Bulletin Board


Postcards from Gdansk, from early December, 1981
Photo documents:
Strike at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk
The Entrance of the Lenin Shipyard, Gdansk
Journal of the Solidarity Union, issues 39, 47, and 53 (the first issue was published on the 23rd of August, 1980 at the Gdansk Shipyard)
Self-adhesive stickers, 1980-81

The strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk began on the 14th of August, 1980, including amongst their demands the re-employment of two dismissed employees. One of these employees, – who later became the Nobel Prize-winning Polish head of state – electrician Lech Wałęsa, was reinstated two days later as the head of the strike committee. During the 17-day period of the spreading, nation-wide strike movement, the participants drafted their list of 21 demands, which they posted in hand-writing above the entrance to the shipyard. The acceptance of these demands led to the birth of the Independent, Self-governing Trade Union „Solidarity” (Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy „Solidarność”) and the movement, which comprised of three million members at the time of its formation on the 17th of September, and approximately ten million members a year later, in the fall of 1981. The movement was temporarily dispersed by the instatement of martial law on the 13th of December, 1981 or rather forced into illegality until 1989, when the representatives of the state party were forced to begin negotiations with the head of the Solidarity on the peaceful takeover. The 21 demands were accepted to the UNESCO’s Memory of the World program in 2003 as one of its registered documents and the European Parliament commemorated the strike, the demands and movement with a separate resolution in 2005, „...acknowledging that the Polish motto ‘there is no liberty without Solidarity’ is important for the whole of Europe and the world, (and) recognising that the peaceful success of Solidarity had an influence on other movements fighting for human rights, and believing that it is still a role model for countries that are deprived of freedom...”




Website of Solidarity: http://www.solidarnosc.org.pl
Historical Documents: http://www.wszechnica.solidarnosc.org.pl/
The Solidarnośc Phenomenon: http://www.solidarnosc.gov.pl/index.php?document=2
The 21 demands by the Strike Committee: http://20090209.archiwa.gov.pl/?CIDA=355
Website of the Academy of Fine Art in Gdansk: http://www.asp.gda.pl