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10. The Solidarity Offensive

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Chapter Summary

The establishment of Solidarity was the beginning of a broad-based assault on the status quo. In the period after Solidarity was established, many battles broadened the power of the social movement at the expense of the Party/state. Many beneficiaries of the status quo saw the union as a threat. Throughout the sixteen months of legal Solidarity, the military continued to fiercely resist the efforts of workers under military jurisdiction who sought to organise themselves into the union. A sparring process continued over months, as the party sought Solidarity’s weak points. But in almost every case during its first six months, the union emerged stronger than ever as it progressively encroached on state power. The Premier Wojciech Jaruzelski appointed Mieczysław Rakowski as Deputy Premier who many years had been the editor of the liberal and respected weekly Polityka, and was a man thought to have a ‘European’ worldview.

Keywords:armed forces; Mieczysław Rakowski; solidarity offensive; Wojciech Jaruzelski; workers



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