Poland Marks 30th Anniversary of Solidarity Movement

Posted December 14th, 2011 at 4:40 am (UTC-5)
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Poland paused Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the communist government's martial law crackdown on members of the Solidarity trade union.

The anniversary was remembered with historical reenactments, church services, ceremonies, and protests. Thousands of demonstrators joined a rally against government policies and called for the prosecution of those responsible for the communist crackdown.

Thirty years ago the Poland's communist government declared martial law and attempted to crush the solidarity movement led by union leader Lech Walesa.

The movement started as a strike against rising food prices and eventually help lead to the end of communism within the Soviet bloc.

During the government crackdown, 100 people died and thousands were imprisoned, including Mr. Walesa. Martial law was eventually lifted in 1983.

Lech Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that same year for his work with the Solidarity movement.

In December of 1990, he was elected president of the Republic of Poland.