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Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa – Nobel Prize winning labor activist who changed the European history in an exclusive interview with Alexander Woodman

Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa – Nobel Prize winning labor activist who changed the European history in an exclusive interview with Alexander Woodman

Lech Wałęsa, the leader of tens of millions of Polish staff, turned the president of Poland in 1990, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. Born in Popowo (Poland), the longer term labor activist and political chief, began his career as a automotive mechanic at a machining middle. As a younger activist, he was among the leaders of the shipyard staff through the conflict in December 1970 between the employees and the federal government.

Wałęsa witnessed the 1970 meals worth riots in Gdańsk through which police killed several demonstrators; these pictures remained with him ceaselessly. When new protests towards Poland’s communist government erupted in 1976, Wałęsa emerged as an anti-government union activist. Eight years later, in 1978, he organized free non-communist trade unions and continued to work with different activists. Regardless of his fixed publicity and persecution, he continued to battle forward.

Solidarity was the primary not beneath the management of communist social gathering trade union accepted by a Warsaw Pact nation and the Japanese Bloc. Solidarity additional developed on August 31, 1980, when the communist government of Poland signed the agreement permitting for its existence. By September 1980, over twenty Inter-factory Founding Committees of free trade unions merged in Congress as one body; the nationwide group NSZZ Solidarity. Nevertheless, in December, 1981 the Polish authorities pressured martial regulation, saying the Solidarity as banned unity. The a lot of the leaders of the Solidarity have been arrested. Lech Wałęsa was stored arrested almost a yr.

This battle continued until the financial collapse of Poland in 1988 when the federal government began negotiations with Lech Wałęsaand different Solidarity leaders. Because of the Polish Round Table Talks, Solidarity acquired the authorized status. The civil rights movement was permitted to take part in a partially free elections and to secure limited seats within the decrease house (Sejm) and all in the higher home of the Parliament (Senate). In June 1989, Solidarity gained nearly all of the seats, thanks, partially, to the work of Lech Wałęsa. 

When about ten million Polish staff and farmers joined the motion in response to this momentous agreement, the Strike Committee was reworked right into a national federation of unions underneath the identify Solidarity. In April 1990, Wałęsa was elected Chairman and spokesman of the group with 77.5% of the votes.

Solidarity was officially acknowledged by the Polish authorities, and Wałęsa led the group on its path. His journey was a mixture of restricted battles with the federal government to stop anger and the potential for Soviet army intervention in Poland. In late 1990, Wałęsa was unanimously elected President of the Republic of Poland and served until November, 1995.

Discussing those historic occasions for Poland and his journey to freedom, Lech Wałęsa typically stated: “Those days nobody was ready to barter, so anyone had to. Subsequently, I opened all that. In fact, later Balcerowicz financed it for us, but I did open the door. That’s the way it went.”

A.W. While main a nation to freedom, some leaders are criticized quite often. What’s your angle in the direction of this criticism and being watched by governmental authorities every day? Can you talk about any errors that you simply feel you made along your journey; anything you’d have completed in a different way?

L.W. The authorities of that era had a troublesome time believing that an electrician; a blue-collar worker might obtain this success on their lonesome. Many say he should have had some assist since he would by no means have the ability to deal with these obligations alone. Some felt that my help and assistance came from totally different security providers. These claims simply make me feel prouder of my accomplishments. Sure, I used to be surrounded by agents. Those that thought they might management and manipulate me. They have been mistaken. 

All through this battle, I allowed nobody to regulate me and my objectives. Properly, in all honesty, perhaps my spouse might manipulate me a bit of. However, aside from her, nobody else managed me, my actions, or my selections. I’m grateful for my upbringing, which gave me a robust character, and I carried that willpower to the top.

Through the time of those vital modifications in Poland, there have been some errors made. That is true for any major enterprise. The mistakes have been few and minor in quantity. Extra importantly, my objective was to deliver freedom and democracy to Poland and its individuals. I succeeded.

A.W. Are you able to talk about the present-day political state of affairs in Poland, in the European Union, and around the globe?

L.W. You see: politics is a unclean and brutal business, which results in a substantial amount of misunderstanding. At this time, there are extra individuals who write books than people who learn them. And that’s quite fascinating. Additionally, it was truly by probability that the fashionable politicians of Poland came into energy. The job forward is to teach new politicians, who will perceive the principles of the game, and use these rules to provoke and implement new tasks and buildings. We need to disagree fairly and struggle with one another when it’s needed.

We should always and will make mistakes. First, we’ll argue and talk about our variations forcefully. Tomorrow we’ll use these debates to make clever decisions. We must all understand and accept the truth that it’s unimaginable to build European unity when there continues to be vital inconsistency in taxes and improvement. We need to stability the differences. My wish is for the world to be developed in a better means. We must think about one another and seek to explore methods to enhance on such points as poverty, unemployment, disease, and the surroundings, to name a number of.

A.W. How would you describe the challenges you faced on your journey to the presidency?  How has the world and the ruling methods modified since you turned President?

L.W. Truthfully, the best way I adopted the principles on the onset of my job, was dangerous not only for me but for your complete nation. Nevertheless, there were two issues that acquired me thus far. My success is a results of the work by our era; they made things occur. They showed solidarity and did not surrender hope. The opposite reality was that I had that excessive luck; the heavens have been on my aspect and gave us a path to victory.

In these beginning days once I was just beginning to study the which means of diplomacy, I met with representatives of the German authorities in Poland. Once I met with the German delegation as a trade unionist, I advised them “Distinguished Gentlemen; the Berlin Wall goes to fall in no time in any respect. Soon the Soviet Union will fall. Are you ready for that?” 

