A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

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Monday, August 15, 2005

A good day for anniversaries

Poland Celebrates 25 Years of Solidarity

Gdansk, Poland (AHN) - Twenty-five years ago, on August 14, 1980, Solidarity, the first independent trade union in the former Soviet bloc, was born in Poland as political and economic tensions overspilled in the northern Shipyard town of Gdansk.

Led by the electrician and political activist Lech Walesa, who later became the country's President in 1990, the strike was part of a growing campaign to improve economic conditions for Poland's labor force and push for political freedom.

The strike Walesa led culminated in a historic accord with the government out of which arose Eastern Europe's first independent workers' movement.


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