy Prime Minister Mieczysław Jagielski, consequently led to the establishment of NSZZ “Solidarity” – the first legal union organization in communist countries, independent of the authorities. The August Agreements and the rise of Solidarity marked the beginning of the changes in 1989.
Main photo source: TVN24