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14. Counter-Revolution!

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Chapter Summary

The coup - carried out under declaration of martial law on the grounds that Poland was in a ‘state of war’ because the Polish constitution had no provision for a state of emergency - officially began at midnight on Saturday 13 December, the night winter began in Poland. The government deployed a huge force to detain Solidarity activists and supporters all over the country. As the military manoeuvres proceeded, people got signals that something untoward was happening. The National Commission was meeting that evening in the Gdańsk Shipyard. In Gdańsk, the police went through the hotels housing the delegates to the National Commission room by room, systematically arresting them. Many Party reformers were incarcerated and some were charged with counter-revolutionary activities - a very serious charge. Members of the judiciary and their employees who had joined Solidarity were among those subject to repression.

Keywords:counter-revolution; martial law; Poland; repression; solidarity



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