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11. Bydgoszcz: the Turning Point

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses the concept of turning points to examine one of the key developments in the course of Solidarity's struggle with the government. Peasants owned 80 percent of the land and produced an even greater share of the country’s food. They could, if organised, extract new concessions from the government. So the government did not wish to allow the farmers to form such an organisation. The events that began in the city of Bydgoszcz in north-central Poland in mid-March became discernibly the turning point in this struggle. Rakowski argued that after Bydgoszcz, Solidarity had ceased to be merely a social movement and was now seeking power. Without regard to the authorities, farmers created their Rural Solidarity organisation, and a week later, in mid-March, they occupied the building of the Peasant Party in Bydgoszcz, demanding legal recognition of their organisation.

Keywords:Bydgoszcz; Rakowski; Solidarity



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