Minister Genscher replied: “Sir, we want to have problems like these. However this is not going to occur in our lifetime. By the time your phrases are reality; giant timber would have grown on our graves.” Shortly after that, they needed to immediately end their official go to to Poland and return to Germany. The Berlin Wall had fallen!! Don’t draw the flawed conclusions from my story! Just have faith that the wiser you turn into, the higher additionally turns into your means to draw conclusions from the information.

These days, you are the one that should appraise how the world has changed as we pursue our path to freedom. Years ago, the circumstances have been totally different; there were divides, borders, and States. We worked onerous to get rid of them; now, we are rebuilding them. Occasions have changed, and our path to success needed to change, as nicely.

A.W. What is the important “lesson,” and “message” that you simply want to deliver to the audience throughout your lectures at the universities and public events you attend?

L.W. I need to speak with my viewers concerning the foundations of our development and clarify the small print of our economic system.  I need to train them how we’re going to deal with populism, demagogy, and the lies of politicians. 

These are three particular subjects that I want to share during my speeches and lectures. As I have stated, the circumstances prior to now have been totally different; the challenges have been totally different. Immediately, we should find people who can deliver change in accordance with the current demands of the world. And not using a warfare; with no single gunshot taken, we now have managed to liberate the world of communism. Now we should discover the options for badly needed international solidarity.

Lech Wałęsa (Photograph: Courtesy of Alexander Woodman)

A.W. Around the globe, a number of nations have adopted the idea of Vision 2030; aimed to offer sustainable improvement and worldwide cooperation. What are the important determinants for international sustainability?

L.W. Dialogue and negotiation are the key elements. We must find a approach to obtain solutions   via dialogue. A superb example to make use of is the Polish Spherical Table Talks in 1989. This dialogue was initiated by the government, and the Solidarity union, together with different opposition groups, wrote the twenty-one calls for. During our discussions, we declared both these demands can be solved or we “get naughty.”

A.W. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was awarded the first Lech Wałęsa prize for his contribution in the direction of “Inter-faith dialogue, tolerance, peace, and international cooperation.” Are you able to please elaborate on your ideas of tolerance and inter-faith dialogue?

L.W. Prior to now, we used religion as a weapon to struggle and at occasions, die. It was correct at the moment, which was comprised of sharp divides and territorial wars. Nowadays, we have now concluded that if we don’t need to battle, religions will return to their positions. We consider that the intellect will improve and everyone will understand that there, despite the various totally different religions, there is just one God. The one query that is still is whether or not there are too many academics which may result in conditions that aren’t sensible or helpful to the inhabitants.

Once we started our motion of Solidarity, we had a quite simple concept. For those who can’t take away that enormous stone pressing on you, ask for help from others. On the path in the direction of freedom, the individuals from totally different societies, staff, intellectuals, younger and previous, spiritual and non-religious joined with us, and we gained. To create a common worth system, we must be surrounded by totally different nations, cultures, and religions. Certainly one of my objectives has been to develop a system, which can permit totally different nations, cultures, and religions to co-exist and cooperate by way of understanding and accepting the variations of each of us.

A.W. When discussing the subject of faith, are you able to speak concerning the position of the Roman Catholic Church, its effect, and affect on you as you worked to turn out to be a robust a political chief in Poland?

L.W. I’m a man of faith. I only worry God, and at occasions, my wife. In these days, each day, I might go to communion and confession once a month. In 1980, after martial regulation was imposed in Poland and Solidarity was outlawed, I used to be arrested again.  In jail, my solely hope was God. 

For 20 years, I attempted to collect individuals collectively to battle towards communism. Unfortunately, only ten individuals adopted me; two of whom have been agents. Others needed to battle towards communism, however they have been afraid.  It was troublesome for me to mobilize them. 

Nevertheless, the state of affairs changed, when a Polish man turned the Pope in 1978 – Pope John Paul II. When His Holiness returned to Poland, he informed us not to be afraid. Within one yr after his election, we gathered ten million people who supported our ideas and visions. If we ask God, if we assemble every little thing based mostly on our values, there isn’t any power that may win over us.

At that time, I neither had money nor was I any wiser. I just decided that I used to be happening to do my job each day completely and with a robust commitment. I only had two issues that have been of value; my faith in God, and my religion in autonomy.

Look how far I’ve managed to return, how much I’ve carried out, and the way a lot better life is for my followers. The world witnessed a manifestation of religion in a communist nation.

A.W. Through the World Economic Discussion board in 2015 you stated: “If we don’t give individuals options, it’ll awaken the demons of the previous.” What are the most effective solutions for the present state of affairs of world politics?

L.W. They’re still awake, don’t you see? Nowadays, considerate dialogue is the one answer. I as soon as stated that one epoch has gone, the other has not risen yet. We are in an in-between stage. And we should talk about intimately what this world goes to appear to be in the future.

The financial system within the new world construction needs modifications. It should not be a communist system as a result of it did not work for any nation prior to now. It shouldn’t be a capitalistic nation of the present-day world, where 10% of the world inhabitants controls 90% of its wealth. We have to find higher options, or else the demons of the past will reawaken, and other people will flip back to what they have been interested in up to now.  The leaders and intellectuals should collect and talk about as many occasions as is important. This can assist all of us to seek out higher solutions and guarantee the individuals about a greater world. That is the only option to avoid a brand new era of extremists taking power.On reflection, I might say that the democracy of the past consisted of impressive legal guidelines. Now, we need to construct a brand new democracy with new guidelines. They need to include clear obligations, along with a clear plan to maneuver forward.  I determine as a Democrat, and I characterize the votes which might be assigned to me. That is my duty. As we transfer alongside; if there’s anyone who feels the need to battle; look to your left and your right. I can be at your aspect.

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