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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The heroes of June 1989 encourage people to take part in the European elections. “It's not an effort”

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June 4, 35 years ago, was truly a holiday. Finally, there was a choice, you could vote in accordance with your conscience and well-understood interests. We owe a lot to Solidarity oppositionists. It is worth listening to their stories once again and what democracy means to them.

– This shipyard, this gate, opened us the first space for democracy, for freedom – says Zbigniew Janas, an opposition activist in the Polish People's Republic. – For the EU too. Of course, we didn't dream like that then, he adds.

35 years ago, being part of the European community was a distant, but another key goal for Solidarity activists. – It's good that it happened on June 4, and earlier this Round Table. It seems to me that we have not neglected the opportunity and chance for change, says Grażyna Staniszewska, an opposition activist in the Polish People's Republic.

Grażyna Staniszewska and Zbigniew Janas are MPs elected from the lists of the “Solidarity” Citizens' Committee on June 4. Bogdan Lis too, but unlike most Solidarity candidates, he did not have a photo with Wałęsa on his election poster. – Why? Because I didn't want to. I said that if I win these elections, it will be because I have authority – recalls Lis.

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The road to the elections

READ ALSO: Over 82 percent of Poles support the presence in the EU. In the survey they indicated the main benefit

Their path to June 4 led through strikes, internments, arrests, demonstrations up to the Round Table. They risked their health and lives – theirs and those of their families. That is why today they cannot imagine not exercising their right to vote.

– I know what you can lose. I know how difficult it was before and it is not an effort (to vote – editor's note) – emphasizes Grażyna Staniszewska.

– You can't stand aside and wait for someone to achieve what you want most. You can't count on this, says Maria Sielicka-Gracka, an opposition activist in the Polish People's Republic, about the upcoming elections. Maria Sielicka Gracka was also an MP from Solidarity. – If we want something to happen in a way that would be convenient for us, we have to take part in it – he emphasizes.

Citizens' Day

The next election Sunday is not a holiday for politicians from the times of the Polish People's Republic. For them, it is a day of citizens who, on this one day, can send a message to politicians and show their strength through turnout.

– I experienced firsthand what it means to win narrowly and what it means to win with a huge majority of votes – says Grażyna Staniszewska. – Then a person has the courage to take up even non-standard challenges – he adds.

SEE ALSO: Poland celebrates 20 years in the European Union. “It was and is a very good time for Poland”

The heroes of June 1989 are today the leaders of virtually all parties. Therefore, on June 4, Law and Justice, Jarosław Kaczyński and Donald Tusk are planning their own events related to the election campaign, as well as Donald Tusk, who, together with politicians of the Civic Coalition and their supporters, will be at a rally at Castle Square in Warsaw.

Main photo source: Fakty TVN

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