Poland: An International Appeal

Against the Current, No. 32, May/June 1991

Józef Pinior

THE DEMOCRATIC DREAM that arose in Poland with Solidarnosc in 1980-81, and which sustained us through the long years of struggle against the military dictatorship, will not come true automatically. It was an organized, mass labor movement that was able to introduce the first elements of democracy into the society; to create and protect a democratic political culture today also requires continuing to struggle for working people’s rights.

Those of us making this appeal come from the democratic and egalitarian wing of Solidarnosc—the current representing the struggle for independent information instead of bureaucratic lies, the fight to liberate humanity from the tyranny of privileged elites, the idea of developing workers’ self-management.

One means for strengthening this tradition in Poland involves securing free access to information that has not been manipulated, the circulation of many different analyses and viewpoints, including those of the democratic Left, to guarantee political pluralism.

We have established an independent print shop and are setting up a Center for Independent Information (in Polish Osrodek Niezalezney Informacji, “oni”) that will work in collaboration with journalists working in the press, radio and 1V to ensure accurate presentation of events and to oppose the manipulation of information. We are attempting to raise $20,000 (U.S.) to equip our print shop and secure technical and financial means for radio and TV access.

Your financial support now will make it possible for us to reach and bring together people who oppose the dictatorship of the bureaucracy and of market forces, to develop the idea of a better, more just =that Polish working people still want to bring into existence. We need you to help fight for this and ask for your support in the words of the old Polish slogan: “For your freedom and ours!”

This text is abridged from “An International Appeal to Assist Democratic Development in Poland, “written in October 1990 by Józef Pinior, a former national leader of clandestine Solidarnosc from 1982-87 and one of its main organizers in the Lower Silesian region. Pinior was imprisoned, given a heavy sentence but freed at the time of amnesty for political prisoners, and again imprisoned for his role in another wave of strikes in 1988. Pinior is currently is director of the Wroclaw Political Center.

May-June 1991, ATC 32